Yet that’s how long many of us drive to work every week, often stuck in traffic on our 30-minute, 45-minute, or even hour-long commute.
But today, I’m going to give you 10 tips to help you turn those “wasted” hours into productive work time, keeping you reorganized, reenergized, and extra efficient once you reach your practice.
First, a little data on our drive times.
Just how much time do we spend stuck in traffic?
The average American wastes 27 hours a year stuck in traffic. (That doesn’t mean their total commute time is 27 hours of course, but that’s how long we sit in traffic jams that don’t move.)
At least $78 billion a year is lost every year in wasted working hours and extra gas.
Which cities are the worst for commuters?
Here is a list of the worst 10 for annual hours of delay (not total drive time) per commuter for U.S. metropolitan areas:
Washington D.C.: 67 hours
Los Angeles: 61 hours
San Francisco: 61 hours
New York: 59 hours
Boston: 53 hours
Houston: 52 hours
Atlanta: 51 hours
Chicago: 51 hours
Philadelphia: 48 hours
Seattle: 48 hours.
How bad are our highways?
31% of highways in the U.S. suffer serious traffic congestions. Over the last 25 years, highway traffic has increased 131%.
By the way, our highways account for only 1.2% of our total roadways but include 50% of our truck traffic and 25% of all passenger traffic.
How can chiropractors make the best use of their drive time every day?
1. Adjust your regular work/practice hours so you miss peak rush hour by half an hour or more. Just by going in early you can clip a few hours off of your commute every week – AND you’ll get a jump on the day!
When it comes to driving home, staying open an extra hour is also most convenient for patients that work until 5pm. Or, you can hit a gym near your practice after work every day and then leave for home 45 minutes later.
2. Listen to plenty of audio books and other audio newspapers, news, and trade periodicals while you drive.
3. Schedule phone “meetings” during your commute time, with you assistant or admin on the line as well to take notes and handle any follow up.
4. Even better, arrange a networking or referral meeting or coaching call with peers, mentors, and your network while you are all driving to work.
5. Organize you day while you drive by using voice memo software (or a simple digital recorder) to go over your To Do list. You can also arrange for your assistant to be on the phone with you at the same time every morning to plan your day and give him/her tasks to prioritize.
6. Make a bunch of work calls (or call and say hi to your mom!) using a hands free device on your phone or in your car. Adding a dozen quick calls to patients every day will also greatly increase your patient satisfaction and referral rates.
7. Listen to interesting podcasts while you drive. There are plenty from the field of health, chiropractic, or others with stimulating and enlightening content.
8. Even better, RECORD your own podcast while you drive! Remember that you’ll be able to edit all of the audio later so don’t be afraid to get started on a topic and just flow!
9. Get an audio version of professional courses, college degree programs, or second language lessons so you can expand your mind – and your skill set – as you drive.
10. Breath deeply, try to relax, and think of your commute as scheduled down time for you to clear your mind and chill. But if you’re worried about getting TOO relaxed as you drive, practice affirmations and your own positive mantras as you drive.
We challenge you to try a few of these out next week, and tell us how it goes!