Optimizing my life: drive time

I’m continuing to work on how to optimize my life. Having five kids, running a company, being involved in community activities and my church, and somehow also trying to spend time with my close friends, is a constant struggle.

One trick I’ve started doing is using my drive time to get things done. I recently got this car phone holder so that I could more easily use my phone for navigation, but it has the side benefit of forcing me not to use my phone at traffic lights and stop signs. This keeps me hands free so I can, you know, drive.

Because reading more books is a big goal for me this year, I’ve started to buy Kindle books with the additional Audible component, so I can listen while I drive and then pick up where I left off when I read on my Kindle.

The other thing I’ve started to do while driving at traffic lights and stop signs is making notes. I keep a notepad on the passenger seat along with a Sharpie. Sometimes I’ll drive and not listen to anything and think about things I need to get done, and make notes when I’m stopped. Last week I actually constructed a blog post – 11 Rules Successful Startups Should Follow – while on a road trip. Here is what that looked like:


Again, I have to stress that I only wrote those notes while stopped!

I guess to wrap this up, its important to me that the things I decide to do, I do them well. And because I’ve taken on a lot of things, I have to find ways of making sure I can get things done, like “writing” blogs while I’m on the road.

What else? Any time optimizers that help you get things done?


  1. Jesse on May 14, 2015 at 8:06 am

    I’ve been on an audiobook kick for the past two years as I was frustrated I wasn’t getting to read as much as I like. I’ve “read” over 25 books during that time that I wouldn’t have otherwise- I’m also a much more patient driver! Often they’re read at a pretty slow pace. One trick I have- most audiobook players let you speed up the pace. I’ve found I can listen to books at ~1.3x speed and can keep up with it. Lets you read 4 books in the time it’d take you to read 3 otherwise!

  2. TS on May 17, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Think how productive we will be when the cars can finally drive themselves. Until then, I’m trying to use Siri to track to do list, appointments, etc.

  3. Clay Amerault on May 19, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Instead of writing in a notebook, using the speech to text feature of a mobile device can be a productivity booster while driving. Setup an IFTT to open up Evernote or your favorite note taking app, and then start talking and let the machine turn your voice to text. You probably won’t be able to get a perfectly edited article or post out of it, but you can capture good outlines or several topic ideas that you can then easily refine when you’re in front of a computer.

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