NASA has reached Pluto after a three-billion-mile journey and we could not even cross Silk Board junction.
This is the daily reality of Bangaloreans traveling to the office every day. Who doesn't hate getting stuck in traffic jams? But if your population increases from 40 lakhs to 1.25 crores in a matter of a few years, the traffic chaos are unavoidable. The retiree's paradise has long lost this title to the Silicon Valley, so this traffic apocalypse is bound to happen.
This daily phenomenon is equally true in Mumbai, Delhi, and Chennai. But, I think Bangalore (a.k.a Bengaluru) tops the charts. Every time we have our clients coming from Delhi/Mumbai, the conversation starters are typically about how long it took them to reach office from the Airport.
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Traffic Jams Not Just Car, But Your Brain Too...
According to a study published in New England Journal of Medicine, one hour of exposure in a traffic jam can trigger a heart attack. It also highlights the fact that one out of every 12 heart attacks are caused by particulate pollution. That’s pretty serious!
Whether we’re an entrepreneur or a regular office goer, we can’t let the anger and stress caused by jams rule our lives. Sometimes situations can be beyond our control, but it’s crucial to get a grip of our life at times. It’s all in our head, either we can choose to feel more miserable or fight the situation by channelizing our energy positively.
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There are some usual ways to kill boredom and frustration like blaming on why you can't get up early in the morning. An hour or two can save you an extra hour and some sweet emails from your boss for coming late.
However, I have been living in this city for a while now and have seen the traffic conditions getting worse. I used to have terrible road rage, but something changed 6 years back. It’s not that I enjoy traffic jam, but I have learned to deal with it.
5 Things You Can Do
1. This is Your Private Time. Relax and Connect with Yourself
Before we decide to connect with others, it’s important that we connect with ourselves first. It’s not something that can be achieved instantly, but it should be part of your daily routine. You need to be easy on yourself, focus on your feelings, treat yourself kindly and stop judging. Start your day by looking yourself in a mirror, make an eye contact, smile and feel your presence. Another way to giving yourself a motivational boost is by chanting a positive mantra or affirmation.
Take some five minutes out of your busy lives to sit in silence, don’t try hard on yourself to empty all thoughts from your mind, but just be present with yourself and the thoughts will leave you. These small things impact a lot on deepening your connection with yourself. This also helps you realize what you really want in your life and your confidence increases when you feel more comfortable in your skin.
2. Journey from Frustrating Moments to the Most Productive Times
I get a lot of stuff done on my way to work (I founded INKONIQ way back in 2011.) Email dominates a considerable time for me and I tame this monster mail during driving. My inbox unread emails are typically zero by the time I get to the office.
Again as an entrepreneur, you need to take a lot of sales and follow-up calls with clients. I finish many of them using handsfree in my car. There are times when I convert prospects into customers and close deals on my way to the office. Taking interviews in this slot is also pretty common for me, where many talented individuals have delighted my journeys with their responses.
3. Connecting with Loved Ones
We are living in a highly disconnected and busy world, and I believe in using every opportunity to reconnect deeper with my loved ones. It’s the best time to call the people who matter to you and letting them know that you’re there. I use this time to catch up with my wife and parents and talk freely with them about life’s happenings. It’s also the best time to catch up with old friends and have meaningful long conversations than those superficially short Hi’s and Hello’s.
4. Educate Yourself
It doesn’t matter whether you have a physical book or a digital copy. Just like muscles need a stretch, reading is the best thing you can do for stretching your brain. Take advantage of the slow-moving vehicle that you are in, to refresh your mind and spirit by reading.
If reading a book on Kindle or a physical book is not your cup of tea, listen to audiobooks. This is highly recommended if you are in a very crowded vehicle. Audible by Amazon, has been my mentor for long and has helped me sail through a lot of tough times in my entrepreneurship career. Personally, I try to go through at least two audiobooks a week.
You can even utilize this time to educate yourself, watch instructional videos or take an eLearning course on Udemy, Coursera etc. eLearning courses and instructional videos widen your knowledge base.
YouTube could be your best bet for learning as well. It’s not just the king of entertainment, but also a reservoir of learning videos. These videos prove to be a really powerful to improve your knowledge base, learn complex procedures or even to discover something special to cook in the night, everything on the go.
5. Talk to a Stranger
Who said you can’t socialize in a traffic jam? Are you seated beside a stranger? Talk to the person sitting next to you because 90% of the times, that person is also bored. Connect with new people, interesting strangers will give you something exciting to make your day more fruitful.
These things are not limited to the people who own a vehicle, people traveling in the public transport can try these in many folds. We’re living in an exciting world of startups, we don’t know when, where, and which company owner is sitting right next to us. These strangers can be your next potential client or investor and your attitude towards life can turn even a frustrating moment into the next BIG DEAL of your life.