Six short months ago I made a cross-country move from Arizona back to Massachusetts. Like most young professionals from the area, I knew Boston was where I needed to live. Unlike most mid-20’s young professionals, I decided the best company for me to restart my career with was located in Marlborough, 34 miles and a quick 55 minute commute from the city.
“But it’s the REVERSE commute,” everyone said, so the lack of traffic in my direction and the joy of seeing everyone in bumper to bumper heading towards me was supposed to make it better.
While I admit, I do get a sense of excitement knowing that I can drive 80mph the whole way, and they are all stopped – I still had to find ways to fill the 2 hours of my day that I have lost. Here are 5 of them.
- Schedule Meetings
Other than the one section of the Mass Pike that loses cell reception (in Framingham near the castle), my morning and afternoon drives are great times for 1 on 1 meeting’s with team members and my boss. They are usually commuting during this time as well, so it allows for a productive drive.
Also, many of my clients are just as busy as I am during the day. After hours phone calls allow for a more relaxed conversation and more time to cover what needs to be covered.
Tip: Use the Outlook calendar app to schedule meetings in your calendar. Put the phone number right in the invite and all you have to do is click and call.
- Educate Yourself
I’m a lover or learning – not the in-school, forced kind of learning, but through constant research, online articles, business journals and my personal favorite… TED Talks. Thanks to the 18 minute rule, I can usually fit in two good TED Talks when I am really in the mood.
Tip: Download the TED app. It allows you to save favorites, and easily play them while on the road. Also, have it ready to go before you are actually driving. Safety first.
- Motivate Yourself
Call me old fashioned, but a good motivational CD (if your car still has a CD Player) is my favorite way to start the day. I try to avoid listening to talk radio in the morning. Typically they are complaining about relationships, or filled with negative media highlights, which just don’t put me in the right mindset to start my day. A personal favorite (thanks to my boss), is Zig Ziglar’s Born to Win. It’s two discs and about 2 hours of talk. It’s also something that you can listen to more than once and learn new things each time.
- Connect Yourself
I always blame Facebook for this – but I, like many of my peers, have too many friends. I’m not saying this to sound popular or too cool for school, but there isn’t enough time in the day to connect with everyone that I love! I also lived across the country, so the time change is a killer of out of office hours that we can chat. I typically spend my commute home catching up with friends and family. It gives me a solid hour to focus only on them.
- Recalibrate Yourself
Some days are much longer than others. Deals don’t close, coworkers make you mad, your boss gets on your nerves, or things just don’t go as planned. Some drives home for me are spent just trying to get back to reality. I typically make a playlist of my favorite jams and try not to think about the stresses of the day. Playlists are key here because commercials and radio talk can really kill the mood of a good jam session. Tom Petty always is a good mood setter for me, but to each their own.
Do you have a long commute? What other tips would you share for survival? Comment below or Tweet us @TheDavisCos.