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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 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

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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