How to Master Your Commute to Work

How to Master Your Commute to Work
March 17, 2023
RxLocal Team

Though the work-from-home model has never been more alive and well, there will always be a place — and a necessity — for on-location work.

As a result, the commute to work remains a time-consuming but necessary staple in many workers’ lives.

There’s quite nothing like seeing the sunrise while driving to work. It’s especially beneficial for office workers who rarely breathe natural air. Your commute to work can be a welcome prelude to the day or week ahead.

Even so, the commute to work can see you swerve through logistical — and literal — potholes. As a result, you’ll need to prepare for the journey ahead.

The commute to work is a rarely talked about but essential part of your work day. If you have a bad commute to work, you’d have a bad day too. Also, nobody likes being stuck in traffic if they can help it — and you can help it.

Here are ways to master your commute to work.

Fuel Up Before You Buckle Up

If you’re like most people, you want your commute to work to be as smooth and ongoing as possible.

Nothing grinds the gears more than being at a complete stop, watching the ETA on your GPS become later and later. A later ETA means a later clock-in time, which means you’ll have to clock out later.

Though traffic delays and pileups are out of your control, focus on the things you can control. For starters, make sure your car has enough fuel to make today’s commute.

Stopping in the middle of your commute to work to fuel up is a purely self-imposed obstacle. It adds precious minutes to your commute to work. Also, there’s a good chance the traffic gets even heavier once you resume your commute.

Go to your nearest gas station and fuel up the night before. You’ll be saving yourself a completely preventable headache.

For our electric-vehicle-driving readers, the same rules apply — just plug in.

Side note: many movie chains have designated charging stations in their parking lots. Might as well get some entertainment value out of it.

Listen to Music/Audiobooks

For many, the commute to work is time-consuming. The drive always seems to be too long, even on the smoothest of rides. That time you consider to be “too long” adds up.

The average one-way commute in the U.S. is 27.6 minutes, according to a report by the U.S. Census. Furthermore, 9.8% of commuters report one-way commutes of at least one hour.

That’s five hours a week, 20 hours a month, 240 hours every year, and so on. That’s a large chunk of your time dedicated to just getting to the workplace.

It’s not all doom and gloom, however. If you’re commuting for the foreseeable future, might as well make it worthwhile. This is where podcasts and audiobooks come in.

If you feel like you never have enough time to sit down and read, audiobooks are a godsend.

They are a great source of entertainment and inspiration while you make your commute to work. Add more variety to your listening than that tired playlist or mindless radio station.

Podcasts are just as valuable. There’s a podcast for everyone, no matter how niche or specific your interests are. There are podcasts that can inform, entertain, or even inspire.

Just like that transcendent long run, a good podcast or audiobook and help you see life through a refreshed perspective. That’s something you likely won’t get from listening to the Top 40 radio hits.

Your commute to work can feel exhausting and simply a waste of time. Remedy that through the help of audiobooks and podcasts.

If you have a library card, download the Libby app to easily access their available audiobooks through your phone.

Leave on Time

As mentioned earlier, traffic delays of any kind simply kill the vibe of your commute to work. Though you can’t control how others drive, you can control your plan of action (or commute).

Leave home a few minutes earlier than usual. Just a few precious minutes can make all the difference. You just might narrowly escape the next traffic tidal wave this way.

Traffic moves in weird but somewhat reliable ways. Yes, the commute to work can be chaotic, but it’s consistent in its chaos. You’ve likely figured out certain times when traffic is at its peak chaotic.

Work around it, adjust your departure time, and set your alarm clock a little earlier. Just like glue, a little bit will go a long way.

Use Traffic Apps (and Prepare for The Unexpected)

If you’re a commuter, you are likely already using navigation apps like Google Maps or Waze. These are super valuable tools in smoothing out your commute to work, giving you up-to-date reports on your route as you make your commute to work.

Commuters know that the longer their commute is, the more possibilities there are for something to go wrong. Whether that’s heavier-than-usual traffic or flat tires, it’s best to take precautions for just about anything.

Weather is a fickle thing nowadays.

One day the roads might be covered in ice, only for the temperature to hit 60 degrees the next day. The beginning of a glorious sunny morning can quickly be erased by a cloudy, gloomy thunderstorm in a matter of literal minutes.

In essence, you have to expect the unexpected as a commuter.

Bring that emergency umbrella: it will come in clutch someday. Use a plastic scraper or rubber squeegee to remove ice from your windshield. Store a pair of winter gloves in your glove compartment.

Get travel-sized versions of basic necessities: hand sanitizer, toothbrush, toothpaste, and even some soap and shampoo. Your nearest independent pharmacy should have those in handy.

You can even go a step further by packing some additional clothes. “Just in case” is the operative term here. Though these might sound crazy at first, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Commute to a Better and Safer You

Contrary to popular belief, your commute to work doesn’t need to be a slog. Sure, it may be in the literal sense, but it’s up to you how you spend that time on the road.

It’s very easy to become frustrated with the incessant traffic delays and nonsensical drivers around you. However, just like with almost anything, you can make something out of nothing.

Your commute to work is an untapped resource for inspiration and even emotional stability. Listening to podcasts and audiobooks can start or end your day on a high note.

You can even do some mindfulness meditation exercises while driving (with your eyes open, of course).

Whatever it may be, make your commute to work as worthwhile, enjoyable, and safe as possible. Then you can get to work or home being a better, brighter self.