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Marie A. Mastria PhD

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Do you know a commuter who isn’t overextended because of the commute he or she must take to reach the office? Well then,you know someone who is using the tips outlined below. However they got there,any commuters who are at ease with their commute and not overextended because of the time and expense of the commute, has found the secrets to making the commute work for them. According to federal statistics, workers are making longer commutes than in the past. More people are traveling greater distances to work.
There are more cars on the road and public transportation is very crowded. Most people are resigned to the inconvenience and stress of long commutes. Others are willing to tackle the commute more aggressively. And that is the first key to saving some of the time, money and energy that a commute takes away.
Below are listed ten tips that may save you time, money and energy. Even using one or two of the tips will make a change in what you pay to live a distance from your work.
1. Make a plan. Think about what in the commute is taking your time, money and energy and do something about it. Commuting is expensive and might even be a major expense in your budget. This expense might lead to energy-sapping stress as you worry about the output of so much money. Taking steps to adjust this output will limit your energy and money concerns. How can this be done? You might share a ride with someone, carpool, vanpool bike, walk, or use Transit.
www.spcregion.org lists all these options and how to find a group
to share the experience with. There is
even an emergency ride home program that
helps put to rest the main f
ear of those who are thinking of
using alternatives to the
private car – what happens if t
here’s an emergency at home or I get sick at work. This
service provides a ride home for the low pric
e of registration. Even if you can’t always
use an alternative, you will get some relief if
you trade in your car at least part of the
time.
2. Assess your needs regularly. You might
have gotten into a rut that no longer works
for you. The greatest assessm
ent is around the job itself.
Does it still meet your
desires and requirements? Should you be th
inking of moving on to another company or
type of position?
The other assessment centers ar
ound your home location. Does it still serve you to be
living where you do and commuting? Often, af
ter a time, people find that moving so far
from their work is no longer what
they want. It is something
to assess from time to time.
3. Be prepared. Be ready to walk out t
he door without searching for car keys, airline
tickets, money. Some like to prepare the night
before, others over the
weekend. This is
an especially useful tip if you have children
to drop off at daycare. Getting the older
ones into the habit of preparing for themselv
es will lessen your time and energy output
even more.
4. Commuter’s needs change seasonally. Just
the awareness and acceptance of this
can have a positive impact on the energy ex
pended on commuting. So
me commuters
who normally fly to other cities or states fo
r work, use their cars or the train during the
winter months then switch to planes once the danger
of ice and snow is over.
5. Regeneration, daily, weekly and annually, is
important in the life
of the commuter.
Long distance commuting takes its toll on t
he body and soul just as it does on the
wallet, the car and the time of the commuter.
Taking an hour at t
he end of the day to
stretch, do light exercise and defuse by us
ing calming techniques, meditation and
relaxation are two, will help
regenerate the energy and
spirit. This is a good way to be
sure stress stays wit
hin manageable boundaries.
6. Make healthy choices about what you
do during the day. Packing lunches some of
the time puts you in control of what you
eat and, especially, portion size. Make the
choice to walk up the stairs or walk to a
distant bus stop. The
payoff for these small
choices will show in less stress
, more energy and even more money.
7. Use tools to make you more efficien
t. Scheduling is one that could be used more
effectively. Try scheduling
all your activities, professional and personal, on one
schedule. Also try estimating how long a partic
ular activity will take and block that time
out. This is an easy way to save time because we tend to complete a task within the
time allotted. Give it a lot of
time and it takes a lot, give it
a little time and it’s still done,
and just as well. Try it, you will be delighted.
8. Family and social time is necessary to
a happy life. It is not optional. If necessary,
pencil it into your schedule – and stick to y
our schedule. This one tip can have a great
impact on the health and well-being of your fa
mily as well as on your own health.
9. Corporations need to understand that
the employee who has the commute under
control is a better, more productive worker
than the one who comes in harried from the
stress of the commute. Those
corporations will make prov
isions for their commuting
employees because they value their work. Th
ink about talking to your employer about
this. If you are the employer,
think how effective this could be in increasing productivity.
10. Commuting is a choice that was m
ade sometimes very long ago. That choice
should be reconsidered periodically and whatev
er steps need to be taken must, for the
health of the commuter and all who are close to
him or her – family
, friends, employer.
Use these tips and see what happens to t
he negative effects of the commute. My
challenge to you is to make the commute in
to an activity that enhances your work and
personal life.
Dr. M. A. Mastria, CLC, PCC, is f
ounder of www.Commuter-Assist.com which
provides services and products for long di
stance commuters, their family and their
employers, so their time, energy and m
oney are not drained by the commute.
Reach her at info@commuter-a
ssist.com or 570-839-6394.

