5 Ways to Make Your Commute More Productive and Even Fun!

Untitled design (29)

Drive Your Way to A Great Day!

Is the worst part of your day driving to and from work?  Do you feel like it is a big waste of time?  Do you have road rage or are you anxious by the time you get to work or home?  Whether you drive to work or take public transportation, the commute time is fun and even enjoyable with these tips.
I feel that I’ve spent a good part of my life in my car driving to and from work and to and from appointments.   I used to truly hate it but I’ve figured out a way to make it fun and productive.  In fact, there are times, when I get home and sit in my car for a few extra minutes in the garage “finishing” up my commute activity.
Here are my suggestions:
    1.   Audiobooks.    They are not just for old people or students.  In this day and age, every author makes an audio version of his or her book.  Everything is available from best-selling fiction, to self-help, to biographies to educational titles.  And, you can get a lot of it for free from your local library in CD or electronic format.  In my case, I use Audible.  It is Amazon’s audio book division.   Simply download the Audible app to your cell phone, tablet or computer, register with Audible, pick your book and voilà!  It will appear in your audio library in the Audible app for downloading to your device when you are ready.  Audible allows you to buy a book or you can subscribe.  The subscription option allows you to buy 1, 2, or 3 credits per month to use to purchase a book. Each credit is 1 book. The credits are less expensive than the price of the book so you save some money by subscribing. You can cancel at any time.  If you are not sure what to order, just go to Audible’s store on your device or at Audible.com or go to Amazon and search for a book.  Your Amazon and Audible accounts link so that whatever you buy will be available in your digital library on both sites.Audio books allow me to “read” the books that I don’t have the time to read while I’m commuting. Besides making the commute actually enjoyable, it saves me time!  How many activities do that? Simply connect your phone to the bluetooth in your car and your book will play right through your car speakers and will even pause if you get a phone call. Remember, do not wear headphones when you are driving!
    2. Catching up with Friends and Family.   I don’t know about you, but I often feel that I’m out sync with some of my friends and family.  They are busy and so am I.  Calling them during both of our commutes is a way to reconnect and save time!  Create a weekly “phone date” with your siblings or children during your mutual commutes.  [Click to Tweet]  Again, if you do this through bluetooth, both hands will be on the wheel!
    3. Making To-Do or Shopping Lists.   I have a never-ending “to do” list.  I use an app called Evernote (but there are lots of others) that allow me to simply add things to my to-do or shopping lists by speaking the command.  This way, by the time I get to the store, my list is in my Evernote app on my phone and I’m ready to shop.  Or, my to-do list is current so that I don’t need to sit down and do it when I get home.
    4. Think.   Part of my daily routine is to think through my day and consider events that did not go as well as I would have liked and those that went perfectly.  I do this so that I can think about how I personally handled each of these events and develop a plan to either change the way I acted or decided that in all future similar events that I would act the same.  The car is the perfect time to do that.  I actually talk to myself out loud to affirm my intentions.  When i get home, then any negativity is gone and I am with my family without the burden of those events hanging over my head.
    5. Jam Out to The Perfect Playlist.  We all listen to music in our cars but we are subject to the playlists of either terrestrial radio or satellite unless we create some personalized playlists.  Apple Music and Amazon Prime both allow you to download lots of music for a small monthly subscription fee.  You can then play it through your car speakers from your smart phone or tablet.  My favorite thing to do is think about a band or musician I used to listen to in high school or college, download greatest hits or album from that artist and sing all the way home!  This is guarantee to bring back lots of memories.
I bet you can’t wait to get in your car now!  I would love to hear any tips or suggestions you have for the daily commute!
Caroline Boardman
January 19, 2016
www.balancingyourchemistry.com
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
To schedule an appointment, click here.

The Key to Happiness in Your Job

Untitled design (35)

5 Steps to Making Each Work Day Meaningful

We have a blog schedule.  I know. I, with the help of my very talented and creative staff, put it together.  But, when I sat down to write my article for our regular Wednesday post, I just did not feel like writing about the topic assigned.  That is not like me so I decided to take a few minutes to figure out why.  Once I did, I knew what I needed to write about.  I have struggled to find the time and motivation to do the parts of my job that I love the most because of the never-ending demands on my time.  I just never get the opportunity or blocks of time to really sink my teeth into the projects I love.  We all have that struggle but I ask you – who really benefits when almost all of our time is devoted to doing tasks that are not really where our talents and passion lie? [Click to Tweet]  I contend that no one really benefits – not the employee, the company, nor its customers.  So, what do we do about that?
I love communicating and interacting with people.  I love sharing what I know and learning what they know.  I love sharing information with people that can make them happier and healthier.  In the last year, I have devoted significant time and effort into learning how to do this in a way that reaches the most people – through social media.  I have always had my own Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram accounts and I know the amazing ability of these mediums to connect people and ideas.   Businesses use these mediums as well but, like most, I was not a fan of ads taking over my social space.  Businesses have finally started to realize that salesy ads in people’s timelines alienate, rather than attract, potential customers.  Savvy businesses now know that they need to operate in the social space in the same way that people do. [Click to Tweet] They need to share their own information, share other people’s information and interact in a real and human way.  I love that!  Social media allows a business to develop personal relationships with people that can turn into business relationships. Social media allows us, a functional medicine practice, to give information to people that an alternative to mainstream medicine exists.  Simply put, we can help more people because more people will know what we do.
So now that you know where my passion lies, I can tell you that if I could, I would devote 50% of my time to building those relationships through our company’s Facebook page, Twitter account, Pinterest page, website, and this blog.   That is not even close to realistic.   So, I sat down to figure out a way that would allow me do what I love and do what I need to do (but may not love so much) in a way that best serves me, my company, our clients and anyone else interested in functional medicine and good health.

