List of Productive Things to do While Driving

productive things to do while driving

When you have too much on your plate, you might not want to waste even a minute being unproductive, not even when you’re behind the wheel. This guide is for you if you’re looking for ways to make the most out of long hours in the car.

Today, we’ll share 8 fun and completely safe activities to keep you productive while driving. Don’t worry. Our ideas are legal and do not compromise your safety on the road. All of the ideas are harmless, fun activities that ensure you’re not wasting your valuable time.

8 Ideas to Make Every Drive Productive

Here are eight productive things to do while driving:

1. Listen To A Podcast

Learning something new is always fun, but as life gets busier, it gets challenging to make time for things besides your daily activities. But don’t lose hope. You can still learn new things through podcasts on your way to work. If you’re on a long ride and have all the peace you need to listen to a new podcast, why miss the chance? Choose your favorite podcast — Joe Rogan, Tom Bileyu, Lex Freidman, and get going. Remember not to keep the volume too high so that you can still concentrate on the road.

2. Listen To An Audiobook

Do you love reading, but time constraints hinder you from sitting down with a book? Try audiobooks on your way to work. Driving alone can get pretty monotonous, not to mention a colossal waste of time, especially if you’re commuting for hours on the same route every day. Make the most of those hours by playing your favorite audiobook.

If you’re looking for an audiobook platform to get started with, Audible is a great pick. Backed by Amazon, you’ll find the best collection of all the latest books from popular genres at reasonable prices. Go for business and self-development books to upgrade your skills, or keep it light and breezy with fiction — your pick.

3. Play Some Music

turning on the music player

This is perhaps the most common way people spend time during a long car ride. Remember, you don’t need to hustle every minute of your day. Sometimes, relaxing, enjoying your favorite music, and allowing yourself to unwind is just as good as being productive. So blast your favorite music in the car and have a gala before you reach your destination.

That said, while it’s technically legal to play music while driving, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Firstly, your music should not travel more than 25 feet from your car. You’ll get a ticket if your volume exceeds that (check your local laws for the exact limit). Also, even if you’re within the permitted level, make sure it’s only as loud as you can handle without getting distracted. Nothing is more important than your safety on the road.

4. Catch Up On Pending Phone Calls

Have a few phone calls to make that you can’t squeeze into your busy schedule? Utilize the time you have in your car. We do not recommend making hours-long leisure calls while driving because it’ll undoubtedly take your mind off the road. But go for it if it’s a quick, customary call that might only take a few minutes.

You might even go for a slightly long 10-minute conversation if the road ahead is empty. But, if you’re driving down a busy road, avoid phone calls at all costs.

5. Make a Mental Checklist

If you have a long day ahead, you might want to make a mental checklist of everything you have to do. This is a great way to make the most of your morning without getting distracted. Unlike audiobooks and podcasts, making a list won’t require too much concentration or thinking.

Having your day organized with a detailed to-do list will make you feel more prepared about starting your day. It can be a regular to-do list or a more detailed grocery list — basically everything to the last detail you plan on doing in the day.

6. Enjoy the Peace & Quiet

productive things to do while driving

Letting your mind relax is an excellent way to be productive and prepared for the day. Enjoying some peace and quiet can be your own way of being productive.

For some people, especially the ones with a big family, it’s hard to find some quality me-time at home. In that case, your car can double up as the perfect self-care hub for you. You don’t have to do anything. Just sit quietly. Let your thoughts run freely, take deep breaths, and enjoy the tranquility brought by the cool air. Before you hit the day, give your body the much-needed scope to prepare for the workday.

7. Take a Quick Healthy Snack

eating snacks while driving

Have you left the house in a hurry without breakfast? Your car might be the best place to get a quick snack. It’s essential to remember that no explicit law prohibits you from eating behind the wheel, but avoid distraction on the road. You might be slapped with a hefty fine. To be on the safer side, don’t eat close to police check-posts or on busy roads.

We recommend limiting your behind-the-wheel eating to quick snacks only. Maybe get a donut, burrito, or a quick breakfast sandwich — anything

 that can be eaten quickly straight from the packet will do.

8. Enjoy Your Morning Coffee

woman enjoying the morning coffee

Hello, is this a coffee person I’m talking to? Say you don’t get the time to make fresh coffee and drink it before leaving for work. That doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your daily caffeine dose.

Take a quick detour to your nearest Starbucks or favorite coffee shop and grab your coffee. Where do you drink it? Right in your car. Again, there aren’t any laws that ban you from drinking coffee while driving. But make sure you don’t let that run you into an accident. Securely place the cup in a cup holder and try to stay out of trouble. To be on the safer side, avoid taking any sips while you are crossing police check-posts or patrol cars.

What to Avoid While Driving?

Now that you have a few ideas in hand on how to be productive while driving, you might be tempted to experiment a little and come up with your own activities. 

While that is a great way to go about it, there are a few things you need to keep in mind while you formulate new productive activities.

1. It Should Be Done Hand-free

Whatever activity you want to do while driving, make sure it doesn’t involve your hands. Unless you’re driving a Tesla on autopilot, your hands should always and only be on the steering wheel. Sure, you can take a quick swig of your drink or take a quick phone call, but anything that takes your hands off for a minute or more should be avoided at all costs.

Activities like typing or scrolling on your phone, fiddling with a stress ball, or writing on a paper are all a big no-no. It’s not just a matter of your safety, but you can also be heavily fined if caught by an officer on duty.

2. It Shouldn’t Take Your Eyes Off the Road

The fundamental rule of driving is always to have your eyes on the road. Even if you manage without your hand on the wheel for a second, without your eyes in front, you’re in for a collision. So whatever you’re planning to make the drive more productive, make sure it doesn’t require visual attention.

For example, activities like reading, writing, and playing games on your phone shouldn’t be done if you are in charge of the car. If you want to read, play an audiobook and replace writing with voice notes and commands.

3. It Shouldn’t Be Too Long

Driving is a huge responsibility, and there’s no need to overcomplicate it by multitasking. So in an attempt to make the ride more interesting with new activities, make sure you pick something that doesn’t last too long — be it eating or making a call.

The things that can go on for the entire length of the ride are the ones that require only your auditory attention, like listening to music, podcasts, and audiobooks.

Bottom Line

Driving alone on the road can be boring. And if you have an extremely busy schedule, spending hours on the road without doing anything productive might seem like a huge waste of time. Since driving requires a lot of attention and focus, the kind of activities you can do while driving is limited. But the good news is, you still have a few (okay, maybe more than a ‘few’) options. 

We hope our guide on productive things to do while driving has helped you make your driving more productive and less monotonous.

Join The List

Sign up to receive exclusive discounts and special offers