If you want to avoid being stuck in traffic, waiting in line, and scrambling with the masses for goods and services, here are some ideas:
1. Live closer to your office. I can’t think of anything that makes more sense. If you work for an organization, regardless of the metro or suburban area in which you work, undoubtedly there are good neighborhoods a reasonable distance away. When you live closer to your office, you benefit in many, many ways:
Less commuting time, less gasoline cost.
Less wear and tear on your car in general.
More flexibility in departing for the office and for back home.
2. Telecommute. If you can work at home as little as one day per week, perhaps a Wednesday, you cut your week of commuting in half. The equipment you need to telecommute from home is highly affordable these days.
3. Become a contrarian. If everyone vacations on holidays, use that day to work. Take your time off when everyone else is working. If everyone heads into the city between 7 and 9 a.m., then head in between 5 and 6, or 10 and 11. People who arrange their schedules to avoid competing with the masses in terms of travel and leisure feel good about it. If this sounds too stark for you, experiment with it a little at a time.
4. Do more of your shopping by phone, fax, and modem. Rather than fight with all the other people for parking spaces at the super regional mall, order by catalog. Increasingly, catalog vendors offer an 800 number and even 24-hour customer service. Many vendors have liberal return policies as well. The catalogs themselves are excellent – full color photos with vivid descriptions of the products. It’s a great way to shop because you can sit and think about what you’re doing, without getting jostled, overwhelmed, and unfocused in a hurry.
5. Be more selective as to what information you take in. Remember, in a world of six billion people, there will be more books, articles, movies, plays, commentaries, opinions, and points of view. Unless you actively limit what you allow to compete for your time and attention, your days will race by faster than you care to live them.
6. Forsake day-to-day tuning in. Instead of trying to ingest everything that the media has to offer, seek summaries of news and information, perhaps on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Much of what’s presented to you is not news, anyway.
Jeff Davidson is “The Work-Life Balance Expert®” for our time-pressed workforce and is the premier thought leader on work-life balance issues. He wrote “Breathing Space” and the “60 Second Self-Starter.” Visit www.BreathingSpace.com, call 919-932-1996, or email Jeff at Jeff@BreathingSpace.com to ask for his free CD: “Finding Breathing Space.”