7 Productive Things to Do When Stuck in Traffic

April 3, 2019 | Episode #36
I've got 7 productive things you can do to make being stuck in traffic suck less! Plus, a quick hack for eliminating interruptions at work.

7 Productive Things to Do When Stuck in Traffic

Make Life Easier

1. Avoid ads whenever possible

  • Ads, especially ones on TV / radio, cause me a great deal of stress
  • I go out of my way to avoid them, and recommend that you try this too
  • They can be repetitive and can get really annoying, especially because most of them are uninteresting to most people
  • I don’t listen to commercial radio in the car because of this

2. Listen to music that brings you joy

  • Listening to music can definitely make being stuck in traffic suck less
  • I recommend you start using Spotify, if you’re not already
  • You can curate custom playlists with only the music you love
  • You can also listen to specific artists, albums, and songs on-demand
  • And, if you pay for premium (I do), you can avoid ads altogether!
  • In episode 238 of The Productivity Show podcast, the hosts talk about how the physical vibrations of music can alter your mood!

3. Listen to comedy!

  • Did you know that you could get comedy playlists on Spotify?
  • These are an amazing way to bring some laughter to your commute!
  • My boyfriend, a few friends, and I were headed to Chicago a couple years ago and we listened to comedy on Spotify almost the whole way there. Made the four-hour drive fly by!

4. Listen to podcasts

5. Listen to audiobooks

  • By far, this is my favorite way to make being stuck in traffic suck less
  • At the recommendation of my friend Colleen, I’ve used Audible for years
  • I can’t say enough good things about this amazing service!
  • If you’re interested in signing up for Audible, click here to head there now!
    • Normally, you get one free audiobook when you sign up
    • But, using that link, you’ll get two free books and two free pieces of Audible original content too!
    • I will make a small commission, as well ?
  • Here are some books you should check out:

6. Listen to public radio

  • If you don’t want to use your phone, don’t have the tech, or simply like listening to the radio, give public radio a shot!
  • love NPR!
  • During the week, NPR does mostly news and politics. Then, on the weekends, they host a bunch of amazing shows! These include
  • Also, incidentally, all of these shows are podcasts too! You’ll be able to find them in whichever podcasting app you use!

7. Enjoy the silence

  • Studies show that being bored is good for your health
  • We’ll cover this more in an upcoming episode!
  • For now, simply be content with the silence.
    • Roll down the windows (in good weather)
    • Leave the radio off
    • Sit quietly and drive
    • Allow your brain to wander

A Quick Hack for Eliminating Interruptions at Work

Make Work Easier
  • Find yourself getting interrupted all the time while you’re trying to work? I know I was.
  • Sometimes, you just need to focus!
  • Studies show that it takes an average of 25 minutes to refocus after an interruption
  • So, I designed a sign which sets up Focus Hours: Dedicated time in which I ask folks not to interrupt me.
screenshot of focus hours sign

Here’s a clip of my focus hours sign!

  • Click the button below to grab the sign. Then, here’s how you use it:
    • Print a copy
    • Be sure to fill in your email address in the blank at the bottom
    • Make copies of the sign after filling in your email
    • Then each time you use one, be sure to include a time when people can come back, as well as today’s date
    • All three of these pieces of information (email, time, date) increase the chances that folks will respect your wish and not interrupt you, even if it’s “urgent”
  • Another idea I had while recording the show: Print just one copy and put it in a frame. Then, use a dry-erase marker on the glass to fill in the blanks!

Download the free sign

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