Skyline of downtown Atlanta, Georgia.

Skyline of downtown Atlanta, Georgia.

The commute.  The ever-dreaded commute to work and home from work.  For many people, it is the most hated part of their day.  It’s understandable, though.  How can you really love rush hour?

Rush-hour?  In Atlanta? Yeah right! Sometimes it feels like we have rush-days.  Traffic absolutely, positively sucks the life right out of you.  Seriously.  Consider the following…

Conservatively speaking, most people spend about 2 hours each day commuting to and from work.

That means roughly:

  • 10 hours in a week
  • 40 hours in a month
  • 520 hours in a year
  • 23,400 hours in 45 years

If your commute is longer than 2 hours…WHOA! God bless your soul!

To put this in perspective, there are 8,760 hours in 1 year. So if you commute for 45 years, traffic will cost you almost 3 years of your life.

If you were being paid to commute at just the minimum wage ($7.25), that’s an additional:

  • $72.50 per week
  • $290 per month
  • $3,770 per year
  • $169,650 per 45 years of commuting

This got me to thinking about what we can do to maximize our time sitting in traffic.  Here are 25 things I came up with.  A few of them I already do, but now I have additional options.  Who doesn’t like additional options?

25 Ways to Maximize Your Time While Sitting in Traffic

1. Gratitude it up! Speak out loud about all the things, people, and experiences you’re grateful for.

2. Catch up on missed calls from family and friends (hands-free and don’t text).

3. Have a mock “tough conversation.”  Practice saying the tough stuff while you’re alone and you’ll have confidence when you have the real conversation.

4. Appreciate you!  Tell yourself why you appreciate you.  Speak life into yourself. Show love to yourself out loud!

5. Stevie Wonder it up! Call someone just to say “I LOVE YOU.”

6. Listen to a radio station that isn’t in your normal list.  You might find something you like.

7. Reflect on what the last 8 hours of your life have been & explore how the experiences and events have impacted you mentally, physically, and emotionally.

8. Recite, sing, and scream your daily affirmations.  If you don’t have any of your own affirmations you can grab my free, downloadable eBook of 60 empowering affirmations.

9. Call one of your utility/service providers and see if you can get your bill lowered.

10. Pep Talk!  Hype yourself up so you can arrive at your destination in a good mood.

11. Solve problems.  Use this time to think about problems that pertain to projects at work, your relationships, your finances, your roof, your self-esteem, etc.  Basically, explore possible solutions to problems that are affecting you.

12. Check in on elders who you haven’t spoken to in a while – grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.  They’ll appreciate you for thinking of them.

13. Be nice while you’re in traffic! Let people over, don’t cut them off, and stay out of the passing lane.

14. Prioritize what you need to do once you get to your destination.  Make a plan, stick to it, but be flexible.

15. Karaoke it up! You’ll entertain everyone else who’s stuck in traffic as you sing like you’re trying to win a talent show.

16. Start learning a new language and listen to the audio instruction while you’re in the car.

17. Listen to instrumental music. Not hearing lyrics is good for your brain.

18. Say a prayer.  Prayer is talking to God.  Just talk.

19. Reminisce about some happy memories that warm your heart and make you feel good.

20. Take inventory of what is no longer serving you in your life.  If there are actions, thoughts, people, or beliefs that are holding you down then use this time to identify them.  It’s always a good time to be honest with yourself.

21. Listen to a podcast that will educate, inspire, or motivate you.

22. Strengthen your memory skills by memorizing the color, make, and model of 10 cars.

23. If you’re not alone, talk to your fellow passengers about what excited them in their day. (Even my two-year-old loves this question.)

24.  Pay attention to how you react to the traffic.  What do you feel? Think?  How do you react like this in other areas of your life? Why are reacting like this?

25. Audio books! Audio books! Audio books are the absolute best way to “read” more books!

Have fun sitting in traffic! Connect with me and let me know if you adopt any one of these.