I’ve never understand why people are so attached to their cars. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the benefit of being able to get where you want to, when you want to. To be able to move large items. To stay out of the rain and not left standing at the bus stop.
However, the actual experience of driving a car ain’t that great as far as I’m concerned. Yes, you don’t have annoying/dangerous/awful passengers sat next to you. But other than that I can’t imagine how anyone can derive actual pleasure from driving on a British road. In rush hour.
If you’ve already freed yourself from the 9-5 commuter grind then feel free to leave the room. Go and make yourself a cup of victory tea, and relax, safe in the knowledge you are part of an exclusive group of enlightened people.
How to beat the commute.
If, like me the horror of sitting in endless traffic fills you with existential dread, you need to change a variable. Don’t wallow. Don’t accept. Get yourself a plan to alleviate your suffering and experience the bliss of simply not having the hassle any more. And here are a few ideas.
This blog is primarily aimed at discussing different types of remote work. The easiest of course being to work for yourself.
If you’re self employed you set your own hours. You come and go as you please. There’s surely no better method to ensure you don’t have to ever sit in traffic again? You can work in the evenings, go to the supermarket at night. You’re the boss.
The other option is working remotely, but in your current role. It’s more difficult to secure work from home hours if you’re currently in an employed position, however employers more and more are seeing the benefits of this.
Why not try to your boss, or speak with your HR department and discuss whether its feasible to work once or twice a week from home? That’s one or two commutes you’ll never have to do again.
Or, alternatively you could seek out a specific remote working role. Whichever way you do it, there really are many ways to break free of the commuter cycle.
Use public transport
OK, this method isn’t for everyone. Butin my view, public transport is a wonderful thing.
The way I see it is this. If your commute in the car is one hour long, that’s 2 hours each day out of your life doing nothing. Absolutely nothing. You cant relax, or take your eyes off the road. You can’t read anything or learn anything. It’s completely dead, wasted time. Not to mention being somewhat dangerous, bad for your health and expensive.
Now compare with the bus or train. There are obviously local variations, and commuter trains are so often crammed full that it almost defeats the object.
But if you can find a reliable local service, even if it’s no quicker than your journey time in the care thats all time for you!
You can read a novel. Have a nap. Write a blog! You could even carry out further freelance work during your commute time, boosting your income exponentially. (now we’re talking!)
So many busses and trains now have WiFi and power points that they really are tailor made for digital nomads and daydreamers. And I know for a fact, even with the overcrowding, I was more relaxed and more fulfilled when I was off the roads and gliding to work on the busses and trains.
Change your working hours
OK, this is another option that will require negotiation if you’re currently employed.
If you work in a school for example, chances are hours are non negotiable. School starts at 9 and you need to be there. Why they make children get there so early when it’s proven sleep is vital to their cognitive abilities I’ll never know, but there we are. You still need to be there.
But what if youre hours could change? There are many professions where yes, they need you there on site, but what if you could start a bit later, or even a bit earlier? That could help you avoid the rush hour.
Suddenly an hour commute each way might only be half an hour. And again, there would be a net gain on your stress levels, health and free time. Immediately. You could use your new free time to go for a jog, or to the gym. Or learn Russian. Or walk your dog….
You get the idea.
Making the most of your time by beating the commute
At the end of the day, our time on this earth is precious. We’ve only got a finite time in which to relax, enjoy with friends and family or pursue our creative endeavours.
Spending any large amount of time in a sedentary position in a moving vehicle achieving nothing, gaining nothing, really isn’t a great idea is it.
So if you’re able to, why not see if you can make a small change and give your work life balance an enormous turbo charge.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I must get back to the bar for a top up. Because since going rogue, I now spend a large part of my day not in traffic jams, but in the pub.
Good luck and best wishes.