The daily commute, and the traffic jam it inevitably entails, is among the great evils of the modern working world. Every day, millions of people pack into their cars hoping against hope that for once there won't be a lane-closing accident. If you're one of the relative few lucky enough to live close to your work, count your blessings.
For the rest of us, the course of the day is often dictated by the fickle whims of the (un)open road. You battle through a jam in the morning and get to work ready to kill something. You rage against the back up in the evening and get home ready to die. How much mental anguish has your commute caused you in a day? A week? A year?
For better or worse, your commute is a part of your life. If you can find a way to tolerate or even, somehow, enjoy it, think of how much better your days could go. While there's no "magic bullet" for learning to love sitting in traffic, here are a couple suggestions for making the time pass a little easier.
The radio is a good way to keep yourself entertained during a frustrating trip, but with it your options are limited. Podcasts are easily downloaded onto your phone or any similar device, and with a simple setup they can be played over your car's stereo. There are a billion podcasts, on every subject imaginable. Whether you're into comedy, true crime, story telling, pop culture--there's something for you. Seriously. Wanna listen to a group of friends invent complex, affecting storylines by playing a roleplaying game? There's a podcast for that. Want a podcast about going to incredible lengths to solve completely mundane mysteries? There's a podcast for that. Want to hear two guys watch and review Adam Sandler's Grown Ups 2 every week for a year? Amazingly, there's a podcast for that.
Find a podcast you really love and suddenly you'll be a little bit cooler with staring at a bumper for an hour every morning and night. It might be hard, but if you can force yourself to only listen to a certain podcast when you're in the car, it can be a special treat for your commute.
If you've tried podcasts and have decided they aren't really your thing, consider a book on tape. Think about choosing something that doesn't require your full attention, however--you don't want to get too distracted to drive!
Ever notice how when you and a friend are both really mad, yelling about it together makes you feel better? If you have someone to ride with, you could try that on your commute. All your incredibly creative--and evocative--insults are wasted when there's no one there to compliment you on them. If you have someone to commiserate with, however, you can share your hatred of the brainless driver two cars ahead who keeps weaving back and forth between lanes. Or, if you've got a handle on the rage within (or you just haven't been broken by the years), you can even talk about something other than the traffic. We guess. Maybe they can help you pick out a podcast!
It would be great if you could ride with someone you work with, but that's not the only way to make carpooling work. If you've got a friend who lives near you and works near you, you could ride along with them, too. If you don't mind meeting new people (shudder), you could even sign up for a rideshare program. Carpooling saves gas and is good for the environment, too. We don't think the saying "misery loves company" is a direct reference to commuting, but it would make an awful lot of sense if it was. In this case, when you share your misery, you'll reduce it, too.
When you're tired and late to work and some guy cuts you and seven other people off so he can slow way down in the fast lane, it can be easy to feel awfully negative about the nature our fellow humans. At the risk of sounding patronizing, however, try to remember everyone on the road is just trying to do what you're trying to do. Nobody is out to hurt you or screw you over for fun; they're all just as anxious and frustrated as you are. And sure, it's possible the dude who's careening on and off the road at 100 mph in his pickup is the corporeal manifestation of mankind's hatred. But it's also possible he's just really stressed about getting to work on time.
It can be really easy to get caught up in your day-to-day existence, but every once in awhile it can be healthy to remember what you're doing this all for in the first place. Your commute really isn't worth getting stressed about. Nothing is worth becoming hateful toward the people around you. So next time you've been in your car for 45 minutes longer than you should've been because someone rear ended a Subaru and caused a seven car pile up, think about what kind of day the guy who totaled his car is having.
In the end, you have the amazing ability to control how you feel and think. If you default to anger, try seeing that, and changing it. Above all, give yourself a break. Remind yourself that everything is going to work out. You might find this will considerably improve not only your commute, but a bunch of other aspects of your life, too. Of course, if yelling really helps, don't stress about letting loose every now and then, too.
Commutes suck, but what would really suck is if you let it affect your whole life. Look for ways you can make your daily driving ritual a little more enjoyable. You deserve it! Coordinated wants to make all aspects of your work life as stress-free and manageable as possible. That's why when you purchase technological business solutions with us, we go out of our way to make sure your service is second-to-none.