Whether your commute to work is 15 minutes or two hours, what you do during the trip can improve your performance in the office. Research from Harvard University found that the average American adult spends an average of 101 minutes driving each day. If you commute by train, bus, or car, there is an excellent way to use this untapped time—by listening to business and career self-improvement audiobooks.

Based on Harvard's figures, the average commuter would be able to listen to almost 50 extra books in a year since there are many audiobooks under eight hours long.

Below are 10 great career-boosting audiobooks perfect for listening to during your commute.

Key Takeaways

  • Audiobooks are a great way to spend your commuting hours.
  • Many audiobooks available are under eight hours long.
  • Americans spend over an hour and a half each day in their cars.
  • Audiobooks by entrepreneurs and business people may help inspire listeners.
  • Audiobooks can be purchased or borrowed from your local library.
  • Richard Branson, Napoleon Hill, and Brian Tracy have written inspirational audiobooks on being an entrepreneur, making money, and managing your time.

1. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

At just under six hours, this audiobook is a quick listen. Author Daniel Pink talks about how the typical strategies of motivating ourselves, usually either through reward or punishment, do not work. This book is thought-provoking and will teach you new ways to motivate yourself to become a better worker. There is also a section at the end that can be useful for both individuals and companies.

2. The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future

The $100 Startup is a fascinating book that profiles several successful startups. Author Chris Guillebeau talks about finding success by pursuing your passion, and he shows that you don’t need to spend a lot of money or time on the planning stages. At the least, this audiobook is a fun, and motivational listen—it describes people who took their passions and made them into successful businesses.

3. Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

Author Brian Tracy is an expert in self-development and success. Eat That Frog! is a good book for people at many life stages, from student to executive, since procrastination is a habit many people struggle with. Applying Tracy’s tips to tame procrastination can help you become more productive in your business and personal life.

4. Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal

Need to negotiate a raise, pitch a new idea to investors, or secure new clients? Then Pitch Anything is the perfect read for you. Author Oren Klaff’s passionate voice will keep you going during your boring commute and teach you the method that will gain you more success.

Check your local library to see if you borrow and download audiobooks to avoid having to purchase them.

5. Think and Grow Rich

If you haven’t read this classic by Napoleon Hill, don’t wait any longer. There is a reason why this business book still tops the charts, even though it was first released in 1937.

6. Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time

Scrum by Jeff Sutherland looks at faults in how we work and looks for more efficient ways to achieve results. The book lays out so-called Scrum principles and claims that those who can apply the principles in the right sequence can “accelerate productivity and quality as much as 1200%."

7. The Virgin Way

Anyone who owns an airline and a private island is probably worth a listen. English business mogul Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Records, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, and hundreds of other companies under the Virgin Group umbrella, has an estimated net worth of $6 billion. Branson has an interesting life story that will prove helpful to anyone facing challenges or in a leadership position. In the book, Branson describes how he battled dyslexia, dropped out of school at 16, and has only ever worked for himself.

8. The One Thing

Best-selling author Gary Keller, a highly successful entrepreneur, knows how to manage his time, and he wants to teach you. Keller shares his method for what he calls "extreme time management" to help others succeed in their jobs and lives.

9. Zero to One

PayPal co-founder and founder of Palantir, Peter Thiel, is a start-pro who eschewed Silicon Valley for Los Angeles. In his book, he shares his trajectory of success and his non-traditional approach to investing in innovative start-ups. A great item is the pitch deck template he offers in his book to new entrepreneurs seeking to get their start-ups off the ground.

10. The Book on Rental Property Investing

If you are looking for advice on investing in the real estate market, start here. Brandon Turner's book is an essential roadmap to learning all about how to invest in rental properties. Turner, the "Bigger Pockets Podcast" host, gives solid advice on how to find the best property deals, finance rentals, and avoid many all-too-common mistakes in the real estate investor market. Before you buy your first building, invest in a copy of this book to help you build your income stream in rental properties.

The Bottom Line

You may have little control over the length of your commute, but you can choose what you listen to during it. Ask your local library about audiobooks—many have classic business audiobooks and even newer titles available for only the price of a library membership (free). You can also purchase audiobooks through services like iTunes, Audible.com, and other digital services.