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Best Things To Do For Different Commute Journey

Best Things To Do For Different Commute Journey

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    Let’s think about all the time we spend commuting. It is part of our daily routine, part of our lifestyle — in other words, it is unavoidable. So what makes best use of our commuting time? What do we prioritize when we think about the time we must spend travelling? Are we in favor of making good use of it? Perhaps it adds time to your favorite activity, such as reading a book. Or perhaps you are more concerned with being home on time, and spending more time with your family or your job, and not with the road.
    Whatever your personal concerns regarding this are, the fact remains that we all must factor in these concerns when adjusting to a new job, or a new place to live. The decisions made surrounding this will affect your daily life and routine, and can have a great impact on your happiness and wellbeing.

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    TRAVEL BY TRAIN/ METRO

    Train can be one of the best (stress-free) ways to commute, because you are generally dealing with no concerns regarding traffic. The Metro runs on the exact time it says it will, and in big cities this is constant and frequent. So long as you are within walking distance to the station, you really have not much worry at all. You also have a community of people to engage with, if you so desire. If not, you could just do the following:

    COMMUTE TIME: 30 minutes
    Full 30 minutes: Audio books are a great idea for the train, especially if you might need to be standing for the duration of your trip and don’t want to have to hold a book up the whole way. Blinkist is a great audio book app to use, otherwise this list of ten apps is also helpful. Podcasts are also a great idea. Your thirty minutes will be up before you know it – you’ll probably be looking forward to the thirty minutes on the way home!

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    TRAVEL BY CAR

    Studies have shown that travelling alone by car can have some detrimental effects on the human psyche. In terms of happiness, long commutes alone can lead to feelings of isolation and helplessness, as it cuts off human interaction and correspondence with local communities. Our health may also be at risk without exercise during this time, leading to weight gain and muscular problems, not to mention time that could better be spent sleeping.
    Travelling by car, however, can be the quickest and most direct route. And if we use our time wisely, we can overcome the majority of negative effects. For example:

    COMMUTE TIME: 45 minutes.
    First 5 minutes: Listen to the news/ radio
    Next 40 minutes: Listen to your pick of Podcast/ audio book/ recordings from your children – the world is your oyster when you are alone in your car! But remember while you are travelling/ listening to eat some carrot sticks, drink lots of water, and wriggle your muscles a little while you’re sitting at the stop lights.

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    TRAVEL BY BUS

    Travelling by bus can also be difficult in terms of traffic. Similar to commuting by car, you are at mercy of the traffic, and sometimes can be waiting a long time for the ride you need. For this reason, packing a book is essential. Taking your mind off the journey is a good idea, and generally bus rides can be pleasant, given that you have allowed enough time for your journey so as to feel stress-free. Buses can be less packed than trains and you are much more likely to get a seat. So if you can, strike up a conversation with a fellow traveller. Human interaction can pleasantly surprise us, and it can also be a great way to pass the time. Otherwise, you might try this pattern:

    COMMUTE TIME: 60 minutes.
    First 15 minutes: Sit back and enjoy your take-away coffee.
    Next 35 minutes: Either interact with fellow travellers, or nestle in to a half hour with your book.
    Last 10 minutes: Listen to some upbeat music to put you in a good mood for the day ahead. The longer the commute, the harder it is to stay upbeat on a daily basis. So remember to relax and spend the time wisely!

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    Last Updated on July 13, 2020

    How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

    How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

    Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed and exhausted.

    If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm; leaving you calmer, in control and a lot less stressed.

    1. Write Everything down to Offload Your Mind

    The first thing you can do when you begin to feel overwhelmed is to write everything down that is on your mind.

    Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s on your mind.

    For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind”.

    The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will begin the process of removing your feeling of overwhelm. Writing things down can really change your life.

    2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

    Once you have ‘emptied your head,’ go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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    As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

    Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. Here’s How to Cultivate a More Meaningful To Do List.

    3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

    Now here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and us humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take:((Odhable: Genesis of Parkinson’s Law))

      This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad but they stick to the belief it will only take thirty minutes. It’s more wishful thinking than good judgment.

      We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage. If you have estimated that to write five emails that desperately need a reply to be ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

      Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is you put yourself under a little time pressure and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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      When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time and so it plays tricks on us and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our colleagues to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

      Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening and we get more focused and more work done.

      4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

      Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos. Go through your to-dos and schedule time on your calendar for doing those tasks. Group tasks up into similar tasks.

      For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

      Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

      5. Make Decisions

      For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

      If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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      If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss, a colleague and get advice.

      Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You need to make a decision to deal with it and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved. (You can take a look at this guide on How To Make Good Decisions All The Time.)

      I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend of mine of the problem. He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I paid a smaller amount for a couple of months.

      This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

      The first, don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second, there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

      6. Take Some Form of Action

      Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we feel overwhelmed (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

      The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

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      It also means rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible and you can make decisions easier about what to do about them. Often it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be you see you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

      Overwhelm is not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work, it can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

      The Bottom Line

      Make a decision, even if it is to just talk to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something on its own will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution one way or another.

      When you follow these strategies to can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

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      Featured photo credit: Andrei Lazarev via unsplash.com

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