I drive to work everyday except Tuesdays, because we have number coding here in the Philippines, where your car isn’t allowed on the roads from 7 AM to 8 PM.
I commute on some days, usually jeep, or by rail transit (MRT) or I hitch a ride on a motorcycle, which isn’t possible now since the LTRFB has stopped Angkas, the uber for motorcycles, from operating.
What frustrates me beyond end is the time wasted in traffic. Work has been cancelled because of the 2017 ASEAN Summit, and the roads are clear these days. It takes me 20 minutes to get home. 20 minutes! On a normal day, I spend anywhere from 2 to 4 hours a day commuting. That’s over a thousand hours wasted!
Finding a solution to traffic is problem that needs to be addressed by different sectors and in different ways. I’m not going to go into it. Right now, traffic is a reality we face everyday.
I’m sharing with you some ways I have found to help make better use of my time while stuck in traffic, waiting in traffic, etc.
I am aware that some of these things cost money in terms of data use or subscription fees. Whenever possible, I’ve linked to free options, too! I hope that helps.
I wasn’t a huge fan of audiobooks or thought I wouldn’t be, but I can’t drive and read at the same time. Reading books while stuck on the train is barely possible given that you’re pressed body to body, or even a jeep can be a bit of a hassle, especially if you are prone to bouts of dizziness. I have a Scribd subscription, which I tried out initially as a skeptic but so far I’m loving it. Before I bit the paid bullet, I also downloaded public domain audiobooks for free, and legally, on Librivox. The upside is it’s not as heavy as a book. It’s great for classics and poetry.
Listen to Podcasts
Another audio option, you may say? I will confess that I love talk radio, and I love podcasts. Spotify has a great list of offerings for free if you have the app on your phone, and you can download beforehand if you have a subscription. Here’s a list of the best podcasts to listen to. There are loads of different topics, and it’s a great substitute for when your playlists get boring. Right now, I’m listening to Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History series.
I don’t really do this. I’m lying. I occasionally stretch, but I realize it may be good to sneak in a few calf raises while standing in line, or some sit-ups while you’re stuck in that inevitable never-ending line after the Magallanes flyover, heading into Villamor.
Whipping out your phone/tablet in the middle of a commute may not be the smartest thing safety wise, but if you are in a place where you can, writing on your phone is something I used to do even when my phone was still a Nokia 3310. You could also bring a pen and paper, especially if you take the bus and have a little space to yourself (and also if you don’t get dizzy). Writing while moving is a difficult skill to master though.
Embrace your Weirdness
I talk to myself. Well, I record myself talking. It’s weird, right? But I find it therapeutic. I talk out loud about random things. Like what I plan to write for this blog, tomorrow’s work schedule, or practicing what I should have said to the person I was pissed at yesterday.
I should point out then that I am mostly alone when I drive home, though. Most people have friends or spouses or children to talk to.
Reach Out and Touch Someone
If your friends aren’t the sort to be offended, and you have a hands-free phone, give them a call. It helps to pass the time, and keeps you and your friend entertained.
Kid Friendly Activities
I don’t have kids who need to be entertained in the backseat. So if you have some good suggestions, games or apps that help keep kids quiet and engaged during the long battle of going through traffic, let me know!