When I was younger, I never understood why people had to commute. I mean, just live close to your job, right? Hah, such naive thinking. Now as a much older and wiser adult, I understand these things aren’t that simple. And I’ve now become one of those commuters.
I’m the kind of person who likes to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible whereas my husband likes to enjoy the drive. Of course, we have the exact opposite for commutes. He only has to spend 5-10 minutes max in his car whereas I have a 45+ minute one way commute; if I’m lucky some days it’s 25+ minutes one way with no traffic. And because of where I live public transportation would make the journey even longer (and out of the way), and I don’t have anyone I can carpool with.
There are days where I don’t mind the commute, but other times (especially recently) I absolutely hate it. Mainly it has to do with the fact that there is just so much traffic.
If you’re like me, and you have to commute by car, here are some tips that I’ve found can make the journey a little easier.
1. If you have a smartphone, use an app to help with traffic.
ETA – A basic app with a nice interface that tells me how long it will tell me to get from point a to point b. I have regular places that I go to like work, home, my parent’s house, and church and ETA will tell me how long it will take to get there from my current location. Easy peasy! And if you use a more in-depth app like Waze you can integrate it with ETA as well.
Waze – Waze is a more in-depth app that does everything ETA does and then some. It also lets you interact with other drivers on the road. You can send your ETA friends, you can report incidents, hazards, traffic, etc. to let other Wazers know what’s happening, and it gives you alerts as to police and red light cameras in the area. If you use the GPS portion it will also adjust your route if anything comes up. It’s come in super handy on my morning commutes where the traffic can get super heavy.
2. Have something to listen to.
Whether it’s music, podcasts, or audiobooks, having something to listen to definitely helps.
I listen to either my music or the following podcasts:
These definitely help pass the time, especially the podcasts I listen to because they keep me motivated and learning.
3. Catch up on phone calls
Have you called your mom lately? What about a friend? Have a teeth cleaning to schedule? Assuming you’re using a hands-free device, your commute is the perfect time to make some phone calls.
If I haven’t talked to my mom in awhile, I’ll call her up and chat with her all the way to work (or all the way home like I did this evening). Sometimes just having someone to talk to can take your mind off the drive. And if you use the time to schedule an appointment or two, talk about maximizing productivity!
4. Treat yo’self
Starbucks, anyone? While I am not a daily Sbux drinker, I do treat myself to one on the road occasionally. It’s a nice to have something to look forward to, especially if it’s a reward for getting my booty out the door on time.