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jerryking : commuting   12

What to Do When You’re Bored With Your Routines
March 29, 2019 | The New York Times | By Juli Fraga.

Boredom isn’t a character flaw. It’s a state brought on by a behavioral phenomenon called hedonic adaptation: the tendency for us to get used to things over time. This explains why initially gratifying activities and relationships can sometimes lose their luster. “Humans are remarkably good at growing accustomed to the positive and negative changes in their lives,” Sometimes this is a good thing, like when “it comes to adversities like losing a loved one, divorce or downsizing,” .....“We adjust fairly well, but this same flexibility can be detrimental to how we respond to positive life events.”....Think about the last time you got a raise, bought a new car, moved to a new city or fell in love. At first these experiences bring about an immense sense of joy, but over time they all just become part of the routine. We adjust our expectations and move on, ready for the next thing that will excite us again — this is called the hedonic treadmill. It’s why your favorite songs, TV shows and restaurants can start to feel dull after a while.......hedonic adaptation serves an evolutionary purpose.....“If our emotional reactions didn’t weaken with time, we couldn’t recognize novel changes that may signal rewards or threats,” we’d overlook cues needed to make important, daily decisions about our safety, relationships and careers.....understanding the connection between hedonic adaptation and boredom can help us maneuver around this “stuck” feeling. Psychologists have found that adaptation is more common when interactions with situations, people and events remain unchanged......

(1) Eat lunch with chopsticks (metaphorically speaking, that is):
eating food in unconventional ways can make eating and drinking feel more novel....The takeaway: Approaching tasks in imaginative ways could prevent boredom from sabotaging your (metaphorical) lunch hour.
(2) Work somewhere fresh:
Spending too much time in the same environment, as we all can, can cause a boredom buildup. If you work from home, mix things up by working in a new place, like a coffee shop or a library; if you work from an office, try changing up the layout of your desk or work area.......Changes don’t need to be large to have an impact. Simply accessorizing your desk with fresh flowers or approaching a work project in a novel way can make a difference....
(3) Entertain at home:
Not only is boredom a buzzkill, but it can be toxic to our partnerships. “Boredom is a common relationship issue that can lead to maladaptive coping skills,” .......While apathy can cause marital discontent, it can be tricky to recognize because relationships that are O.K. aren’t necessarily engaging, “Mixing up our social worlds can strengthen friendships and romantic partnerships because evolving relationships keep things interesting.” Try going out on a limb by doing something creative, like organizing a group cooking party, a themed dinner or an old-fashioned tea party.
(4) Pose a question:
Instead of asking well-worn questions like, “How was your day?” or “Did you have a good weekend?” get curious about a co-worker, friend or partner by asking something personal. Two standbys to try: “What are you looking forward to today?” or “Is there anything I can help you with this week?” If you really want to grab someone’s attention, try something quirkier like, “What’s one song that describes your mood today?” Interpersonal curiosity reminds those in our social circles that we’re interested in who they are. Not only that, but discovering new information about friends and co-workers can revitalize conversations and bolster intimacy.
(5) Mix up your commute:
Monotonous tasks like commuting to and from work can end one’s day on a stale note.If you drive, take a different route home or listen to a new podcast. If you walk or use public transportation, greet a stranger or put away your Smartphone and do some old-fashioned people watching.

Whatever you do to quell boredom, keep things interesting by altering your behavior often. Variety can not only interrupt hedonic adaptation; it might just be the spice of happiness.
adaptability  boredom  commuting  co-workers  creative_renewal  curiosity  habits  happiness  howto  novel  psychologists  questions  relationships  routines  signals  variety 
april 2019 by jerryking
GO Transit calls time on free parking
APRIL 6, 2018 | The Globe and Mail | OLIVER MOORE.

It costs up to $40,000 to build one parking spot at a GO train station, and most often, commuters pay nothing to use it. The agency that runs the transit service says this can’t go on......The simplest way to encourage people not to drive to GO stations is to have more of the passengers living nearby. Some of the new stations proposed under the RER plan are in urban areas, with ready-made clientele close at hand. And the area around other stations can densify, making GO more convenient for more people.

“Let’s turn them into active mobility hubs,” said Cherise Burda, the director of the City Building Institute at Ryerson University. “Looking at utilizing the station lands as communities and not just as parking lots, that’s where you’re going to get a lot more ridership.”

