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BUSINESS MENTOR: 14 Ways to be Productive while in Traffic

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By Armando “BUTZ” Bartolome

All these traffic jams come at a cost. In Metro Manila, the daily economic impact of the loss was calculated to be 3.5 billion pesos (US$67.4 million) in 2017 according to the Japan International Cooperation Agency. In 2012, the figure was 2.4 billion pesos (US$46.3 million).

There are too many vehicles for a road network. It cannot be denied that despite the situation people need to go to work, have meetings and perhaps do daily chores. So can one still be productive?

Here are tips for people 

  1. Patience: First and foremost, every person riding in a private or public vehicle needs to learn if not relearn to be P-A-T-I-E-N-T. There is no use getting irritated or blowing the horn. Road rage is beginning takes its toll in some areas. When traffic becomes standstill, it becomes like a huge parking lot.  It may be good if once in a while we have some form of street-smart entertainment like clowns, jugglers or even singers by the sidewalk. Creativity is a challenge for every Filipino.
  2. Tires Battery Belts Brakes Fuel Coolant Air-condition: Before leaving it may be wise to avoid traveling on a half empty tank. Or check for signs if battery may be sending signals of replacement. Check the cooling system. Any squeaking sounds? When was the last time your air condition system was cleaned and checked?
  3. Mobile Phones and power bank: No doubt with the smartphones these days, battery hardly last a full day. Make sure to carry a good well-charged power bank. There are many choices of power banks in the market. There are those, which can full charge, a mobile phone and tablet 2 or 3 times. Get a reliable brand. If you are using a pre-paid phone, have enough loads.
  4. Bring something to read or work on: Technology has afforded us the ability to read books via electronic transfer. Check out Kindle reader of Amazon. Another amazing discovery is the so-called “ABS CBN TV Plus” and connected to a small television monitor, daily shows as well as news from free channels can be watched. There are certain coverage areas listed for better reception.
  5. If there are children especially infants and toddlers, bring videos of cartoons in case they become restless. Extra pillows and their milk 
  6. A survival bag: Intriguing as it may be but it is a simple bag to contain biscuits, chips and bottled water or juice. Getting stuck for one to two or even three hours can be starving. 
  7. People who have hypertension or heart problems need to feel if they are fit to travel. Always bring necessary medicines. If there is no companion and suddenly something happens do not be afraid to press the horn and call for help. Motorists nearby may be able to provide assistance. The government or even Red Cross must seriously look into having medical units for every 1 or 2 kilometers. This will provide first aid. 
  8. Give Way to Ambulances and fire trucks: Much as we try motorists exert to the best of their ability to allow these vehicles to pass. However, there were instances when I see the driver helpless as nothing moves.
  9. Disposable Urine Bags: I remember a decade ago, there was company that began to sell disposable urine bags. There are separate models for men and women. A gel immediately gets activated once it is used thereby preventing any spillage or foul smell. There are several brands available in the market. Do dispose properly
  10. Be Happy and Listen to Radio AM Drama: I once took a taxi and noticed the driver was in a cheerful mood. Traffic was hardly moving and it was so hot. The air-conditioner system of the cab was fairly all right. I did notice the driver was tuned in to a local radio station airing dramas. He told me it is way of entertaining himself rather than get angry. I listened and especially appreciated the talented voices.
  11. A simple notepad and ballpoint pen may be an effective tool in writing down things that enter one’s mind. It may be about plans, goals or tasks to do. 
  12. Leave Earlier than before: If before one can get to a certain point destination within 1 hour, it is advisable to double if not give an additional of 1.5 hours. Better arrive early than be late. 
  13. Alternate Routes there is an app called WAZE. It is helpful in plotting where to go via the shortest way. However, be discerning as at times it may lead you to some narrow alleys.
  14. Innovative Ways I have seen people who have meetings using SKYPE or FACE TIME. It is best to have a plan and an alternative in case the previous is not possible. Opportunities are aplenty but never let situations like traffic are a major factor. Just staring and doing nothing while in traffic is a waste.

Given any situation, a person with an active entrepreneurial mindset, may easily evolve something to be productive. Most of the time, an opportunity may arise out of even getting stuck in traffic. Whining or making ourselves into a miserable person will never produce any fruitful result. Hoping for our government to solve the situation may take some time. 

As one top motoring columnist would always end “Happy Motoring”, I would say “Have Fun in Traffic”.

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