I currently operate two businesses out of my home so my need for driving has been reduced to three to four days a week.
When I worked a 40 hour per week job about 20 miles from my house the commute time to work ranged from 45 to 50 minutes with moderate to heavy traffic on the way to work, and 20 to 30 minutes returning. I worked swing shift and a couple of graveyard shifts.
increased stress and anxiety
When I was working I practiced the art of being on-time, which is arriving 5 to 15 minutes early if possible. With the USA work ethic is a frantic obsessiveness to gain every advantage and never stop working. Such illusory notions as multitasking have been introduced to give us more time to do everything and this is: The Myth of Multitasking
Trying to compress more activities into a finite time can lead to maddening outcomes with increased stress and anxiety. Down-time can lead to creative leaps in our work when we appear to be doing nothing but day-dreaming perhaps.
The Peace System or cooperative automobile driving – works.
When I was commuting to work 4 to 5 days a week using a car I purchased it gave good gas mileage. Now that I am working from home and ninety percent of my trips are short and local gas mileage has dropped (admittedly not very good planning – unforeseen health challenges forced me to retire earlier than I had intended). To work on the ecology of it I drive less. This means planning trips even short ones. I apply the same principles of arriving on time to driving to a destination like a friend’s house, the Post Office, market, or bank.
Driving is about intention followed by executing actions
Drivers, Roads, Traffic, Traffic-Lights, Freeways, Police are part of the largest Peace System in the world. Each of us gets a license to drive a car by which a certain set of rules are applicable. The Police are there as part of a safety-net to ensure that the rules are followed so the system runs as smoothly as possible. When we follow the rules, we can move from place to place safely. The Peace System or cooperative automobile driving – works.
I give myself enough time
Driving is about intention followed by executing actions. Intention/action moves can be carried out with a calm compassion, with thoughtlessness, with humor, with thanks, with rushed anger and entitlement (or wild abandonment) etc. I depart (most of the time) 10 to 15 minutes before an appointment so I can have a stress-free drive, use intention effectively and work on being patient especially with drivers who think they are control the only car on the road. If I am turning the car I try to use my turn signal at least 500 to 1,000 yards before the turn. This is about good communication (with intention).
Projecting an intention towards another driver allows me to be more aware of possible unpredictable actions they may take based on their distractability or in other words driving defensively. Also I find that keeping my speed within the limit allows me to minimize wait times at traffic stops even in heavy traffic to some degree.
Driving becomes pleasant when I give myself enough time to do it. When I give myself time to work and lie idle as long as I apply a modicum of awareness to what I am doing.