Talk to Yourself
Most of us realize that practicing a presentation or a tricky conversation the day before can help us sail through the actual event. But we fail to do so, mostly because by the time we get to the bathroom at the end of the day, we want to wash our faces and go to bed—not deliver a speech to the mirror. Instead, rehearse your talk at the wheel. No, you won't have your PowerPoint slides, but feel free to gesture at the passenger-seat headrest.
Your hobbies can also use the attention. Barbara North, a director at a conference-and-event video company, drives across the Bay Bridge many mornings, a process she calls "painful and boring." So now she uses the time to practice numbers for the two bands with which she sings, including an all-girl punk rock band that does country-music covers. "Not only does it free up the time I would otherwise have been looking at music at home," she says, "but I'm actually spending more time on music than I used to, which means I am spending more time doing something I really love. Bonus: She's really ready for gigs. Some days, she confesses, she drives, instead of taking public transit, "just to have the extra time with my practice tapes."