If you have to wake up really early every day, so you can commute to work, then you will be glad to know you are not alone. Yes, waking up early and having to confront traffic in the first hours of the morning can be stressful, but commuting does not have to be a dread.
Think of it this way: time when you commute is your morning time reserved for doing nothing more than getting from point A to point B. This means you can take advantage of it and free your mind, prepare for the day, or just blast some music in your car and sing along. Point is, since you need to do this anyway, why not make it a time well-spend, rather than just time lost?
Wondering how? Below are some tips to help you make the most out of your commuting time and turn it from a daunting task into an enjoyable time.
Establish a good morning routine
Most of the time we feel stressed when commuting, because we fear we might get to work late and not have enough time to finish out daily tasks. This is why, in order to make commuting easier, you need to make a habit out of waking up earlier in the morning, to give yourself enough time to get everything done before leaving the house.
Instead of dressing up on fast-forward, taking a sip of coffee, and jumping out the door to get to work, why not taking some time to greet the day? If you do everything in a rush, you will end up feeling more tired and stressed, and you will start the day on the wrong foot.
Every morning, try to give yourself at least 15 minutes to wake up, before starting to get ready for work. Read the news, drink some coffee, chat with your family, or have a good breakfast.
Start by setting your alarm 5 minutes earlier for a few days, then 10, then 15, until you get to the point that you have enough time to prepare for work without being in a rush. It may seem hard at first, but you will thank yourself later.
Work on your mindset
A lot of the times, the best way to deal with the stress of commuting is by having the correct mindset. Instead of seeing it as wasted time, think of it as some time alone with yourself, where you can make plans for the day, or simply be alone with your thoughts.
Sure, driving in the first hours of the morning may not exactly be your definition of time well spent, but why make it more dreadful than it already is? Ok, you can’t exactly close your eyes and meditate while driving, but you can still get into the right mindset and make the time enjoyable.
Take a coffee with you, or a smoothie, and enjoy it on the way to work. Remind yourself what you like about the job, or what your job has helped you accomplish by now, and you will see these minutes spent in traffic are worth it.
Make the most out of your time
While driving, there is not much else you can do, but in order to take advantage of the time spent in the car, why not combining it with something you like? Download some eBooks and play them while driving, or listen to some good podcasts on the way to work, to start your day on a positive note.
You can also use your smartphone to plan out the day, by using the voice typing function. If you have a big meeting, you can rehearse your speech in the car, while driving (but keep your eyes on the road, please!), or make mental notes for the parts you want to go over again. No matter what, you are still stuck in traffic every day, so why not make something productive out of it?
Even putting on some music that cheers you up and singing along can be much more entertaining than stressing out because of a traffic jam. As long as it does not distract you from driving, any enjoyable activity is good to make the time pass faster and more productively.
Find a good parking spot
A lot of the times, what is more stressful that commuting itself, is trying to find a parking spot that is close enough to your workplace, so that you don’t have to lose another 15 minutes walking to work. If you are lucky enough for your office building to have parking, then you are all set, but if you do need to search for a parking at 9 AM, you may have a little problem.
One of the best things to do is rent a parking space that is close to the office, so that you won’t have to drive around all morning. Yes, paying for a parking spot may not exactly be your favorite way to spend money, but if it buys you another 15 minutes of sleep in the morning, then I think it’s worth it. With a simple search online, you can find, for example, Seattle downtown monthly parking at some really affordable prices.
If you have colleagues that live close to your house, why not consider carpooling? You can take turns in diving to work in the morning, to make commuting easier and more enjoyable, while also socializing a bit. Apart from not having to be the one that drives very morning, carpooling has a lot of other benefits. For once, you spend way less money on gas, which is already pricey enough. Then, you get to socialize a bit with your coworkers, outside of the office. And last, but not least, you contribute to helping the environment, as we all know how much cars contribute to air, noise and soil pollution.