Make the Most of Your Morning Commute
By Roxanne Ebbers
It is pretty common to have a commute involved in your daily routine. If you don’t, count yourself lucky! You are saving yourself in gas and mileage on your car. I’m not so lucky! My commute from home in Clarksville into my office in Nashville is right at an hour. Since it is a straight shot and there is usually not too much traffic involved, it is actually not half bad. Still, a commute is unavoidable so we might as well make the best of it and maximize that time.
Always take the time to check the TV, check TDOT’s website, listen to the traffic updates on the radio or open a traffic application on your phone before starting your commute. Try to avoid learning the hard way on this. Road closures due to wrecks have more than doubled my commute in the past before I finally wised up and determined that the extra two minutes to check traffic was worth sparing a longer than necessary commute.
If you have an Android phone with Google “Now,” your phone can actually alert you when there are traffic problems. Personally, I prefer to use the app “Waze” before starting my commute. This app, like many other similar traffic apps, will provide me with an ETA, alert me of upcoming traffic and even reroute me around initial traffic or even traffic that occurs when I’m already driving. Countless trips to the office have been lessened just by being knowledgeable of traffic.
Lighten the Load
Make a few calls on the road (hands free, of course!) to lighten the load upon arriving at home or work. Tie up any personal or work related loose ends so when you do arrive at your destination. This is especially true if you’re on your way home. Coming home with a “clean slate” is a great way to relax and prepare for the next day.
Instead of spending time radio channel surfing maximize that time by pinpointing a favorite morning talk show or listening to an audiobook. Podcasts are a great options too. Just download them to your phone or MP3 player. If you think about it, spending 2 hours each day learning something (whether personal or professional) is great way to make your commute work for you! Recently, I started listening to audiobooks. They are an excellent way to remain productive and alert on the road and might even have you looking forward to hitting the road if you find the right book. Depending on the book length and typical commute time, I can read 1-2 books each week. I only wished that I had this idea long ago.
Make the most out of your commute! Evaluate how you can improve your commute and turn your dreaded commute into a more than tolerable one. As always, the goal is to arrive at your destination punctually and safely. Avoid the temptation of checking texts and emails during your commute. Safe travels!