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Audiobooks to control driving frustrations

Koen WellensKoen Wellens

Imagine a world where no driver is ever frustrated, no matter how long he or she is on the road.

We, software engineers, spend a lot of time on the road. Not all of us live right next to our offices. Not so long ago, traffic and driving frustrated me enormously. Kind of like the Hulk, but without the huge muscles and green skin. Here’s my story.

shutterstock_461227351

Driving stress

shutterstock_457287538I was twenty-two years old, when I started working as a software engineer. After finishing my studies, a growing software development company offered me a nice job. There were a lot of benefits, a company car being one of them. I felt like I had won the jackpot. Until one week before the first workday. My boss told me that I had to drive – at least – 120 kilometers per day. And that’s a lot. In the beginning I used a tight scheme, waking up at 5.30 AM.

The result? I got tired and cranky, especially towards other drivers. They were always driving in my way. Never driving the maximum allowed speed. Not letting me pass when I wanted to. And don’t get me started about rainy days. Many people seem to lose their driving skills when two drops of water fall from the sky.

My first audiobook

shutterstock_45728753855I kept this up for eight months. I was exhausted and I got angry for no reason. Damn. It must have been so hard to live with me. At some point, my team leader told me he listened to audiobooks in his car sometimes. He had an Audible account and listened to a lot of non-fiction. I decided to give it a try. With my free Audible credit I listened to Stephen King’s Joyland.

My mind was blown. I had found the holy grail of calmness.

shutterstock_144352924Currently, my library counts over a hundred audiobooks. Traffic doesn’t get me frustrated anymore. “Please, don’t go,” I say to cars that get out of my way now. I know ten minutes longer on the road won’t kill me. It’s just more time to listen to an awesome book.

 

Be careful though

I started giving this advice to people that had long daily drives. Most of them gave it a try and still listen to audiobooks on the road. Seems like I’m not the only one who enjoys it. Some told me that they are a lot calmer now whilst driving. A few friends mentioned that audiobooks were not for them.

They are so focused on the road that they find it hard to listen. When I talk to people about audiobooks now, I ask them to be careful. If you feel that you’re losing focus on the road, stop listening. I have no problems with concentrating on the road. Crazy as it sounds, audiobooks make me mostly feel less distracted.

On the road to become an audiobook champion

shutterstock_453550999For me, audiobooks were lifesavers. I can finally enjoy my rides to and from work. People started to notice that my frustrated moments were over. A lot of books that had been on my to-read list have been processed. That list hasn’t shortened though. There are still so many books I want to read.

Lucky for me, my daily drives are still long enough for a good listen. Audiobooks make me zen. I think they keep me sane when being on the road.

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Pieter Van DriesscheJan Eerdekens Recent comment authors
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Jan Eerdekens
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Jan Eerdekens

Great post!. I noticed a similar effect when I started to listen to podcasts while driving. They have the benefit of being a bit ‘lighter’ than audiobooks I think, so you’re a bit less likely to get to engrossed in them. I now even listen to podcast while doing chores around the house or while cooking.

Pieter Van Driessche
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Pieter Van Driessche

The same here!