Most of us at least occasionally wish there were more time in the day. Life is hectic, and there's so much to attend to. If only we could get to some of those important things on our to-do lists!

Well, I'm here to deliver some good news. According to recent data from our friends at the Census Bureau, the average daily commute in America shrank between 2000 and 2005.

What to do
So now that you know you've got more time on your hands, what are you going to do about it? Here are some ideas:

  • Sign up for that 401(k) plan at your workplace. Some 30% of eligible workers in America are not participating in their company plan. Ignoring your 401(k) can put a serious crimp in your retirement, and if your company matches contributions to any degree, you're leaving free money on the table.
  • Read more about investing. The Motley Fool has released a bunch of well-regarded books that you might like. There are other good ones, too -- here are some recommended by folks on our discussion boards, and here are even more.
  • Spend more time studying companies and finding great stocks in which to invest.

A little detail
You may have noticed that I left out a little detail earlier. I never told you how much extra time you now have. Well, it's . umm . around 25 seconds per day. Sorry if you were expecting more.

OK, so maybe you're not going to get much additional reading done. And maybe you won't be able to study too many more companies. But you know what? You still have a lot of options that can help you better your financial situation in very little time. For example:

  • Sign up for your 401(k).
  • Automate some of your finances, by having investments made automatically from your bank to, for example, a mutual fund. (I offered more examples in "Simplify Your Financial Life.")
  • If you're not already investing in mutual funds, consider doing so. They're not the sleepy second choice that some people think they are. As I explained in a previous article, some mutual funds can really pack a punch. Some can even double your money in five years. The Meridian Value Fund (MVALX), for example, has averaged annual gains of 17.4% over the past decade, enough to turn $10,000 into nearly $50,000. (Its top holdings recently included Allied Waste (NYSE:AW), Nokia (NYSE:NOK), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Schering-Plough (NYSE:SGP), DirecTV (NYSE:DTV), Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX), and Analog Devices (NYSE:ADI).)

Let us help
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Learn much more in these Zimmerman articles:

JPMorgan Chase is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation.

Selena Maranjian 's favorite discussion boards include Book Club , Eclectic Library , Television Banter , and Card & Board Games . She owns shares of no company mentioned in this article. For more about Selena, view her bio and her profile. You might also be interested in these books she has written or co-written: The Motley Fool Money Guide and The Motley Fool Investment Guide for Teens . The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools.