I’ll be the first to admit that driving to the office for any amount of time over 20 minutes can be frustrating. In Dallas, a 20 minute commute equates to being about 10 miles from your office. This can be alarming, but what happens when you live 45 miles from your Ft. Worth office? Well, you get 2+ hours of driving each day. Welcome to my world.
Living in North Dallas, I am privileged to have the opportunity to drive 90 miles round-trip each day. First, let’s get any of the obvious questions out of the way.
Why not work for an agency closer to home?
Frankly, I would have loved to. However, there aren’t a lot of small privately owned agencies out there working on clients as polarizing as Beats By Dre, J. Crew, and Travelocity to name a few.
Why don’t you just move?
Sounds easy enough, but I’ve lived in Dallas for the vast majority of my life. My family and friends are in the area, and it would be difficult for me to call anywhere else home.
Seriously, just move.
Yeah I heard you the first time. Though I’m currently holding out for our agency to open up a satellite location in Dallas. 😉
So, without further ado, how can you tolerate the frustration of commuting to your place of work everyday? I’ll share some tips I’ve learned through my experience.
Find something worth listening to.
This may seem blatantly obvious, but it’s not as easy as it seems. Randomly flipping through radio stations and playing your favorite music can only hold you over for so long. Think about this like you would for food. You may love pizza, but eating it every day for a couple of weeks might just make you sick of it.
You need to listen to something that’s sustainable. Something that leaves you wanting more, and perhaps something you can start looking forward to. Talk radio, podcasts, and even audiobooks can all be great. Give one a try, stick with it for a week or two, and mix it up every now and then to keep your trip interesting.
Silence is Golden.
Wait a minute, didn’t we just talk about finding something to listen to? Sure – listening to something helps stimulate the brain and trick it into thinking that you’re actually doing something with your time while being stuck inside of a vehicle; however, silence allows your brain to focus and reflect, which can be a great way to unwind after a long day at the office.
Reflection is great, not only to think about the things you can improve on at work, but also your accomplishments as well. Every now and then, try peppering in a few “silent drives” during your commute. You may even find it a bit unsettling at first as you realize just how long your drive actually is.
Talk to Someone. Anyone.
Please keep in mind, when I say talk to someone, I mean literally talk. Use your vocal chords. Please don’t text and drive. I literally see it every day during my commute – people staring down at their phones while on the highway. We’ve all seen the PSAs about texting and driving, so I won’t get into that here, but it never hurts to have a friendly reminder.
So call someone up. Who? Anyone. The point here is that you’ll find it’s a great way to pass the time, but it’s also an opportunity to catch up on current events. Again, safety is always paramount here, so using speakerphone (or bluetooth syncing to your car if possible) can go a long way. Distractions are never a good part of any commute.
I will conclude this by saying that some people are just not built for long commutes. The above strategies can definitely help you pass the time for your commute, but as always, everyone is different.