I’ve been musing recently, about using your cellphone while driving. A lot of people agree that this is generally a dangerous thing to do, and in other countries there is legislation against this (i.e., if a cop saw you yakking away on the road, he could pull you over and give you a ticket). The main reason behind this legislation is that you supposedly can’t focus on driving while talking. This is, of course, patently ludicrous and people pushing for this law clearly do not drive themselves to work. Either that or, they care about the driving experience so much that they treat it with the same respect as going to the theater, or church.
Anyone who spends a certain amount of time on the road everyday (my daily average is about 2.5 hours) knows that boredom and ennui can set in fairly quickly, especially when the traffic is crawling and the radio is gurgling the usual commercial nonsense. It is during these periods that we start to zone out, daydream or become drowsy. This is, I believe, the precise moment that performing some other activity is particularly helpful, as your brain is shaken out of Standby and forced to keep alert. These activities include talking on the phone, listening to podcasts, eating, or taking photos of the cars next to you in a jam.
Because of the inordinate amount of time I spend in my car, I’ve found that I can make the most efficient use of my day by transplanting some of my office tasks into my travel time. Holding brief conversations with the team or our clients while on the road means I can actually start acting on the results of those conversations as soon as I get to the office. And listening to a handful of regular podcasts (Buzz Out Loud, IT Conversations, Cranky Geeks, The Movie Blog, etc.) means that I’m reasonably informed on the industry without spending the time to read blogs or magazines. And, of course, having breakfast (or lunch) in the car means I’ve saved a good 30 minutes of my day.
It’s ridiculous to posit that introducing a little bit of creativity into an otherwise utterly droll, repetitive routine would be dangerous, particularly when driving to Makati essentially boils down to knowing how to nudge your car forward in 2- or 3-foot increments every 15 seconds. A collision at that speed wouldn’t even scratch your paint job. And honestly, if I didn’t manage my time this way, I would have to cut in on my sleep time instead, and that’s the one chunk of my day that I haven’t figured out how to multi-task around yet.