I'll be switching locations for work in the fall. It means a 45 minute daily commute, one way. I've always been within a 10 mile radius for work. I'm curious to know how others handle being on the road like that. Any suggestions on how you make that time 'count' would be appreciated.
I commute about 60 miles each way to work every day for the past 2 years. Some of the things that I do to pass the time is listen to podcasts or music that I have on my IPod. I purchased a radio that has a USB input that will play my iPod. Sometimes during my commute I just enjoy quietness and use the time to think.
Since I use a bluetooth when I use my cell phone, sometimes I check my voicemail and return calls during the drive.
One thing that you don't want to get into the habit of doing during your commute is SNACKING. Snacking while driving is not good for the waistline. But if you have to snack, try healthy snacks like nuts, apple slices or a smoothie.
You are getting some good ideas in these posts from Thinkfinity Community members. I have never had to commute that far for work, but I do make long drives to conduct technology workshops. I love listening to satellite radio (which requires a subscription) and using the time to think. I also like the car bluetooth system so I can talk hands-free on the cell phone on long stretches of uncongested highway. Audio books, especially some that relate to your teaching field, might be a good idea. They have never worked for me personally because I lose focus. However, I know audio books are enjoyed by many commuters.
Perhaps you can use the time in the morning to mentally prepare for your day, and on the return trip, find a way to de-stress. By the time you arrive back home, you can forget about the job worries.
If you have a problem staying awake especially driving home, eat a tootsie pop. Holding it and savoring the flavor gives you something to do, and I guarantee you will stay awake and alert. I have tried this on long trips, and tootsie pops really work. I keep a supply in my car, and they have never melted even with the summer heat.
You definitely want to find the cheapest gas in town. With gas prices on the rise, the longer commute will be costly. In my area Sam's Club always has the cheapest prices, but it requires a yearly membership fee.
I commute 75 miles one way each day, and it can be a real struggle at times. I regularly download audiobooks to my iPhone and listen to a book or more each week. Given my commute time and family responsibilities, I find that I have way less time to relax and read like I used to, so I treasure still being able to "read" in the car.
My commute was 80 miles round trip for 15 years. Early on, I would listen to favorite morning talk shows on the radio, listen to books on tape and then books on cd, and finally listen to podcast from my I touch or mentally map out my expectations for the day. Every afternoon, on the drive back, I would generally listen to favorite music so I could de-compress on the drive home, relfect on my day, make mental notes... etc. Now, I live less than 10 minutes from work, and I actually miss that "me" time, escpecially after a long day.
I found a new tool this summer, http://audioboo.fm/. You can create podcasts using your handsfree device, save, and upload them. I am not sure if this is applicable to driving to work, but it depends on your phone, state laws, etc. I am also going to try to use it in the classroom as a way for students to record their group responses to questions, then email them to me.
So prepare to call me a total geek. When I'm commuting to work or home (in wonderful rush-hour traffic) I have to find ways to de-stress and debrief. I'll often play mental math games with myself to keep from losing my sanity. My favorite is to calculate travel time to different exits based on my current speed. I always start with 60mph is traveling 1 mile every minute, and break it up from there like 30mph is 1 mile every 2 minutes or 15mph is 1 mile every 4 minutes. Pretty geeky huh!!:) I also listen to calming and soothing music. This keeps me from losing my mind, and my temper, with the many many many other cars on the road I have to deal with. I'll also review any events I've participated in during the day such as meetings, and work through the information I've been provided mentally. Hope that helps!
That's too funny, Jeremy. I've done the same thing before. Only a lot of the time I'll do the mental math and then compare it to the ETA time on my GPS.
Sometimes I'll increase or decrease my speed 1mph from a known point (such as an exit I know is almost always exactly 45 minutes from home) and try to guess how much faster/slower I'll get there.
Long live the inner traffic geek! LOL
This is great! I can only do "car karaoke" for just so many miles! I appreciate all of the tips. I know I will buy some tootsie pops, play the license plate game (FL has many varied plates especially during winter), and debrief my day. I've VOICE on my iPod and will use for my "blog" thoughts. Appreciate all of the suggestions. Thanks for sharing.
I usually average about 30 miles a day roundtrip to and from my school. I find that my morning drive prepares me for the day as I pray the Rosary and offer up prayers for those who I know are in need and those who are really challenging to deal with. My afternoon is filled with all kinds of music and reflection time. I try to make sure that the afternoon drive time helps me to shake off the day's stress before I get home to my husband and our dog, Brando. Here he is just waiting for me to take him outside for an afternoon of fetch and running after passers by.
At this point in time, I am laughing too. The drive is what it is. Have enjoyed the morning radio show I listen too that I always had to 'cut short' due to arriving at the work site. The suggestions folks have posted are great and I plan on the 'car karaoke' with holiday songs next month!
I think it helps if you have a nice calming drink with you--like a mug of tea--that you can slowly sip as you go. I find it helps me stay alert yet relaxed (especially because drivers in my area are pretty aggressive). Plus we're moving into colder weather, so it's not bad to keep you warm and avoid getting sick!
I use to live in New York and commute by bus, then the Staten Island Ferry, AND the train! Now I live in VA and I have a round trip 80 mile commute. It's only myself on the road and a few animals crossing the road. I bring along my camera or use my smart phone to take pictures. I live in a rural area and it's the most peaceful, calming ride to and from work ever. I miss reading books on the train, but between the crowds of people shoving and the 2 hour commute I use to have - I wouldn't change it for the world!
Audiobooks are the way to go - I commuted 60 minutes to/from work for a year and a half in Southern California and audibooks saved my sanity - along with listening to a good talk-radio station that actually inspired intellectual thought as well! ...and coffee, drink your morning coffee... good luck!
I commuted for over 25 years. I drove all over NJ and then my commute expanded to include the entire Northeast (this was in my past life as a corporate trainer). I found that audiobooks were great but they could be distracting and if the reader did not have a great voice with lots of fluency and inflection they could actually make me feel sleepy. I don't commute anymore but I love to take driving trips. For those occasions, I do try to get audiobooks that have readers who I know are great and I load up my iPod with tons of music - lots of variety - so that I don't get hypnotized by one style. NOTE: I also love music I can sing along with - no one can hear me in the car and I can sing as loud as I want.
Just remember to keep safe, don't do anything that will distract you, and use the time to relax and de-stress before and after work.