How to Save Yourself from a Drive-Time Frenzy

It’s 7:45 in the morning. You’ve gotten ready, had your coffee and breakfast, and even gone over the presentation for your 9 a.m. meeting. Your office is just 30 minutes away, so you should get there in plenty of time to prepare, right? If you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, don’t be so sure.

Texas A&M has shared its annual report on what it calls urban congestion and how this affects commutes across the country. The Annual Urban Mobility Report explains that drive time in the Dallas-Fort Worth area could turn that 30-minute commute into a 2-hour trip. Short of moving, what can you do to save time in the morning and get out the door on time? We’ve got some tips.

Prepare in the Evening

How much of your morning routine actually needs to be done in the morning? Just a few things that you can do in the evening to save time are to make breakfast, pack lunches, pick out clothing, and keep an eye on the weather forecast. Getting these everyday necessities out of the way before the morning rush could save you time and stress.

If cooking every night doesn’t sound like your idea of a good time, there are even easy ways to cook your meals just once a week.

Consolidate your Morning Routine

It might seem like you don’t have a minute to spare in the morning, but the little things add up quickly once your alarm goes off. For instance, ladies, realsimple.com recommends saving 50 minutes a week by wrapping your wet hair in a microfiber towel while you go about your morning routine. Not only will this partly dry your hair, but it will also give your steamy bathroom (frizzy hair’s best friend) a chance to clear out.

Another way to save yourself from scrambling on your way out the door is to always leave your essentials in the same place. For example, hang keys on a ring by the front door. Keep umbrellas, jackets, and laptop cases in the same area.

Share Your Drive

Texas A&M’s report shows that nationwide, urban congestion in areas like Dallas-Fort Worth cost us 5.5 billion hours in travel delay and 2.9 billion gallons of extra fuel in 2011. While it’s possible to save yourself enough time in the morning to account for long commutes, helping alleviate the problem of traffic congestion is also an option. If it’s possible, join a carpool group or hop on the bus so you can help cut down on the amount of congestion in your area.