3 Clever Ways to Avoid Wasting Time in Traffic Jams

3 Clever Ways to Avoid Wasting Time in Traffic Jams

By Daniel Seifert
Is leaving early the new working late? We look at some ingenious life hacks designed to make you work smarter, not harder during the working day

“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” These wise words come from the American business guru Jim Rohn. And he is right; too often we let time lead us by the nose until it has drained away our entire day. Particularly in mega-cities, where traffic jams and queues siphon away hours at a time, clever tactics to counteract time-wasting jams become even more critical.

So how can we get back in control of the hourglass? It just takes some creative thinking.

1. Do your homework

India is tradition-bound in terms of office culture and has yet to fully embrace the idea of working from home. Yet if any country should adopt it, it's ours. According to some figures, the average Mumbaikar spends four hours a day commuting. This amount of travel time takes a hit on your wallet too, with Indian commuters spending an average of six percent of their wage on daily travel.

The solution? Discuss these figures with your boss, and the idea of working from home — say once a month, on a trial basis. Or alternatively, trial putting meetings in the afternoon, and working on key deliverables from home in the morning. If both your productivity and happiness level skyrocket at once— and your boss sees this — your trial solution could become a regular fixture.

2. Use your commute time wisely

Automotive University, a term coined in the car-loving United States, is not a place — it’s a concept. As author Amy Jones writes in her book Twice as Much in Half the Time: “One attends automobile university by listening to education materials while riding in the car.” Jones quotes University of Southern California research: “If a person drives at least 12,000 miles (19,312 kilometres) per year and uses this method of education, in three years he or she would have the equivalent of two years of university education.”

3. Judo your way out of a traffic jam

Travelling to work is usually only horrendous during rush hour. The solution? Avoid rush hour! See if your company can implement flexible working hours. Rather than the standard 9am to 6pm, hit the office at 7am and leave at 4pm, neatly sidestepping the worst parts of rush hour. Hai-ya!

BONUS TIP: Cut meeting times in half

One survey of executives working at 3M found that up to 50 percent of meeting time was essentially pointless. If you agree, why not propose a process to make meetings more effective, such as ensuring there is always a clear agenda for the meeting? Try appointing a timekeeper too, so that someone is responsible for keeping an eye on the clock.

Image: Vikas Dutt