The dreaded work commute, is there anything worse? Whether or not you actually like your job, commuting is rarely spoken of with kind words. Some people have to deal with an hour of car traffic, while others have to cram onto a subway train with the masses. Every once in awhile, a new report comes along with data indicating that people are working from, a.k.a. “telecommuting” at higher and higher rates every year. Well, until we reach a time when that is the norm, we all have to deal with commuting. So in the meantime, did you ever stop to consider the upside to it all?
You know it’s coming, so just accept it and relax
You wake up, get ready, and head into work. However you do it, it’s your routine. There really isn’t that much that differs from day to day for most of us. You’ve been doing this for a while, you know how it works, and accepting it all is the key to being able to relax.
If you drive to work, I’m sure you take the same route or two every day. You know about the traffic mess, you know about the potholes. This isn’t a surprise, so just take it all in stride. There’s no need to stress out, and add to the road rage, honking your horn, driving aggressively etc. Since you already know what’s coming, just turn on some music, and use it as some quality time. When else during your week will you have a solid hour to just sit there and listen to music, or a good podcast? Make use of this time for some enjoyment, instead of just wasting it by raising your blood pressure and getting angry at the world.
Go with the flow, don’t fight it
If you’re a mass transit commuter, you have to deal with an entirely different set of commuting challenges. Yes, schedule changes, bad weather, and breakdowns are definitely a headache, and there’s not much you can do about them. However, if you step out the door each day ready to just go along for the ride, and don’t worry about everything being ideal, it helps.
Into music, then bring along your iPod and just zone out. Actually enjoy it, instead of having it as a soundtrack to your stress. Put on something relaxing to help set the tone. Bring along a book or a magazine, and think of delays as a bonus to get to the next chapter. I promise you, if you’re in the middle of reading something you really enjoy, you’ll actually be happy if you miss your train, and have some extra time to kill.
What if you don’t have anything to read, or listen to? Not a problem, time to get creative. I’m a firm believer that “people watching” should be a sport. I’m not talking about stalking the cute girl on her way to work, I’m talking about noticing people, and all of their differences and peculiarities. Imagine who they are, where they’re coming from, what makes them so interesting/weird/angry/happy. You can make a little story up. It definitely beats staring at a poster, or down an empty subway tunnel.
Remember, whatever you do to pass the commute, this is totally free time where you don’t have to think, or be responsible for anything, other than keeping your car in a straight line, or walking along with the crowd into an open door. Let your autopilot take care of the routine, and use that free time for a little fun!
Now get to work in a good mood, or at least a neutral one.