On a bad day my commute clocks in at over 2 hours round-trip, and there are a lot of bad days; I drive some through some of the worst traffic, and I also spend part of my commute on North America’s busiest highway. Add to this my inherited lack of patience for bad drivers, slow drivers, inattentive drivers, etc. and you have a recipe for a stressful commute.
The mornings aren’t quite as bad, part of it is just where I meet the traffic along my route, and part of it is that I’m significantly better rested that I am at after work, in the mornings I listen to Roger and Marilyn with Jamar, because its reassuring to do something I’ve been doing since my childhood – back when my dad would have the radio tuned to Roger, Rick and Marilyn on the way home from swim practice or on the way to school.
The afternoons really kill me, I’ve found that running Google Maps helps me to feel more in control (because I have more information), and its nice when my Google Assistants says “Welcome Home” as I pull into my driveway; but the real game changer was when I started listening to Podcasts.
Listening to podcasts allows me to feel more efficient because I’m using my time to learn something new, or consider new ideas; and, it helps me to relax because I’m so into listening to the podcast that I actually want to be in my car, so if someone does something stupid that holds me up, or if traffic is a nightmare I can let it go.
My go-to playlist of podcasts includes: The Minimalists, The Ground Up Show, and Break The Twitch; I have a couple of other podcasts on standby – I listen to Lewis Howes, School of Greatness, and Nourish Balance Thrive some weeks as well. What are you listening to?
I should also note that I considered switching to audiobooks, or rotating some audiobooks in, but I really enjoy the spontaneity of podcasts, plus I really enjoy reading as well, so this helps me find more time for both activities and many other activities that fill my days.
Managing my stressful commute helps me to be more focused and productive at the end of my day as well, I am more able to transition into afterwork, be it dinner, or working on a side project – like writing this blog – when I come home less run-down from my drive. Podcasts are one of my (no longer) secret productivity and stress relief hacks that help me do more with the existing 24 hours in my day.