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Surviving Your Long Commute

It can get awfully boring. It can be aggravating and tedious. Do you spend it talking? Eating? Raging? Some eight percent of New Yorker’s commute to work is an hour or longer. There are another 600,000 commuters who work full time and drive or ride over one and half an hour to get to the office. Most of these drive almost 55 miles but some in places like Los Angeles can take over an hour and a half to drive less than 25 miles.

So how do you survive the long commute without doing things that are not safe? You certainly don’t want to be distracted on a daily basis or take for granted that you can do anything you want while driving. Remember there are states where it is illegal to text and drive or talk on the phone unless you use Bluetooth and wireless. It is not smart to eat as it is distracting and so is falling asleep due to boredom, and raging is never good.

So what are the safe ways to survive that commute?

  • Get that wireless Bluetooth and call friends and family that you might not have spoken with in a while. Talking with someone can certainly keep you awake but don’t let it distract you. Some people get so caught up in the conversation, they forget to pay attention. Don’t let this be you.
  • Listen to music or books on cd. Make sure you have a hands free way to change a station or a multi-cd changer.
  • If you like sports, listen to sports radio and if you have a hands free phone with programmable speed dial you can take part in the conversation.
  • If your commute is not you driving but rather high speed rail or buses, there are many things you can do to pass the time and still be productive. Of course if you don’t care to be productive and your entire commute is by train or bus, you could sleep. If not you can read the paper, a book or work materials. You can send correspondence both personal and professional. You can make to do lists or shopping lists, or you might just relax and enjoy the people-watching.
  • Learn another language or listen to business presentations. Use the time for listening to self-help – self-improvement programs.
  • Get a rider to commute with you and make sure you enjoy talking with this person as you will be spending an awful lot of time with them. It could be an associate from work that you can talk over projects with.
  • If it is at all possible try to commute with your spouse even if you end up in different directions and have to leave a little early. Want some quiet time with your spouse? This should do it.

These ideas really only scrape the surface of all the things you can do while commuting in New York and still be both safe and legal. Just use your imagination!