Traffic woes – and what personal planning has to do with it!


Traffic woes – and what personal planning has to do with it!

When I consistently see mad, chaotic traffic all over the place, it gets me thinking all the time! And in most cases, in most cars on the road, they have just one person in the car, or at best in India, one person and one driver! And that got me thinking what the reason was that so many people chose to drive, even though they knew that they would get stuck in traffic and that it made sense to travel by public transport!

I started thinking about it – and then it dawned on me. That most people chose not to take public transport (notable exception is in Mumbai, in India, to my knowledge) since they did not know WHEN they would complete their work. And some others would decide on the spur of the moment to have a night out with friends – this is definitely lack of planning and for this one off case, they end up using their own transport all the time! And that hit me – that this was actually connected to personal organization and planning.

Research shows that less than 10% of people arrive at work with a plan for the day. And further that they complete most of their work, managing to just about deliver passable stuff. The phrase “on a wing and a prayer” (which means “In poor condition, but just managing to get the job done”) comes to mind. I am sure that many people would take umbrage to this sweeping statement – and say, no that is not me!

So, you might ask, what is the connection between traffic woes and personal planning? It is simple. If I have a plan for the day, and know exactly what I intend accomplishing during the day, I will then be comfortable taking public transport and be sure of completing my work for the day, and then proceed to do whatever else I would like to! And if I do not know what I am going to do, during the working day, then I surely might not know when I will complete my work and head back! This, regardless of the condition of public transport – and that is something I can probably expand on a little.

In my mind, it is about prioritizing – and understanding what really matters to me. If I want to make the most useful use of my time, it probably makes sense to take public transport, or at least “Car pool!” This ensures that I can make use of the time I have usefully. I might even catch up on my sleep – as I used to when I used to take public transport very regularly, while I was in corporate employment. I can listen to music, maybe even an audio book, which adds knowledge; or simply enjoy the pleasures of watching humankind in the public place.

And if everyone who uses their own transport all the time, even starts using public transport just 1 day out of 5, that means a 20% drop in their contribution to traffic density! And coupled with having a plan, for the day, life could actually become more streamlined and easier! I have intentionally kept the points simple and without going into all details of the thoughts! In conclusion, there is a significant chance that better personal organization, planning and prioritizing could actually make lives better! This does not mean that life is without colour and routine though! Just that I can plan the deviations and colour in my life ahead of time, and yet be in the moment, to savour the moment!

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