HOW often have you been stuck in traffic and just waited impatiently for it to clear? If you commute daily, then you must be all too familiar with the long lines of vehicles that just don’t seem to move an inch for 10-minute stretches at least a couple of times more until you reach your destination.
No matter how patient you are, traffic jams can always rattle you. Since it looks like there’s no escaping this vice of life in the city, let’s take another approach!
Let’s not look at the stalled commute as wasted time. Instead, let’s come up with ways of how we can make the best of this forced opportunity.
Next time you find yourself sitting bumper to bumper on the highway, try one of these things to do while stuck in traffic to prevent stress, boredom and anger toward the cars in front of you. It’s definitely crucial to keep your eyes on the road, but there are several hands-free things that you can do to make the time pass more quickly. You can use time stuck in traffic to learn something new or enjoy this alone time instead.
- Listen to music and sing your heart out. One of the good things that you can do while stuck in traffic is to listen to your favorite songs and sing your heart out. We all know that music can take us to a lot of places and we could actually use this time to visually see where we’re heading. Make your own music video inside the car (what I usually do). Learn the lyrics of your new favorite song, sing along with it—don’t if you’re riding a public vehicle.
- Read your favorite book. We are talking about a book—not Tumblr, not a blog post about how politics in this country doesn’t improve, not tweets from people who set Twitter on fire about noontime shows. So much information is flung at us from an endless parade of shiny screens every day, it is easy to go weeks without reading something of substance. With the Google Glass on the way, you’ll never be without an excuse to read superficial blog content instead of finally getting around to Tolstoy. You might say this sounds hypocritical coming from me. But hey? A book can actually kill your time while waiting for your stop, a chapter away is a nice progress reading your favorite author’s work.
- Take a nap. This is not advisable for those who have their own car: you can’t sleep while driving. But if you’re riding in public, try to catch some Zs. Take a power nap and, if you think you’re getting near your stop, stretch a bit. I bet when you wake up there’s just only you and two more passengers inside a jeepney. Trust me: Been there, done that.
- Post something online about the traffic jam or things you see while stuck in traffic. This doesn’t mean you hate the world and you want to set the Earth on fire because of this inconvenience, but this is just you being honest and observant. There are places here in our country that really suck! I, for one, really hate when I’m stuck in traffic, especially on the way home. It’s much worse when its raining hard. No one loves sitting in their car, stagnant behind the wheel. Post all the things you see and let people know your observations.
- Make a to-do list. Using the record feature on your smartphone, sitting in a traffic jam can be the perfect time to brainstorm your to-do list. I like to keep several running lists on my phone, that way, when I think of something, I can easily jot it down or record it. I keep a work to-do list, a home to-do list, a grocery list, a list of my short-term goals, a list of my long-term goals, my list from my organization and several other lists right on my phone for easy access and updating.
- Call a friend. Another way to easily pass the time while stuck in traffic is to call a friend that you have not talked to in a while. This might be one of the few times that you actually have plenty of time to ask all of the needed questions and listen intently to your friend’s life updates. Friendships and relationships are only as good as the effort that you put into them. If you never talk to your friends, how will you ever know what’s going on in their lives. Use the time behind the wheel to stay in touch with the people that you might not see every day but still care deeply about!
Although traffic can be quite a headache, all of these ideas are great ways to pass the time if you are sitting in your car for far too long! Instead of letting traffic stress you out, use this time for self-growth, learning, self-reflection and productivity.
Cyril Razon is an indefatigable lover of life. Let him know how you make #time pass more quickly while sitting in traffic via the BusinessMirror Millennials Universe (BMMU) Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Millennial-Universe/435594193285671. Follow BMMU on Twitter via @millennial_U or Instagram (type Millennial Universe). E-mail comments or story to [email protected] and the editor at [email protected]