“Distracted driving is dangerous driving.” You know this is true, but even so it can be hard to concentrate on the road when you’re stuck in slow traffic on your way into or out of Raleigh. What’s even worse is carpooling or taking the bus, because in those cases you don’t even have the road to distract you. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to make your daily commute seem like less of a waste of time.
Find a Better Route and Schedule
The single best way you can make your commute less of a waste of time is to … waste less time on your commute! Instead of following the obvious roads and highways, see if you can make better time by traveling on the side streets or taking a different bus route. And while bumper-to-bumper traffic can feel like it lasts forever while you’re in the middle of it, you may be able to avoid the worst of it by changing when you leave by about half an hour either way.
This may mean spending extra time in downtown Raleigh, but there’s plenty to do there if you know where to look (and there’s also plenty you can do with a mobile device).
Expand Your Mind
Nothing chases away boredom like a little entertainment. Load up your phone or tablet with your favorite music, an audio book or two, or a few podcasts about interesting topics. For instance, NPR has a variety of shows you can download and listen to for free. If you aren’t driving or biking to work, you have even more options at your disposal: you could read a book or ebook, watch a film or show, or play a video game.
Get Some Work Done
Depending on your job, you may be able to accomplish a lot during your commute, including calls to your boss, your coworkers, and your clients. Even if that’s not the case, you can still use the time to return calls, send off text messages, and check your email and social media accounts. You should be careful with what you decide to do if you’re driving, however, because even a hands-free phone call can be distracting.
Get Some Exercise
Depending on how far you are from your workplace, you may be able to get there in a reasonable amount of time by walking or using a bicycle instead of driving or taking the bus. Even if it’s too far for walking or cycling, you could always use a more distant final bus stop or parking lot to get some good walking time in. Just remember to budget for the extra time you’ll need to get from point A to point B so you don’t run late.
It’s hard to imagine what the commute was like before the advent of mobile technology, but now that it’s here we no longer have any excuse to complain about wasting time. Whether you take your work or your entertainment on the road with you, a commute today is only as dull as you let it be.