How to Make The Most of Traffic Jams?

According to New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur is one the major cities in Asia that has worst traffic congestion. Most Malaysians drive daily to work and we spent a hefty 53 minutes on average inside our cars daily. Like me, I live only a mere 17.2 kilometers away from where I work but it takes me at least one hour to get to my office.

Not only that, traffic congestion are costly and affects one’s psychological being as well. Now, that is quite alarming isn’t it?

So, how do beat this ungodly monster of woes then?

Legend says, if we cannot beat them why not we embrace them instead.

Yes, I am definitely suggesting for us to enjoy the early morning and after-work of being glued to your car seat. There are a few fun-loving things we can do in the car. Here’s how:

(1) Eat. Eat. Eat.

After spending the last few years eating on my way to work and classes, I can testify that it works 80% of the time. There’s an art in alternating between feeding spoonfuls of rice into your mouth and steering the wheels into the right direction. Or maybe, if you are a pro, you can eat a sandwich on one hand while driving on the other.

Say you commute one hour daily and feel like it’s a waste of time, let’s just redefine those precious moments as your meal times. It’s not the most ideal place but at least your time and tummy is filled.

(2) Podcast

Yes, it’s time to train those hearing skills of yours.

Stuart Robertson, a hypnotherapist in Edinburgh, mentioned that our minds are most likely to wonder while we drive as it is a passive activity. This is known as the “highway hypnosis where drivers tend to “zone out” especially when driving long distance.

Thus, listening to talk shows and discussions can do wonders for our brain. It increases our general knowledge and there’s nothing to lose. In case you ever gave the excuse of not having enough time to read, then this is the perfect timing to maximize those hours by expanding our worldviews via listening.

Podcasts or audio books are aplenty if you know where to look for them. Some platforms I’ve used myself is Spotify and Audible as they have a huge selection of content. Spotify has different categories to choose from while Audible is more of an audio book with various fictions and non-fictions to choose from.

Personally, I do not recommend watching live stream videos on Netflix or YouTube as it can decrease one’s attention span. Plus, I am pretty sure you have to pause or rewind certain parts which would defeat the purpose of watching it in the first place right? I believe all things should experience as it is without any distractions and videos are not ideal while driving.

Unless, it’s a major congestion where snails are even faster than your Mustang. Then, by all means, enjoy your online show and be patient. Remember, this traffic too, shall pass!

(3) Get involved with your go-to radio stations.

Another thing I would highly recommend (though I haven’t tried it myself) is to get actively and passionately involved in radio stations nationwide. Because why not right? I am sure you had those Eureka moments where radio presenters chat on pressing issues close to your hearts and you gab away silently in the soliloquies of your heart.

All radio stations – no matter what the frequency is – will host daily discussions and contest on various topics. I reckon, just get yourself involved already. Call them up and state whatever opinions you have.  You could also dedicate songs to your friends and family. It’s a great way to destress yourself and have fun jamming in the jam 😉

For me personally, I usually tune in to Mix FM or Lite FM. In the morning session, Mix FM usually have this trivia contest between two participants and the one who wins will get RM100 and gets to come back the next day for another session. I’ve heard of people winning up to RM700 (7 sessions) just by answering trivia questions (most are fairly simple and based on general knowledge). Instead of me screaming along the answers with participants on-air, might as well I join and participate for real. Who knows, I could win extra cash just by sitting in my car. I can be a freelance professional radio game participant (Yes, I just innovate a new role for myself).

Of course, please use hands free calls for this. We don’t you to bang into someone’s car now do we?

(4) Exercise

Yes, you read that right. E.X.E.R.C.I.S.E.

I bet staying fit is part of everyone’s new year’s resolution but as weak creatures, we fail to do so. Like. Every. Single. Year. We just never treat it as a top priority and we procrastinate till delusions kick in and tell us it’s okay we can start again next year.

Nope. I’d say, let’s start today, during traffic congestion in the car.


Wall Street Journal said how driving and sitting still for a prolonged period can easily cause 35 chronic diseases and conditions. Stretch away those painful neck and back strains. Move those arms in the air. If your vehicle is not moving, at least you are.


Through stretching of course. Sure, no one even bats an eyelid if you say your fitness regime consists of stretching daily in the car (heck, even cats do that) but trust me, there is a lot more to stretching than meets the eye.

Your body will thank you for it as stretching increases one’s blood circulation, reduces body stiffness and possibilities of blood clots. Overall, it will make you feel way better than before.

Go ahead, stretch those necks, pecs, arms and legs then.

(5) Quality Time

This is an extra tip for those who carpools with their partners, family members, friends or housemates. Treat the hours spent in the car as a catch-up session with one another. Most of our days are filled up with our 8-5 job where we spend most of our days with coworkers and colleagues. It’s unfortunate that our dear ones get to the drained, tired version of us at the end of the day where we just want to sleep and repeat. Conversations are too waning and eventually everyone just play with their phones till they fall asleep.

Then, the cycle continues.

I am sure the hours would just breeze through and your heart will feel contented and fulfilled with meaningful conversations and jokes. Triple points for that. A time with loved ones is a time well-spent.

How about that? Sounds a bit more bearable right?

It’s time to bid selamat tinggal to the nightmares and say hello to increased productivity and positivity.

Would you try the tips above? Share with us in the comments down below, we love to hear your thoughts on it.

Nadhira Hizwani


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