Im­prove your drive to work

Re­search – and a de­gree of com­mon knowl­edge – says that most of us just don’t en­joy driv­ing to work. But a tyre man­u­fac­turer has a the­ory that might help shorten those daily drives and make them a bit more en­joy­able. hits the road

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Kent Motors -

CMatt Kim­ber­ley an you shorten your com­mute with­out ac­tu­ally short­en­ing it? Now there’s a rid­dle many of us would like the an­swer to. We can’t click our fin­gers and turn a five-mile traf­fic jam into a serene, empty, driver’s par­adise. Nor have we in­vented tele­por­ta­tion just yet, so the daily com­mute is a fact of life.

But did you know that peo­ple who com­mute by car are ac­tu­ally less both­ered by it than those who use public trans­port? So says re­search among 2,000 driv­ers car­ried out on be­half of Con­ti­nen­tal Tyres, which found that car com­muters are 36% more likely than not to find the jour­ney to work a plea­sure.

The same old con­gested route in the same old driz­zle gets a bit bor­ing, though, even to the most ar­dent car en­thu­si­ast, and the reg­u­lar daily grind can start to seem longer and longer. The Ger­man tyre maker has launched a cam­paign de­signed to help peo­ple en­joy their driv­ing more of­ten and to make it hap­pen the boffins have brought in a psy­chol­o­gist.

With the doc­tor’s help a se­ries of sim­ple tips have been de­vised, with the aim of help­ing driv­ers like you and me to feel like we’re spend­ing less time on the road – and pos­si­bly even en­joy­ing it a bit more.

I tried them out, and first on the list is to leave 10 min­utes ear­lier than you nor­mally would.

There’s no ar­gu­ing with the logic. Psy­cho­log­i­cally it seems like you’ve got to your des­ti­na­tion faster be­cause the clock hasn’t wound its way on so far when you ar­rive. Sec­ond is hav­ing a good stretch be­fore you get into the car – and when you get out at the other end. Stretch­ing feels awe­some and your body in­stantly feels bet­ter. Why would you not take the chance to stretch?

Both of these starter tips work, I prom­ise.

Third is set­ting the cor­rect tem­per­a­ture. Easy if you’ve got cli­mate con­trol; harder if you’re on man­ual air con­di­tion­ing.

Next, turn the ra­dio on at a low-ish vol­ume, turn it off for 10 min­utes mid-way through your jour­ney and then put it back on again. This one is es­pe­cially ef­fec­tive on faster roads where the miles flow by all the faster.

The next two are more or less duds. Con­ti­nen­tal’s list rec­om­mends open­ing your win­dow a lit­tle if the weather per­mits and chew­ing some gum. Sugar-free, if you know what’s good for you. I can’t say ei­ther of these made any dif­fer­ence to the length of time it felt like the jour­ney took.

Fi­nally, be cour­te­ous. You can’t have a good jour­ney if you’re rag­ing about peo­ple push­ing, un­in­vited, into the line ahead of you.

What­ever hap­pens on your drive, let it go as quickly as you can and fo­cus on what’s ahead – both lit­er­ally and fig­u­ra­tively. It won’t do you any good to stew over things. This one I had trou­ble with, but I’m get­ting there.

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