Proximity goes only so far, though. Metrolinx stats show that a lot of their passengers are quite close to their station already. Some 13 per cent of them travel less than one kilometre to a GO rail station, and another 19 per cent come between one and two kilometres. But only 18 per cent of passengers arrive by foot, transit or bicycle, meaning that a large number of people are making short drives to the station.

After expanding parking at a breakneck pace for years, Metrolinx is hoping to slash the number of rail passengers who drive alone to the station by 40 per cent. Parking will be discouraged through price, while access to stations for those coming by foot, transit and bike will be improved. Also, more residential density around stations will be encouraged.
GO  terminals  transit  free  parking  Metrolinx  commuting  RER  property_development 
april 2018 by jerryking
Globe editorial: A little transit miracle grows on King Street - The Globe and Mail
'Make no little plans," goes architect Daniel Burnman's oft quoted line. "They have no magic to stir men's blood."

A three-kilometre stretch of King Street, which runs through the heart of downtown and is home to the busiest streetcar route in the city, has been redesigned to give public transit priority. For decades, streetcars have been slowed to a walking pace at rush hour, held up by a crush of cars. As of a week ago, however, cars are being severely restricted on King, and must turn right off of the newly transit-centric street at every intersection. Under the one-year pilot project, only streetcars can use the downtown stretch of King as a thoroughfare.

The aim is to greatly speed up the King streetcar, which carries 65,000 passengers a day. That's more people than any above-ground transit route in the city, roughly as many as the 500 buses of the provincial GO Transit's entire suburban bus system, and more than the Toronto Transit Commission's Sheppard subway. (The Sheppard line was one of those Big Plans that never made sense based on ridership or economics, but which got built anyhow because it had the magic to stir the blood of well-connected politicians.)

The cost of this big change on one of the busiest transit routes in the city? Small. Instead of being measured in billions of dollars and decades of construction, it involved the exorbitant expense of trucking in a few concrete barriers, changing a handful of road signs and buying some yellow paint. Construction period? Counted in days. This in a city used to endlessly debating big, transformative transit solutions that, if they could get funded, would arrive around the time one of Jagmeet Singh's grandchildren is elected prime minister.

For example, look at the so-called Downtown Relief Line. It's a badly needed subway expansion that has been under consideration for more than half a century. Politicians, who have repeatedly shelved the DRL because it will do a better job of serving passengers than voters, have recently rediscovered it, and feasibility studies are once again moving forward. But even under the most optimistic timetable – and assuming Toronto, Queen's Park and Ottawa find the money to pay for it – it's still at least a decade and a half away from completion.

Meanwhile, between a Friday night and a Monday morning, King Street was transformed from a run-of-the-mill road into the country's newest public transit thru-way.

But beyond King Street, politicians and promoters continue searching for the biggest of big transit ideas for the GTA. For example, the provincial Liberals continue to push ahead with planning a $21-billion (before cost overruns) high-speed rail line between Toronto and Windsor. And the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, the quango that runs Pearson International Airport, is pushing the idea of making itself the region's second public-transit hub, a move it estimates will cost $11.2-billion. The concept, however questionable its value to most GTA commuters, aims to excite the new Canada Infrastructure Bank, while pleasing 905-region voters and the politicians who woo them.

The challenge is that much of the GTA is too low density to support high-intensity public transit. The two big exceptions are routes running from the periphery to the compact employment area of downtown Toronto, and transit within the central parts of Toronto, which are dense enough to allow many people to live car-free.
Toronto  commuting  traffic_congestion  pilot_programs  TTC  transit  editorials  DRL  GTA  density  HSR  GTAA  hubs  Pearson_International  YYZ  King_Street  Queen’s_Park 
november 2017 by jerryking
Rise Above Your Awful Commute - WSJ
By Sue Shellenbarger
June 20, 2017

MANAGING A STRESSFUL COMMUTE

***To Stay Productive***:

Download work onto your mobile device in advance, in case you lose connectivity.
Charge your devices and carry a backup battery if needed.
Use the commute time to plan your day and set goals.
Schedule a one-hour buffer before your first meeting, in case you’re delayed.

***To Lower Tensions in Crowds***

Consider how other commuters must be feeling and treat them with empathy.
Cooperate with others in finding ways to ease the strain.
Wear light, comfortable clothes and shoes and carry water.
Practice deep breathing, muscle relaxation or visualization to calm yourself.
Download and listen to calming music.

