Pretty much everyone on the planet has to deal with a really nasty commute. If you're the type of person who hates traffic and dislikes sitting in your car, here are a few tips to make the experience a little more enjoyable and a lot less stressful...
1.) First and foremost, ditch the radio. There are annoying commercials every five or six minutes, songs you've heard a million times before, and whatever knowledge Ryan Seacrest is dropping on-air is either uninteresting or not worth your time. Nothing will add to a morning headache more than hearing "I'm Lovin' It" McDonalds ad screaming through your speakers between Katy Perry tracks. Avoid at all costs.
2.) Check out Audible and start getting into audiobooks. It's a really easy way to crank through books and most of the voice acting is really impressive. You'll find yourself completely invested in a good read, and will start to actually LOOK FORWARD to your commute because you'll want to crush through a few more chapters. Books usually take anywhere from eight to twenty hours to listen through, so a lot of people will crank through two to four books a month if traffic is heavy getting to their 9-5.
3.) Find a few good podcasts you like to listen to. There are little to no ads, and a lot of really talented and funny people do them and cover topics ranging from sports to movies to comedy to reality television. Whatever your favorite hobby is, chances are, there are five really good podcasts covering it.
4.) Keep your car clean and try to wash it once every week or two. Just like a clean home is a happy home, a clean car is a happy car. Empty Starbucks cups and random receipts everywhere aren't going to help limit the stress.
5.) Get up earlier than normal and really take your time getting ready and eating breakfast in the morning. The more "awake" you are for the commute, the less tired and grouchy you will be when some bozo in a lifted truck cuts you off.
6.) If you can't make it to the gym in the AM, try to spend five to ten minutes doing some yoga or stretching. This will help get your blood pumping and make you feel less restless when sitting for an extended period of time.
7.) See if your boss would be okay with you showing up to work earlier and leaving sooner. Depending on where you live, you could chop off a ton of sitting-in-traffic time by doing this. Worth a shot.
8.) Leave a few minutes earlier than you normally do. When you're not always looking at the clock and trying to speed through traffic to get to work on time, you'll feel WAY better. Just ten minutes of cushion time can totally change your commute outlook.
9.) Find some time to call your family and loved ones and catch up. A busy guy like yourself might not always have time to chat with your Grandmother after work, but sitting in the car with nothing too important to do? It's a great way to pass the time every once in a while.
10.) Consider carpooling with someone you work with. You get to use the HOV lane, you have someone to chat with if things get a little boring, and you'll save some cash splitting the gas.
Many thanks to Ford for teaching us a few things about a happy commute. We got to take their new Fiesta for a spin---fun little car if your price-range is under $20k---and learned a lot about stress-free driving. The hatchback take has a stylish European look to it, despite being American made, that all of us at Airows truly appreciate.