How To Make A Fortune Commuting To Work

The average American worker spends about one hour a day in their cars commuting. Over the span of a year, this comes out to about 250 hours behind the wheel. To put this in perspective, a grad student will spend ~750 hours in lectures to complete a Master’s degree. So in three years, we spend the equivalent amount of time in our cars commuting, as a college graduate spends in lectures to earn a Masters.

Below are three ways to effectively use your time behind the wheel to get smarter for free, and one way to accelerate all of this.

More Education = More Income

Listen to Podcasts

Today, an estimated 60% of Americans have never listened to a podcast, and of the ones who have listened to a podcast, ~40% have not listened to one in over a month. This means that ~76% of the American population may be missing out on an incredibly valuable opportunity to educate themselves while they are sitting in a car, doing chores around the house, or taking their dog for a walk.

If you want to have a better understanding of business, economics, philosophy, technology, marketing, sales etc. you can guarantee there are custom tailored podcasts for each of these subjects and much more. And since the barrier to start a podcast is almost nonexistent, you can feel fairly certain that any podcast you select with decent ratings will be worth your time. Listening to podcasts lets you familiarize yourself with the subject matter by providing you insight into the terminology, players, and topics of a field in ways that may not be available to you otherwise.

Listen to YouTube

Want to learn directly from some of the world’s top CEOs, thought leaders, or experts in almost any field? Well, there is probably a good chance that they have a talk, lecture, or interview on YouTube. In the past, to get access to these individuals and to be able to learn from their insights would have required the right status, connections, money, time, proximity or any other number of factors, but now anyone in the world with an internet connection can tap into this pool of knowledge for free.

For example, I recently watched a lecture from the Royal Institution in London about Quantum Biology by Professor Jim Al-Khalili. If I wanted to listen to this talk prior to YouTube, not only would I have to take time off work and fly out to London, but I am pretty sure someone like myself who has no background in this subject would not be able to get a seat for such a lecture. Fast-forward to today, and I can listen to this lecture while I am in my pajamas at my own leisure.

Most people naturally associate YouTube as a video platform, but there is little reason to think we need to tie up our eyes to watch someone stand on a stage to give a lecture. Simply getting an app that streams just the YouTube audio will let you listen to these talks during your commute.

Listen to Articles

I have found that a lot of the content that I like to consume won’t be found in podcasts, YouTube, or even books, but only in written articles on the web. The hack here is instead of spending my time reading these articles, I listen to them instead.

For years, I used to copy and paste my articles into a text document then upload the file to my iPhone and have Siri read it back to me. To help streamline this process, we spent a lot of time building an app called Motoread so people can listen to articles in a playlist format. Additionally, YouTube videos can also be added to the Motoread playlist for pure listening as well.

How to Accelerate The Learning Process Through Listening

The average person can listen twice as fast as they can talk, and I have witnessed that with a little bit of practice we can go much faster than that. The limiting factor isn’t our brain’s ability to process this information, but the speed by which we can talk. Because of this we can tap into our listening superpower and increase the audio speed when we listen to podcasts, YouTube videos, or articles. At first, it may seem a little strange, but you will be astonished how fast your brain can adjust.

With a 50% increase in audio speed, if you only listen during your normal commute, you can consume an entire graduate degree’s amount of lectures in just two years. Extrapolate this over the forty or so years we spend commuting to work, and we could obtain the equivalent of twenty Master’s degree’s worth of lectures during that time. As we can now pack in more knowledge in less time like never before, I think the individuals who utilize these strategies can have a major leg up compared to their former selves.

“Self-education will make you a fortune” ― Jim Rohn