Between the morning rush, traffic and our to-do list waiting for us at our desks, it can be hard to have positive and relaxing mornings, let alone commutes. According to a recent survey by Car Rentals on mental blocks and morning commutes, a stressful commute can be a major contributor to mental blocks and therefore hinder our focus and productivity.
In the survey, they also found that nearly 40% of Americans between the ages of 18-24 think about work on their morning commute. This age group also happens to be most prone to experience road rage––figures. To avoid or at least lessen the number of times your experience a mental block, we thought we’d share some simple practices you can do during your commute that will help start your day on a clear, refreshed mind.
Say Your Goals Out Loud
Negative feedback can oftentimes affect our motivation and focus. Instead of stressing over any not-so-great feedback or comments at work, use your commute to create clear, achievable goals for yourself. Once you have them, repeat them a few times as you head to the office.
Another fun way to do this is to do a little reverse psychology on yourself. Instead of repeating your goals, think about what you don’t want to accomplish or experience that day or week. For example, “I will not take any work home this weekend” or “I will not say ‘yes’ to every ask.” Focusing on what you don’t want for yourself during or after work can also be a great motivation booster and help you set some boundaries for yourself.
Find Zen Before a Big Presentation
When we’re preparing for an important presentation, meeting or pitch, it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole of reciting the material over and over. Instead of practicing your presentation on the morning of, try meditating or breathing exercises to center the mind. It will help calm your nerves and stay focused on the material you need to present.
Disconnect From Work
Avoid reading any work emails, calls or to-do lists. Instead, have your loved ones on speed dial on your hands-free device to check in with them during your commute. Use that time to wish them a good day or make plans to catch up. If you need a quick venting session, friends and family are also great listeners and may offer you some helpful advice.
Recite Positive Mantras
Inspirational mantras or sayings are great to boost your energy and feel motivated. Have a list of some of your favorite positive mantras to help you start your day on a good note. We recommend customizing them based on your needs and goals. For example, if you’re working towards a new health or career goal, find mantras that can be applied to what you’re working towards.
Listen to a Fun Podcast
Although business and work-related podcasts are incredibly helpful and oftentimes motivating, try to add some fun and creativity to your commute. Listen to podcasts with interesting topics that will keep your mind off work. Maybe about a show you enjoy watching, a hobby you like or would like to pursue or some artistic outlet.
If you have a long list of books you’d like to read but haven’t had the chance to get to, an audible book is an excellent way to spend your morning commute.
It’s also good to keep in mind that stressing over things you can’t control or haven’t even started working on yet can cause more harm than good. Try to tackle one task at a time to avoid any unnecessary stress. By adopting these simple yet healthy practices on your way to work, you’ll be able to reset your mind each morning and get to work on a much lighter mood.
Janey is a Content Marketing Specialist at Siege Media. She enjoys writing on a variety of topics including travel, career, and lifestyle. In her free time, you can find her trying out a new coffee shop or planning her next trip.