***To Shake Off a Bad Commute***

Take a walk around the block before settling in at your desk.
Engage in a calming ritual such as stopping for a latte at a friendly coffee shop.
Think or write about an inspiring personal value, such as caring for family or being kind to strangers.
Immerse yourself in a setting with plants or natural scenes, such as a park, atrium or room with a nature mural or photos.
commuting  deep_breathing  rituals  transit  mindfulness  complaints 
june 2017 by jerryking
Improving your commuting time - The Globe and Mail
HARVEY SCHACHTER
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May 12, 2017

five strategies to consider:

Use the time to shift your mindset: The commute affords you the opportunity to shift from personal to professional mode. Rituals can help: One study shows those who developed small routines on the way to work – such as checking the news on the train or having a look at the calendar for the day – felt more excited about the day ahead, more satisfied with their jobs and less stressed than individuals with no set routine. Buying a latte from the same coffee shop may even do the trick.

Prepare to be productive: ....when you spend some of your trip planning for the day or the week ahead you arrive at work better prepared and therefore happier, more energetic and more productive. “Simply ask yourself: What steps can I take today and during this week to accomplish my work and career goals? How can I be more productive?” they advise.

Find your “pockets of freedom”: Usually the commute feels out of control but they suggest focusing on what you can control. Think also about activities you enjoy – such as listening to music or podcasts or reading books – that you can fit into your trip. You might even use the time as a chance to learn a new skill – knitting or a foreign language, for example....“So try to tune out the negatives of commuting and concentrate on the opportunity to express yourself and recharge.”

Share the spirit: Commuting can be lonely if you drive by yourself or sit in an isolated cocoon on public transit. ...talking to strangers can improve well-being for commuters. So reach out to those around you and chat, or use social media. If you’re driving, call a friend on your speaker phone or try to find a commuting pal to travel with.

Reduce your commute: Consider living closer to your work. ... Carefully consider the downsides of a long commute before committing yourself to one,” they suggest.

More generally, think about your commute, its consequences on your life and the five changes they suggest.
commuting  Harvey_Schachter  recharging  personal_productivity  rituals  routines 
may 2017 by jerryking
TTC’s lawyers to examine UberHop commuting service | Toronto Star
By: Vanessa Lu Business reporter, Betsy Powell City Hall Bureau, Published on Mon Dec 14 2015
Uber  UberHop  Toronto  TTC  transit  commuting 
december 2015 by jerryking
Public transit and the rush-hour commute now federal issues - The Globe and Mail
CAMPBELL CLARK
Public transit and the rush-hour commute now federal issues
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Apr. 27 2015
transit  GTA  transportation  Milton  traffic_congestion  infrastructure  GO  public_transit  rush-hour  commuting 
april 2015 by jerryking
Needed: national urban strategy - The Globe and Mail
Mar. 29, 2011|G&M|CAROL WILDING & MERV HILLIER.
Infrastructure has not kept pace with the growth of our cities. Our
report, Toronto as a Global City, documents what any commuter in rush
hour can tell you. Canada’s transportation systems have fallen well
behind those of the rest of the world. Among 23 global cities, 3 of the
bottom 5 positions in the transportation ranking are Canadian (Toronto,
Vancouver & Halifax). The avg. commuter round trip ranges from 67 to
80 minutes. Toronto again is last, longer than NYC, London and LA.
Canada has to do better. If employees and goods can’t get to their
destination on time, productivity will suffer. The quality and
availability of infrastructure directly affect business locations and
operations. In the GTA, congestion now costs the economy $6-B annually;
that will rise to $15-B annually by 2031 without sufficient levels of
investment. Across the country, the cost of underinvestment in just our
transportation infrastructure is even higher.
Toronto  urban  strategy  congestion  commuting  rush-hour  cities  infrastructure  underinvestments  traffic_congestion 
april 2011 by jerryking
Weisberg: What Else Are We Wrong About? | Newsweek Newsweek Voices - Jacob Weisberg | Newsweek.com
Jacob Weisberg
What Else Are We Wrong About?

Homeownership encourages longer commutes. And at least one study says it makes you fat and unhappy.
Published Apr 4, 2009
From the magazine issue dated Apr 13, 2009
commuting  counterintuitive  happiness  home_ownership  unhappiness 
april 2009 by jerryking

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