Roy Gilbert

How to Make the Most of Your Morning and Evening Commutes

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WAYHOME studio / Shutterstock Commuting can be annoying and tedious — yet many of us do it twice a day. Research has found that commuting can lower mood, heighten stress levels, and have a “spillover” effect. In other words, our commutes can impact how we perform and feel at work, at home, and in other facets of our lives. It’s no wonder employees are seeking out more flexible work schedules or, at the very least, ways to make their morning and evening journeys less irritating and more productive.

We asked members of the Thrive community to share their tips for optimizing their commute time. Their strategies may even make you want to take the long way home.

Take a trip down memory lane

“I don’t have long commutes every day, but on the days I do, I like to scroll through pictures of my kids and loved ones. I take my favorites and write a little note about why they are memorable moments for me. Once a month, I batch all the pics, print them, and mail people the pictures with my memory note. Many times, I don’t even need to mail them. I just leave the picture and notes on the kitchen table for my kids and husband to see in the morning.”

—Anjali Bindra Patel, lawyer, McLean, VA

Set a positive attitude

“My commute is approximately 40 minutes each way by car. The usual suspects — traffic, rude drivers, people driving at parade-float speed — don’t rattle me because […]

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