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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 July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

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    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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