5 Steps

Step 1:  Determine what you love to do.  What job duties or tasks do you really like?  What gets your creative juices flowing or analytical mind churning in your job?  [Click to Tweet]  What tasks do you never mind doing?  This may take some time to figure out.  I mentioned that I have worked on social media marketing for about a year, but I’ve been President of this company for almost 6 years.  Yes, it took me that long. It does not have to take that long.  Sit down in a quiet place (probably at home) and do some real thinking.
Step 2: Break down that task.  Now that you have this list, break it down.  What about that particular task do you love?   Why do you love it?  For example, do you love it because the task requires you to concentrate on just 1 thing for a block of time?  Or, do you love it because when you are doing that task, you are interacting with people, and not a computer?  Or, do you love it because it gives you a sense of satisfaction; you can cross something off your list?
Step 3:  Get creative.  Now that you have the reasons why you really like a particular part of your job, it’s time to get creative.  Figure out how you can get the feeling you get from doing that job from some of your other job duties. [Click to Tweet]  For example:  If you really love interacting with people, could you set up weekly Skype meeting, or daily phone calls or 15 minute check-in meetings instead of going back and forth on email all day?  If you love a particular task because you can close your door and work uninterrupted, could you figure out a way to do that every day even if for small blocks of time?  (See my solution for this below).  If you love the sense of crossing something off your list, could you start bundling the never-ending tasks with a task that can be completed each day so that you can do more “crossing off.”  Or, could you schedule your day so that you can do 1 “cross-off” item each hour or each day to give you that feeling you love?
Step 4:  Share the Love.  Once you finish Step 3 (and this may take some time), share it.  Everyone has the same struggle in their job, no matter what it is.  Share your ideas with your co-workers and your boss.  You might want to start with the boss first. J  Maybe your ideas could inspire a company initiative bringing greater satisfaction to your boss, your co-workers, and your customers!
Step 5:  Work it.  You’ve come up with your plan, gone through the proper channels to implement it, and shared your ideas.  Now, it’s time to work it!   Follow your plan.  Don’t stray from it.   Since you have communicated with your coworkers about how you will be working going forward, there is no need to defend it.  Just do it (thanks Nike).  You may need to tweak things a bit as you go or when you get promoted because of your ridiculously improved productivity numbers!  Just keep your eye on the goal.
As for me, my love for social media marketing comes from wanting to interact with people in a real and meaningful way, loving the blocks of uninterrupted time it takes to create and share content that really means something to people and liking the “cross=off” concept.  Shortly, I will cross off, “Write Blog Article” from today’s list.   For me and our company, finding an uninterrupted block of time is the biggest hurdle.  A few years ago, I worked with a business coach who noted that the biggest impediment to productivity in the corporate world are the constant “gotta a minute” interruptions.  You know what I mean.  A coworker sticks their head in your door or buzzes you on the intercom needing “just a minute.”  These constant interruptions are irritating and harmful to you, the company and its clients.  Statistics show that once interrupted, it takes an average of 25 minutes to get back on task.[1]  Following this coach’s advice, we implemented a system whereby each person would write out their schedule for the day, writing down each task next to an a particular hour of the day.  Included in this schedule was what we called, GAM Time (or Gotta a Minute time).  GAM time was a block of time that each person could work “uninterrupted.”  Depending on the person’s role in the company, this could range from 15 minutes to 2 hours.  Overall, the tight scheduling process did not work in our company and we scrapped the concept as a whole.
My solution to my recent struggle has been to reinstitute GAM time.   During these times, I cannot be interrupted except in an emergency.  What is an emergency will vary depending on your company. In our business, besides the real emergencies, like flood or fire, emergencies could be if a client only wants to speak with me, or a doctor has an issue that needs addressed immediately, or if an employee needs to leave work early.  I am writing this article during my GAM time although I admit I did answer the phone twice when it rang more than three times.  Hey, I’m a work in progress.  🙂
Everyone says that finding a job that you are passionate about is the key to happiness.  For most of us though, we work where we work because of lots of other reasons that may or may not involve a passion for the job itself.  The answer is not to quit your job, put on a back-pack and roam the country in search of yourself.  The answer is to find something about your job that you are passionate about.  [Click to Tweet]  If you have worked for your company for any length of time, there is something.  Just find and reconnect with it.
I would love to hear your thoughts or ideas on this topic.
Caroline Boardman
July 15, 2015
www.balancingyourchemistry.com
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
To make an appointment, click here.

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/05/opinion/sunday/a-focus-on-distraction.html?_r=0