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Rush Hour Traffic: Get Through it Collision and Stress-Free

Rush Hour Traffic: Get Through it Collision and Stress-Free

It is recommended by ancient traditions that you should begin your day in a calm and relaxing fashion. From waking up slowly to having a few moments of stillness, our bodies and minds need to be introduced to the new day in a rather subtle manner. Are your mornings blissful and calm? Not mine!

Most of us wake up to a raging alarm and daily news reports that outlines everything and anything that could have possibly gone wrong with the world. Then we tune into the rush hour traffic report followed by the weather report (if you live in a winter wonderland like me) to determine if we have a few extra minutes to spare or if we are already running late.

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There is absolutely no benefit in a stressful beginning and one needs to find a creative way out of the everyday anxieties of life. Here are some tips that can help ease your mornings.

Can You Avoid It All?

As prevention is the best cure, is there anything you can do to avoid rush hour in the first place? Ask your employer for flexible work hours or maybe arrange for a school bus for the kids and avoid the detour?

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Though your initial reaction might be that of disbelief that this is even a possibility, you’ll be surprised to see how many companies are actually open to the idea of a flexible working schedule. Being a part of the new generation, employers have also evolved with time and are more concerned with productivity and effective time management than a restrictive work schedule. The one solution fits all days are gone as skills of yesterday can become hindrances of tomorrow if they don’t adapt with time.

Working from home once or twice a week is also becoming increasingly popular in the North American work culture. This gives employees some quiet working time free of office distractions as well as avoiding the regular commute while the employer is also at ease as productivity can easily be judged when you report back to the office the following day.

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Learn about your companies policies and talk to your HR manager to evaluate the outlook of your company. Talk to your boss to get his opinion and you just might be able to create a personalized solution for yourself.

Can’t Avoid It All?

Carpooling to me is the next best alternative if you can’t possibly avoid rush hour as it minimizes your exposure to it and maybe even gives you access to the priority driving lanes. Not only will this give you a break from the anxiety that exists between the accelerating and braking moments, it also gives you the opportunity to read a book or maybe even take an extra nap yet not lose the comfort of a private drive.

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If all other ways fail, giving yourself some extra time and having breakfast can make all the difference. Lets be honest, hunger only gets the unpleasant side of us out and an unfulfilled tummy combined with running late is simply a recipe for disaster. Be kind to yourself, find time for breakfast and give yourself an extra few minutes so that the heart rate does not rise with every red light that comes by your way.

Why not try listening to something soothing and relaxing as you embark on your morning drive? Though hard rock and hip-hop sound cool to the ears in our teens, starting our mornings with heavy music can make the brain instantaneously tired and clumsy. Try listening to something soft and soothing instead. Maybe some meditation music or an audio disk of a book you’ve wanted to read or a new language you admire? If nothing interests you this early in the morning, let there be silence. This may be the only time of the day where you can actually have some quiet time.

Featured photo credit:  a street of shanghai on the night via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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