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Use Public Transportation to Save Your Sanity and Increase Productivity

Use Public Transportation to Save Your Sanity and Increase Productivity
Photo by Lingaraj G J, used under a Creative Commons license.
    Photo by Lingaraj G J, used under a Creative Commons license.

    Ask any number of people what they value in life and you’ll probably find time, money and peace of mind somewhere at the top of their priorities.

    Yet so many of us seem willing to forfeit large amounts of these things for the supposed ease and comfort derived from our beloved cars, even if they do eat away at our finances, drive us headlong into never-ending, stress-causing traffic and suck away at our time.

    Fear not though my friends, there is an alternative, and it’s name is public transport.

    It sounds simple, but leaving the car behind and taking public transport could save you more than you think.

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    Save your money

    Besides the thousands you’ll initially splash out on the car itself, with tax, insurance, repairs and all that money we spend on fuel factored in, that vehicle costs us more than a pretty penny.

    Add up all those expenses and work out how much your car really costs you over the course of a year. Then compare that with how much it would cost you to travel by public transport. If the latter works out cheaper, what are you waiting for?

    The money you save could be invested in your long-term goals or simply saved up for a rainy day.

    Save your time

    Unless you’re David Hasslehoff in Knight Rider, once you’re driving your hands and mind are fully occupied.

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    On public transport however, your time is your own. You could spend your journey reading that business management book you recently purchased, write down ideas for your next big project, put together the day’s to-do list or even get your e-mail dealt with before hitting the office.

    Whatever it is you decide to do, it’s surely better than being a slave to your steering wheel for the entire journey.

    Save your sanity

    Ever found yourself hunched over the steering wheel on a hot day, your heart racing, breath quickening and mind succumbing to rage and madness as an immobile sludge of traffic surrounds you from all sides and leaves you stuck in gridlock, going nowhere fast?

    Try taking the bus instead.

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    The belligerent traffic still won’t budge, but now you have your favorite music playing on your iPod and you’re either so engrossed in that new book you’ve been dying to read, busy jotting down some great ideas for that big project of yours or taking care of any number of other things that you hardly notice the chaos beyond the bus.

    All is good, you’re calm, and you arrive at your destination completely stress free and ready for a productive day.

    Which one sounds better?

    Save yourself

    When you drive to work, the amount of exercise you get is minimal; a few steps from the front door to the car, then a few more from the car to your place of work.

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    When you take public transport on the other hand, it practically forces you to add a bit more exercise into your life as you walk (or hey, why not jog a little?) to catch the bus or train, then again once you jump off and head to work. If you’re struggling to fit exercise into your lifestyle, this is a quick and easy way to add activity into your daily routine.

    Save the world

    Our final point is probably the most obvious, but it’s still worth mentioning.

    It doesn’t take an eco-genius to figure out that the more cars there are on the road, the more emissions there are pumping junk into the atmosphere, increasing pollution and bringing the world one step closer to an untimely demise.

    By leaving yours in the garage and taking public transport, you’re doing your part in bringing that pollution down and ultimately saving the world.

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    Chris Skoyles

    Coach, and trainee counsellor specializing in mental health and addiction.

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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    Review Your Past Flow

    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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