I don’t know about you, but many of the mums I know seem to spend a lot of time behind the wheel at this time of year. The calendar is filled to the brim with music concerts, sports break-ups, social gatherings and school events – all adding up to extra miles running kids to and fro all over the place.

When you add it all up, it can mean an hour or more of driving every day! I used to view my role as chief chauffer as a drain on my time, but now I look at it as a great opportunity to catch up, learn a little, and be inspired by new ideas. Since I started listening to podcasts, that is.

As an added advantage, my little man has picked up on a few positive messages in our travels too. The content could be a great conversation starter for you and your kids as well.

Downloading podcasts is easy to do – on an iPhone, you can use either the podcast app, or search on iTunes. For iOs and Android phones, download a ‘podcatcher’ app – these are simply apps that allow you to download and sort episodes.  Find the podcast you want to listen to, and subscribe. It’s that simple!

If you’re looking for a little career motivation, here’s my top picks:

  • Quote of the Day – this daily dose of inspiration hosted by Sean Croxton introduces you to an array of speakers who will open your mind, get you dreaming again and empower you to achieve your goals. This is an excellent one for the short trips as they generally run for 5 to 15 minutes. I often describe it as an anti-depressant with no side effects.
  • Magic Lessons – in this podcast Elizabeth Gilbert, who you might remember from Eat, Pray, Love fame, supports budding artists and other creatives to overcome fears and obstacles that stand in the way of their success. The strategies offered are just as effective for the non-artists amongst us. Occasionally Elizabeth brings in guests such as Oprah’s coach for additional guidance.
  • Happier – presented by author Gretchen Rubin and her sister Elizabeth Craft, consistently rates in the Top Podcasts lists. ‘Happier’ introduces the listener to practical tips and advice about happiness and it’s habits which can help create the best conditions from which to make career and life decisions.
  • Happen to your career with Scott Anthony Barlow is focused on reconnecting you with the idea that it is possible to find work that leverages from your strengths and abilities and provides practical tools and strategies to achieve this.
  • Small Business Big Marketing, a home-grown offering by Tim Reid is a fantastic podcast for anyone who is considering an entrepreneurial path. While it has a marketing focus, many of Tim’s guests have made significant career changes or followed their dreams against the odds. You will get lots of inspiration and if you decide to pursue a business, you’ll have some great knowledge and skills to take into the venture.

So next time you are stuck behind the wheel, ditch the pointless radio chatter and make the most of your precious time with a podcast instead!

Donna Thistlethwaite is the professional careers coach behind CareerSmart Mums, a workshop that offers return-to-work mums the practical and motivational help they need to pursue a career that they love. For more information, and to join the CareerSmart Mums network, visit www.careersmartmums.com.au.