The average traveler spent 36 hours in rush-hour traffic jams in 2007. That translates to $750 per person in the form of lost time and fuel. (Urban Mobility Report, Texas Transportation Institute, 2007 figures)
It is great when you get more done during the day and are able to leave in time for an evening with family, but if you are one of the many stuck in big-city rush hours, peak congestion can absorb three hours a day. While the summer months tend to be lighter, with many on vacation, September goes ahead full throttle again.
All of our time management training is geared to helping you be as productive as possible so that you feel accomplished at the end of a day and still have time for yourself and family. Yet how can you unwind and come home relaxed when you face this?
- Flex-times would help, as well as the ability to work from home. I know of one lady who left at 4:30 a.m. so that she could be there before anyone else. That would definitely not be my personal first choice. It tends to wipe out your evenings.
- Multitasking on the drive is an option a lot of people choose. This is where you see everyone on cell phone and manipulating text messages. However my recent blog on the young man who killed someone while using his cell phone tells you that is not the best idea. Rush hour traffic can be more dangerous as people wedge themselves in and out of lanes in hopes of moving ahead a few extra feet.
- Public transportation is a great alternative, but Texas, where the study was done, is very limited in most places. I like it when I get to work in New York City with all of its alternate ways of avoiding driving.
- If you are able to, you can simply accept this as a transition between the work place and home. It is a time when you can review the day's events and plan for upcoming projects. When you finally reach your destination, your mind is cleared.
I would be interested in receiving comments from those who must spend many of their days traveling during rush hour.
What is your average commuting time?
What do you choose to do with that time on the road?