Don’t get us wrong – we love cars. But if there’s one thing that most of us don’t like, it’s spending more time driving than we have to. We’re talking about the bumper-to-bumper rush hour kind of driving, or the long commute to and from work. How can we reduce that kind of driving and, in the process, free up time, simplify our lives, and spend more energy doing the things we love? (Which, ironically enough, may include working on said car or daydreaming about buying the next car.) Well, we have a few ideas.
6 Tips for Driving Less
Traffic and highway miles are frustrating. At the very least, they’re expensive and wasteful. Here are some helpful tactics you can use to spend less time trailing someone else’s tailpipe and more time doing the things you love.
- Delegate Work Tasks Whenever Possible
Consider whether or not you really need to be driving – particularly when it comes to work-related tasks. If you’re self-employed or a business owner, delegating these tasks to other people could free up time in your schedule to do other things.
Take a landlord as an example. Simply hiring a property manager could essentially eliminate the need to spend hours in the car every week. This time could then be reallocated to high-value tasks that grow the business.
- Work From Home
To get to work, the U.S Department of Transportation reports the average commuter travels approximately 15 miles one way (30 miles roundtrip). One in three commuters travels in excess of 16 miles one way. That’s a lot of drive time just to arrive at work!
In today’s day and age, there’s nothing weird or unusual about working from home. In fact, it’s often encouraged and praised. Try working from home – either full-time or part-time – and you’ll eliminate the commute to and from the office.
- Live Closer to Work and Play
When it comes to choosing a house or apartment, make it a point to live closer to the areas that you frequent. This includes shopping, dining, work, schools, etc. By choosing a central location, you avoid having to travel all over town just to run basic errands.
- Have Your Groceries Delivered
Everyone knows they can shop online for basic goods, but did you know that you can also get your groceries delivered to your doorstep? Considering that the average household makes at least two trips to the supermarket each week, this has the potential to cut down on over 100 commutes every single year. Not bad!
- Take Alternative Methods of Transportation
Driving by car is just one mode of transportation among many. Consider mixing up how you travel in order to spend less time behind the wheel. Options include walking, jogging, cycling, public transportation, and carpooling.
Many of these methods are easier if you live in a city, but you’d be surprised to learn how feasible carpooling or cycling can be even if you’re out in the suburbs. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
- Start Small
If none of these ideas sound feasible, you might need to start smaller and build up over time. One suggestion is to pick a day of the week and commit to not driving at all for 24 hours. It could be a Wednesday, a Sunday, or any day in between. By committing to not driving on this day, you theoretically reduce your driving by 14 percent in one fell swoop. It also trains you to become less dependent on driving, which will spill over into other days.
Where Can You Cut Back?
We’re all different. Some of us have careers where we can delegate tasks with ease and spend less time driving. Others of us have to drive in order to generate any income at all. Some of us live in cities where walking and cycling are realistic. Others of us live in rural or suburban areas where there’s no choice but to drive if you want to run errands.
The point isn’t to follow some strict regimen or rulebook. Instead, find what works for you and look for natural ways to cut back. In doing so, you’ll discover a great deal of freedom, less stress, and more purpose in your day-to-day life.