NEWS – The United States Census Bureau reported 600,000 U.S. commuters travel 90 minutes to work. And another 10.8 million travel an hour each way. Meanwhile, Gallup consulting firm that focuses on data-driven research discovered a link between commute times and well-being. Those with longer commute times complained of back pain, fatigue and increased worry than those with shorter travel times. You may not be able to avoid a long commute to Muncie. Maybe your lower cost of living is a good trade-off. But there are ways to make your commute more bearable, and even enjoyable.
Make the Most of It
Put that hour or more you are stuck in the car to good use. Stock up your iPod or listen to a book on tape to get your mind engaged. Turn on a voice recorder and dictate a to-do list or ideas for a new project at work to get yourself into the right mindset. During a tangle of stopped traffic, turn on a battery-operated neck rest that vibrates and works out the kinks in your neck and shoulders. And if you’re going to be stopped for awhile, stretch your arms or neck to improve your circulation and get your blood pumping.
Embrace Public Transportation
A bus ride into the city may add on some time to your commute, but can free your hands and mind to stay productive. If you’re commuting around Muncie, take the MITS bus and save money at just $.50 a fare. Disabled veterans and students ride free, and a special MITS Plus service offers door-to-door van transportation for the mobility impaired.
Meanwhile, Go Express Travel and Hoosier Ride are good shuttle options for getting to and from your Indianapolis office or the airport. Hoosier Ride also offers built-in Wi-Fi so you can get some work done on board and use the outlets to power-up your laptop, tablet or smartphone. After a long day at work, unwind with a pair of headphones and turn on your smartphone or tablet. DISH Anywhere lets you log in to catch-up on your favorite series. Not only will the trip speed by, you’ll be refreshed and unwound in time to eat dinner with your loved ones.
Team up with a friend commuting to the same office or area to endure a car commute together. You can help share the fuel costs and combat loneliness and stress. You can also benefit from taking the carpool lane. Try to keep stressful office chatter to a minimum and instead discuss upcoming travel, family life and your hobbies. Make a point to grab dinner or coffee once in awhile as a special treat to pat yourselves on the back for a commute well done.
Ask for a Flexible Schedule
Your long, never-ending commute could be avoidable by simply tweaking your schedule. Ask your boss if you can come in and leave earlier to beat some of the traffic. Request one telecommute day to work from home. This can give you a break from your road warrior days getting to and from the office. Get creative with your time and plan out-of-office meetings toward the end of the day. The idea is to leave directly from your appointment and take an alternate route home.