Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Commute. Create!

Five days a week I commute to my day job office. Same time, same route, same same. I am one of approximately 130 million commuters in the US. (Some mornings it seems like they are all on the road with me here in Northwest Florida!)

I have found that the 30 minutes I spend in my Mini each morning (and 30 more in the evening) can become some of the most productive minutes of my day. I seek to leverage my commuting time and focus on being creative.

Want to make the most of your commuting time? Here are some suggestions:
  • Turn off the radio. Why allow someone else to dictate what your mind focuses on? Yes you may like your music (or talk show host, or news report), but ask yourself if you are making the best use of your time.
  • Get off the phone. Unless your job requires you to be on the phone, or a pressing personal issue needs your attention, end the call. Especially if you have others in your car. Are your children with you? Engage them, communicate with them, challenge them. (I addressed this in a previous Blog post.) Are other adults commuting with you? Speak with them, practice your listening skills, build your relationship with them.
  • Choose what to listen to. If it's music, select what will prepare you for your day, what will motivate you, what will benefit you. The music I choose inspires me to create new music, and to focus on my Creator. Maybe you can listen to teaching CDs or books on CD. Remember: you are seeking to make the most of your commuting time.
  • See what's around you. Sometimes the same route creates a drone-like mentality. We just drive/ride every day and don't even notice what's around us (when did they build that Super Walmart?). I have the privilege of traveling a route that goes for 12.5 miles along the pristine white sand and turquoise water of the Santa Rosa Sound. I can't always see the water because of the structures or trees, but when I can see it, I look. This morning I watched the sun directly in front of me burning through the fog. A surreal sight, but it gave me an idea...
  • Pray. This may be a requirement on some commuting routes (the DC Beltway...). But I am referring to proactive praying, where you are leveraging your time and making the most of your commute. Pray for what? Yourself, your family, your co-workers, the people in the cars around you...
  • Create. Allow ideas to fill your mind, rather than music, chatter, and noise. Dream, think, create, imagine. That's how the Blog post you are reading was conceived. I turned off the noise, and in the silence allowed my mind to conceive, envision, and create.
Question: What would happen if you took control of your commuting time? Share your thoughts below in comments.
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