7 Tips to Balancing Your Daily Commute

With teams based in Vancouver, Toronto and Los Angeles, starting and finishing the day in traffic is an all-too-familiar experience for many of us at Jive! 

A daily commute to work is a way of life for many urban professionals, whether it's by transit, bike, ride-share or car. For those who travel long distances (or short ones that take a long time!) this process often involves actively finding a way to balance work and life. For those that commute, the reason to do so is usually driven by lifestyle choices including affordable housing, available income, personal health, personal relationships, children, social connections, proximity to hobbies and interests and a desire to live in a different neighbourhood or community.

Finding the ideal balance is never easy, or truthfully in my opinion, ever truly realized. Work deadlines, social activities, family commitments and personal needs are constantly changing. However, using your commute time effectively often helps to maximize your work day, inspire creativity and can tick a few checks off your work and personal to-do list.

My top tips for using your commute time wisely include:

  1. Take calls en route (hands free of course, if you drive). I find a quick 15-minute team debrief while driving gives me a head start on the day. The team is then all in-the-loop, our agenda for the day or week is clear and we are set for productivity… and I’m not even in the office yet!

  2. Use Siri as your personal assistant. Dictate to Siri, set reminders and get a head start on your emails and pitches. Have a good idea while driving? Tell Siri!

  3. Don’t forget about you. Make that dentist or doctor appointment, call the bank or the kids teachers, and lock in a time for that long needed oil change.

  4. Stay informed. Tune into to CBC Radio One or News 1130 to keep abreast on current affairs both locally, nationally and internationally.

  5. Broaden your horizons. If you're not already listening to podcasts, you're missing out on some amazing content and inspiration! A few of my favourites: LA Times, CBC Q, How I Built This, This American Life, Goop, Invisibilia, Strong Opinions Loosely Held and Ted Radio Hour.

  6. Sing. Listen to your favorite playlist. Get an Apple Music account, sign up for Sirius XM or Spotify or tune into your favorite radio station and sing your heart out. According to Elite Daily, people who sing in the car are happier, healthier and live longer! Whether you’re an 80’s girl, a 90’s die hard or a top 40 queen there's something for everyone.

  7. See the silver lining. Even though traffic can be contentious at the best of times, take those congested moments to look around and take notice of your world. On my commute through the Sea-to-Sky corridor I love watching how the fog gently lifts over the cityscape as the sun rises over the Strait of Georgia. Look for the beauty - it's there - whether natural or urban. Roll down the window and sniff the spring air, cheer on the jogger who is out for that hard morning run and notice the guy stuck in his car next to you taking my advice about singing!

Tell us about your daily commute! What do you love about it, what could you do without and how do you achieve work / life balance that includes your commute? 

Looking for a playlist that will get you moving? How about the This is Beyonce playlist on Spotify, part of the Amplify: Women's History Month collection of strong female musicians. Talk about inspo! 

About the author: Corrie Larson is a Project Manager in Jive's Vancouver office.