I was talking to my coworkers the other day about my daily commute-1 hour when I go to HQ and about 2.5 hours when I drive into San Francisco and of course the inevitable discussion of traffic came up. While of course, most would say that the shorter the commute, the better, my passions run the other way.
It seems counterintuitive, but I assure you, with the right attitude and game plan, traffic not only isn’t that bad, but it’s a great way to get ready for the day. Here’s how to make TRAFFIC work for YOU (in another life I was an infomercial star):
Step 1-Get Hype
You’ve heard it all before, “fake it ’til you make it”, “your attitude determines your latitude”, and any other phrase that they put on those inspirational posters. But in all seriousness, the first 1/4 of your commute should solely be about you getting excited for the day, preferably with some epic music (preferably Kanye West or Drake in my opinion). The work day is hard enough so you might as well get excited before anything difficult actually happens. I find that it helps you visualize your dreams while simultaneously getting you focused on your tasks for the day.
Yes, this doesn’t make sense given step 1, but after the emotional and euphoric thoughts that you get from step 1, you should take the time to chill so you can start piecing together what you’re going to get done that day and begin planning for the days ahead. At this point of the commute, traffic is probably crawling. For me, I literally shut my mind down and meditate in a sense while collecting my thoughts. Sometimes at this point I’ll make phone calls and catch up with everybody that I need to before I get busy.
This is the stage of my commute where I think about mistakes I made or weaknesses I have and figure out how I’m going to improve for the day. I usually pick one thing that I’m not strong in and dedicate my day to improving that skill.
Step 4-Blast Off
It’s similar to step 1, but this is the last 15 minutes of your commute. This is where you pull out THE playlist. You all know what I’m talking about, the one that you use like Popeye uses spinach. It’s that concentrated form of motivation and inspiration. You’ve gotten inspired, made a plan, and identified your strengths and weaknesses during the commute. Now with a fully baked game plan for the day, this final stage gives you the last bit of emotional lift so when you walk into work, you’re riding the momentum gained in your commute like it’s a heat seeking missile.
Now it’s official, you’re ready to judo chop the day and it’s all because of that sweet, sweet, traffic.