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
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
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
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
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.