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In this Sept. 17, 2014, photo, a man closes his eyes as he stands with other commuters in a crowded metro car during rush hour in Rio de Janeiro. On packed subways and crowded highways, billions of people worldwide participate in the daily commute to and from work. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Written by: Marie A. Mastria, PhD

Time passes whether you do something with it or not, so why not make the most of it? You have to travel to work, but what goes on during that travel time is up to you. What you do with that “in between” time can be beneficial or detrimental to the rest of your day. David Clements (Future Cities Project, 2004) wondered that “commuting is ‘the life sentence,'” much akin to a jail sentence. How could we have gotten to that state, and what can we do about it? Well, we could relax, read, listen to books on tape or music, get caught up on work, start the “great American novel.” It really is up to you.

In a survey conducted by Diane Strahan of CareerBuilder, she found that thirty-six per cent of over 2,000 respondents surveyed said they would be willing to take a ten per cent or larger pay cut if they could have a shorter commute. “Workers and employers need to give more thought to their daily commute strategies and the impact commuting stress may have on their lives,” she said.

Acknowledge commute time as time for yourself. Making this adjustment in thinking has helped many commuters begin to take the stress out of the commute. Although this may sound “jargon-y,” it has been shown to lessen the stress of the commute.

How would you describe that commute time? Do you fret over it, wishing it would go away? Well, it won’t, at least not in the immediate future. So reinterpret it. Instead of thinking about the hateful commute, you might describe it as the time I have to myself to meditate, plan the day, or develop my schedule. Making only this adjustment in thinking has been a help to commuters no matter what form of transportation they use.

The Federal Highway Agency has reported that commuting time is increasing and commuters are traveling greater distances, and the trend is for both to increase. With this happening, strategies that make for a better commute become very necessary.

We all recognize that an important aspect to a balanced life is socialization, yet as our responsibilities grow and time diminishes, many of us find that our social life also diminishes. Socialization is a good way to stay healthy and connected but, as our social lives lessen, we become more prone to illness and poor health. But commuters can do something about it. Some people have become so close in their bus commutes to and from work that they celebrate important events together, like birthdays and promotions. They design on-bus book clubs. They plan to meet over the weekends. They meet and marry. There are so many ways the long commute can be used to meet our needs. If you take public transit, commuter friends offer a pleasant way to pass the time and provide good networking resources when you are looking for a new job or a good dentist.

The time spent commuting to and from work can be approached as time wasted or as an opportunity to get things done. Make a plan to use your time so it will benefit your home life and your professional life and you will have found more time in the day.

About the Author

Marie A. Mastria, PhD, of  http://www.commuterdoctors.com speaks, offers workshops, consults, provides executive, business, wellness and life coaching to groups and individuals. Email her at info@Commuter-Assist.com or call 1+570-839-6394.

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How do you change something that you have become so accustom to dreading and turn it into a positive experience and force in your life? Many of you would look at this ad think that it isn’t possible. But, in a few simple steps there is a way to turn your commute into a healthy and fulfilling experience.

So you ask, “What will I do about it?” The answer is complicated by what is realistic to do and what you are willing to do. Let’s take distance. It’s not realistic to think of how to shorten the distance if you continue to work for the same company and you are not willing or can’t change companies. So, what to do? Actually, there are a number of things that can be done to make the travel more comfortable, less taxing and even beneficial! And this is true for anything that is making the commute difficult.

Attitude, or perception, is everything. Without a good attitude, everything is harder – paying the bills, cleaning the bathroom, even traveling to work. When we look for problems, we find them. I am suggesting that the first and primary change that will help bring a good commute is working on changing your attitude toward it. Remembering that you did choose to take this job that is X miles from home actually puts you back in control of the situation and takes you out of the victim role. If you’re like most of us, you will feel empowered by using your right to choose.

A change in attitude might have you view your commute as something that you chose to undertake in order to allow you a pleasant home environment while still making an acceptable or good salary and advancing your career. Just so we are clear, the bad attitude might go something like this, “I hate driving all this way to work. I wish I could retire. What’s the use of having a nice house when I don’t have any time to spend in it?” Can you feel your shoulder muscles tighten just reading this? Alternatively, a good attitude might say, “Because I live this distance from work, I can live in this community, in a beautiful house of my choosing.” Just watch those muscles relax.

About the Author:

Dr. Marie A. Mastria has created a five step program titled, FIVE STEPS TO A BETTER COMMUTE which is available free on the Commuter-Assist website (http://www.Commuter-Assist.com).

Dr. Marie A. Mastria is founder of Commuter-Assist, which publishes e-books, CDs and cassettes to help commuters get the most out of their commute and life in general. Dr. Mastria speaks, offers workshops, and consults to businesses. She also provides life, wellness, and business coaching to groups and individuals. To contact Dr. Mastria email info@Commuter-Assist.com or call 570-839-6394.

All content Copyright © 2006, Dr. Marie A. Mastria, CLC, PCC / Commuter-Assist.com. All rights reserved. You may copy or send it to family or friends who may benefit from it so long as the format and credits are intact. You have permission to publish this article electronically, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included and links are activated and maintained. A courtesy copy of your publication or link to website would be appreciated.

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