|10 Emotionally Intelligent Ways to Use Drive Time
by Susan Dunn
Safety first whenever you're in the car, but for most of us, it's a pocket of time, and time is what we have the least of. Know yourself. If you're the kind who can't do two things at once, don't.
Driving time can be a great source of stress if you let it be, but if you are intentional, and creatively think of new ways to use the time, you'd be surprised what a difference you can make in your life.
If you can handle multi-tasking, here are some ways to make use of your car time constructively.
1. Listen to inspirational and motivational tapes. This is a great way to reduce the stress of driving and work on your attitude and self-talk. You could arrive at your destination quite inspired or motivated! Yesterday I had a 5-hour drive home from a cruise. I used the time to listen to tapes I needed to hear in order to prepare for a teleclass I was presenting this coming week. Worked great.
2. Listen to your favorite tape. This is a time when you can reward yourself and do something you enjoy. Keep your favorite tapes in the car and think of it as "my time to enjoy". Better yet, record your own tape of special favorites.
3. Meetings. When my oldest son was in college, our conversations were often like this: How are you? Fine. What's going on? Nothin' much. I always made it a point to drive him back to Waco (from San Antonio). About 30 minutes down the road, he would open up and start talking. Car time is good for family, friends and also colleagues. It isn't face-to-face, it's a good time to ease into sensitive subjects, it creates an opportunity, and the car often has a soothing effect on people. You'll get to know another side of someone you work with.
4. Phone calls. With the right equipment, a phone call in the car is no more distracting than a conversation. I used to have to drive all over town giving presentations and was in the car a lot. I would call my secretary and go over the day, delegate, check in and dictate letters . She would read me emails. You can return quick calls from the office, and save longer ones for the car. I have a friend who's a busy lawyer who uses car time for social chatting. You only have so many hours during the day!
5. Dictate. A car (or plane) frees up creativity for a lot of us. (The mechanics of driving occupy the left-brain, the big analyzer-paralyzer.) I first started using a recorder when I was marketing for property management companies. I could drive around the apt. complex noting things I later turned into proposals. There are all sorts of ways you can use a recorder. Keep one with you.
6. Catch up on the news. Radio news is quick and to the point and a good use of car time.
7. Notice marketing! Many of us are in marketing in one way or another. If you're an entrepreneur, as I am, you must be. Sometimes I devote the car ride to "noticing". I actively look at the billboards, bus bench ads, bus ads, and signage to see what's new. I notice what radio ads grab my attention and what storefronts attract my attention. Play consumer and see what gets through the fog.
8. Eat. Next, you're thinking, I'm going to say "shave," but no. I just don't like to take a lot of time eating most days, and a banana in the car is the same as a banana at your desk. Just a way to kill two birds with one stone. I keep bottled water, V-8, and little bags of peanuts, raisins and trail mix in my car.
9. Think. Now that's a novel concept. Plan the rest of the day, plan a vacation, sort through some topic, ponder whether modern brain science really operates according to an outmoded 19th century model of science that has been proven invalid by quantum physics or not, or think about pleasant memories. It can be a creative time, like those ideas that pop into your head in the shower.
10. Practice relaxation and positivity. Make it a game to scan the environment for pretty and pleasant things - people enjoying themselves, flowers, nice architecture. Too often we focus on the negative. Relax different muscles in your body at the stop lights. Give yourself some positive self-talk. Practice intentionality -- plan what attitude you intend to have when you arrive at your destination and why.
Safety first in the car!
(c) Susan Dunn, The EQ Coach, offers individual coaching and Internet courses on emotional intelligence for increased profitability, success and happiness.
Visit her on the web at www.susandunn.cc
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