7 Ways to Improve Your Commute

A lot of people underestimate the lasting effects of a bad or long commute. A long commute can really have a negative impact on your well-being and your opinion of your job. Do these 7 things to try and improve your nightmare commute!

1. Goals for the Day or Performance Breakdown:

Your morning commute can be a great time for you to remind yourself of your goals. And get into the work mindset before you ever step foot in the office. Similarly, your evening commute can be spent on a mental performance breakdown of your day or week. You can think back on the mistakes you made or the great things you accomplished. And plan what you can do to improve in the future.

2. Podcasts and Audiobooks:

No matter what topic you’re interested in, there’s probably a podcast for it at this point. Additionally, most books that are released now or are older and fairly popular can be found on audiobooks. Use your commute to listen to podcasts or audiobooks that entertain or inform you. Your time on the road will get more interesting.

3. Playlists:

Spend some time one evening or on your weekend compiling playlists that pump you up for the workday, put you in a great mood, or help you stress less and unwind on the way home. Most radio stations are filled with commercials and Pandora may not be able to predict your exact needs no matter how finely tuned your preferences are so taking time to make playlists for yourself and adding in new songs or switching them up regularly can help you customize your commute and make it enjoyable.

4. Brainstorm:

Whether you have a big pitch meeting coming up, a major technical problem to solve, or you just like to spend some time brainstorming new ideas why not do that on your commute? As long as you don’t get too distracted, brainstorming while driving or riding the train or a bus can help you come up with great ideas and it will leave you with one less thing on your workday to-do list.

5. Use Flextime if You Have It:

Does your company offer flextime? Use it to avoid the morning rush! Most commutes can be drastically shortened or at least made less stressful by moving earlier in the morning or later in the morning to avoid the peak points of rush hour.

6. Try All Alternate Routes:

Just because you’ve always used one specific route doesn’t mean it’s the best. Even if Waze and Google Maps want you to go that way if you find that your commute is getting you down try taking alternate routes. There might be one that takes 20 minutes longer but is on roads with less construction and less intense traffic or goes through a scenic area that helps you remain peaceful and calm despite the morning rush. You’ll never know if you’d prefer a different route until you test them all out!

7. Move or Look for a New Job:

If all else fails and your commute is getting the best of you, you have two options: move or look for a new job. If you truly love your current job and can see yourself growing within that company it might be worth it to move closer so you can reduce your commute and possibly even walk to work! However, if you don’t see much of a future at this company because they don’t promote from within or you’re simply ready for a change, your bad commute may just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. It’s time to start looking for a new job with a less stressful commute.

Commutes play an important role in your career satisfaction and, when it comes down to it, they can add to your stress or they can add to your wellbeing. Which would you prefer? If you’re aiming for the latter try these 7 ways to improve your commute!

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