One can only manage the stress that comes with being stuck in gridlocks, which can be awful.With the right approaches to stress reduction and productivity enhancement, one can make the most of the time spent stuck in traffic.
Mr. Kunle Adefila, a management consultant who specializes in leadership, emotional intelligence, and personal productivity, stated that research revealed that the typical city dweller spends three hours per day in traffic.
In addition, he stated that many individuals experience hypertension, worry, and negativity during mandatory “road duties,” and that it would be prudent to deliberately minimize the negative effects of being on the road while maximizing productivity.He went on to say that productivity was usually not affected by the circumstances, but rather by how one responded to them.
In a similar vein, Dr. JohnBosco Chukwuorji, a senior lecturer and clinical psychologist at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, emphasized that gridlocks were a major cause of unproductive behavior and stress because they affected the typical Nigerian and made it easy to engage in what is known as “road rage,” which is excessive rage and cursing that causes stress.
He went on to say that people get stressed out when they are stuck in traffic because they think they are wasting their time doing nothing.He advised taking preventative measures and making the most of the time available to manage stress.
The experts focused on ways to decrease stress and boost productivity while stuck in traffic.
Prepare your mind ahead
Stress is both physical and emotional. To effectively manage stress, one must first try to manage one’s mind and emotions. Adefila stated that when one’s mind was prepared, one would manage stress more effectively, adding that one’s experience was determined by just 10 per cent of what happens to one but how one chooses to respond to it was more important in determining one’s experience.
He advised individuals to avoid taking anything or anyone too seriously in traffic since the roads have become a venting ground for many that might ordinarily not have the opportunity to even meet with one. “Don’t permit brief encounters with strangers to cause a deep negative impact on your life,” he added.
Plan your day
“As they say, proper preparation prevents poor performance. Use this time to plan your activities for the day, identify priorities and devise strategies for accomplishing your goals. Even if you’re driving, you can speak your thoughts on a recorder. I often do this,” Adefila said. Chukwuorji added that planning one’s day ahead and mapping out less congested routes would relieve stress and increase productivity.
Set out for trips early
A popular saying says, “A stitch in time, saves nine.” If one sets out early, one would have less apprehension while stuck in traffic. Adefila noted that the major cause of anxiety, fear and desperation in traffic gridlocks was the concern that one would be late, stating that nowadays gridlocks were predictable on most city roads and it would be proactive to build extra time for trips. He added that it was better to arrive early and be rested than to have a panic attack on the road, losing composure. Chukwuorji also said that setting out early was a smart move to stay productive and less stressed.
Leverage on technology
Technology has brought a lot of ease to daily lives and routine. Adefila stated that Google maps and others could be used to check the best route to follow and how much time one would need ahead. This, he said, would aid one to plan ahead and be in control of situations. He added that one could take courses online to increase one’s chances of getting a high-paying job.
Read, send out emails
If one is not driving, being stuck in traffic is a valuable time to proactively send reminders to colleagues and customers. One can also catch up on emails and respond to less urgent ones from the previous day. Try to create your own environment even in traffic as much as possible.
Listen to podcasts, music
Adefila said, “After listening to an expert speak daily for six months on a particular subject, you will definitely become well versed in that area and be confident enough to translate your knowledge into practical achievements.”
Also, listening to music or inspirational messages helps to create a good environment to condition one’s mind for success. Adefila and Chukwuorji added that taking time to listen to music, inspirational messages, books or reading educational materials makes one more resilient to negative occurrences and counter any contrary external influences trying to steer one’s mind in the wrong direction.
In addition, Adefila said that reading books, either devotional, professional, or recreational builds capacity, feeds the spirit, relaxes the mind and creates a sense of satisfaction. If you are driving, you could opt for the audio version instead, on any subject you desire.
Taking deep breaths
Practising deep breathing is a simple but therapeutic technique. The psychologist noted that taking deep breaths; exhaling and inhaling gradually for a period of five seconds, for about two to three minutes when stuck in traffic relaxes the nerves.
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