fbpx

Avoid the Traffic Jam to Succeed

by Don Smith

All products and services featured on this site are independently selected by our authors and editors. If you buy something through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

I left work at 5:01 PM yesterday, a rarity for me. Pulling out of the parking lot, I realized I was stuck in a traffic jam, at least as bad as traffic gets in Springfield, Illinois. Raised in the country where the nearest neighbor lived a mile away, I hate traffic with a passion.

While I'm no stranger to long days, having worked 36 hours straight and 80 hours in 4 days (and yes I know that's an average of 20 hours a day), these days I don't work nearly that many hours. I don't usually stop working right at five though.

I long ago realized the importance of work-life balance, and make it a priority to spend time with my family, so please don't think I'm telling you to work your life away when reading this article. What I am suggesting is that you stop watching the clock.

White water rafting
Do Make Time for Family
Don's Family White Water Rafting

Go the Extra Mile and Avoid the Traffic Jam

It's incredible the difference in staying those extra few minutes makes. I can wrap up whatever I am working on, and enjoy a little bit of time without distractions. On top of that, I often have the opportunity to visit with a good friend, the owner of our company, before I leave. It's a good buffer time before I dive into home life with my five kids.

By the time I hit the parking lot, it's usually empty. The traffic is virtually non-existent, and I can buzz right home rather than getting frustrated as I attempt to pull out of our office. Without fighting everyone else on the road, I often arrive home only a few minutes later than I do when stuck in the 5:00 traffic jam.

It's probably important to note that I don't stay for many hours after the end of the workday either. If you're spending most of your life at work, your home life will suffer, and vice-versa.

A Different Mentality

Growing up, I had about an hour of chores feeding and watering animals before and after school every day; that's just what you did as a farm kid. I was done with my work when I got done with it, not when a clock had a certain number on it. Rain, snow, or shine, the animals had to be fed and watered, so you just learned to deal with it and get the job done no matter what.

On a farm, the job is done when it's done or when you can't physically go any longer

That mentality has served me well in business. It's why I don't watch the clock, and why I regularly get to visit with the owner who has the same mentality after hours. It's why I'm now the general manager of our company and will likely take it over soon.

Follow the Crowd, Get Stuck in the Traffic Jam

If you want to be like everyone else and get stuck in the traffic jam as you rush home from a job you hate as soon as the minute hand touches five, by all means, continue doing that.

If you want to enjoy your work and drive home a little more, stop watching the clock. You might find that you miss the traffic jam, get known as the person who goes the extra mile in your career, get to spend some time chatting with a friend, and still make it home at about the same time.

Comment

About the Author 

Don Smith

The Personal Growth Channel founder, Don Smith also owns a technology company, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and enjoys seeing people achieve their goals. Happily married with five children, he lives in Springfield, Illinois.

Articles You May Like


Procrastination is the act or habit of delaying or postponing tasks, especially something that requires immediate action. In other words, it is the complete failure

Read More
How to Stop Procrastination From Stalling Your Career

Last night during our walk in the middle of nowhere I noted something odd. A few bright colors seemed to appear at the side of

Read More
Do You Know the Difference Between Openness and Recklessness?

One of the most difficult lessons for most people to learn is to over deliver without making outlandish promises. Generously helping people positions you to

Read More
Do You Over Promise But Under Deliver?

I do not follow the news. I do not trust the news. I am hardly intelligent but my mind is strong. But my mind is

Read More
Fear Turns Your Mind into Mush

I went to town on lunch yesterday. 3 sausage slabs. 3/4 of a bacon cheeseburger. Pancakes. The volume? Not insane by my standards. I eat

Read More
Hugging Your Humanity

Most people have heard of the wisdom talisman: “Live and let live.” But few human minds REALLY embody, apply and LIVE the concept from practical,

Read More
Why Should You REALLY Live and Let Live?

10 years ago I would have called today a bad day. A few separate events triggered mild fears I still cling to. Minus the initial,

Read More
Why Bad Days Are Your Most Pivotal Days

Across the board, I finally learned this lesson: numbers mean nothing but generous, genuine, loving friends, fans, customers and clients mean EVERYTHING. Largely, I embodied

Read More
1 Lesson FINALLY Learned After 10 Years Online

My wife and I are selling the house. After the sale we intend to hop into the car and travel the USA. Road trip. We

Read More
Why Choosing Prolonged Comfort Leads to Depression and Little Freedom
>