Ways to Beat Traffic and Improve Your Commute

Health and wellness experts firmly believe you choose your mood for the day by setting your intentions early in the morning upon waking up. That might be well and true, but all it takes is a traffic mess to take your mood from happy to angry in a matter of minutes. Unfortunately, the morning commute is often the worst. Everyone is late, rushing, and impatient, and the roads are nothing short of hazardous for all. While you’re stuck in traffic waiting for the day cars fly and teleporting from home to the office is a thing, know that you’re missing an excellent opportunity to beat traffic and improve your commute.

Use Cruise Control

Did you know that your distraction on the road slows you down more than once? Your mom calling to chat, carrying on a conversation in the backseat, and even listening to your favorite morning radio hosts on the radio distracts you enough to slow you down more than once during your commute. Use cruise control to maintain a constant speed, and you’re more likely to miss traffic and shorten your morning commute.

Adjust Your Schedule

With the new digital age making it possible for so many people to work from home, telecommute, and work from anywhere they want, why not ask your boss for a little more flexibility in your schedule? For example, if you start work at 9 and want to avoid the heavy traffic caused by everyone trying to be at work at 9, ask if you can start at 8 and leave an hour early. If you can leave a little earlier, you can miss the heavy Maine traffic.

Know the Traffic

When you leave in the morning, it helps to know what the traffic is like on your route to work, school, or wherever you must go. Traffic reports are one of the best ways to hear what’s going on and where so you know how to avoid traffic issues. When you listen to these reports on the radio, check them on social media, and make it a point to get to know where there are issues, you can avoid them with ease.

Overestimate the Time You’ll Need

You know it takes you 15 minutes to get from home to your office, but you must assume it’s going to take you 25 minutes. This is strategic. Do you want to spend more time at work? Probably not, but you do want to spend more time at work in a better mood. If you give yourself 15 minutes and get stuck in traffic, your mood turns sour quickly. If you allow yourself those extra minutes, you’re either still on time or you’re slightly early and still in a good mood. Now you have time to stop for that coffee you desperately need.

Know Your Destination

One of the biggest issues in traffic is the myriad of drivers who have no idea where they are going. You know you’re going to work and where it’s located, but you do you know where you’re parking this morning? Do you know if you’re stopping for coffee or to drop those tops off at the dry cleaner first? If you make snap decisions to do things like this at the last minute, you end up causing traffic issues as you slow down waiting on other people to let you merge into other lanes, exit the highway, and turn.

If you know in advance you’re making these stops, where you’re parking, or what turns you must make, you know where you’re going well enough in advance you’re not slowing down to make last minute turns or merges. It doesn’t sound particularly helpful, but imagine how much better traffic would flow if everyone knew in advance where they were going rather than making so many last-minute decisions.

Traffic is never fun, but neither is having high blood pressure. Take your time, know where you’re going, and listen to the traffic reports on your way to work or school. You do get to choose your good mood for the day, and this is merely one good example of how you can make this happen. It’s up to you to avoid traffic and improve your commute.

Adam Richards

About Adam Richards

Adam Richards is a semi-retired business professional originally from Bangor, Maine. He spent the majority of his career in sales and marketing where he rose to the marketing lead of a Fortune 1000 company. He then moved on to helping people as a career counselor that specifically helped bring families to self-sufficiency through finding them rewarding careers. He has now returned to Bangor for his retirement and spends his free time writing. This blog will be about everything he learned throughout his career. He'll write on career, workplace, education and technology issues as well as on trends, changes, and advice for the Maine job market and its employers.