Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Are There Perks to A Long Commute?

The daily commute to the workplace; often mind-numbing, grueling, and monotonous. Driving 36 miles – each way – is extreme, but sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic can make it that much worse. Originally, I assumed listening to music on a playlist or radio station would make for a less stressful commute. However, that grew ancient very quickly with many of the same songs stuck on repeat. It was quintessential to discover a new, more inventive way to keep myself sane for each of these 1.5-hour drives. While there are no immediate remedies to my dilemma, I found a few ways to not only pass time, but become productive on each highway-ride.

As mentioned above, music turned out not to be my ideal solution. So, what alternative options were there? One morning, I decided to tune into the local news station for periodic traffic updates on the trip ahead. This turned into a regular ritual where I was not only gaining insight on road conditions, but becoming informed of the day’s various stories including politics, financial markets, and international events. In turn, I noticed that I was becoming a more knowledgeable individual over the course of my drive. The news also began to shape the way I perceive all that is constantly changing around me. But to be honest, the news was making me feel cynical about the current state of the world. Listening to the news has led me to find podcasts as an alternative source of content. Like it or not, we are all greatly influenced by what we hear. I choose to be influenced by those who have achieved the highest levels of success in real estate finance. By listening to select opinions and advice, I am gaining in-depth insight on topics that enable me to engage in all different types of conversation with all sorts of people.

With Bluetooth in my car, the journey to the office also provides an opportunity to make work-related phone calls. Whether it be to my manager, a client, or a cold-call, I am able to keep myself productive at the wheel, and create more time for myself to focus on the more arduous tasks at the desk. Using this alone time in the car also allows me to mentally prepare, organize, and assess the day. Being stuck in traffic is certainly no form of meditation, but this extended period of time is a great opportunity to reflect, inform myself of the world around me, and put my priorities in order.

Everybody has their own, unique ways to pass time on their daily commutes. My routine ultimately revolves around productivity, alertness, and tranquility in preparation for each and every day.