6 ways to stay productive in Lagos Traffic

12:47 AM

We all know traffic in Lagos is nothing short of horrible. A typical 20 minute commute home elsewhere can sometimes take four hours or more in Lagos. While there’s not a lot we can do about the traffic situation except hope to get home before dawn there are those that use this "opportunity" to get more productive.
 "The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you're in control of your life. If you don't, life controls you"                                  . Tony Robbins
Instead of thinking of it as a waste of time, you can choose to use this time getting other things done. Since you’re already stuck there in your car, molue`(did i spell this right?) or even the BRT, you might as well be productive and use this time doing things you have always wanted to do but could never find the time to accomplish. Take control of this time and make it work for you!


How we are using Lagos Traffic to boost productivity

1. Read a book/magazine or listen to an audio book

Raise your hand if you have an ever growing reading list of unread or unfinished books because you’re always “too busy”. Lagos traffic may be a huge drag but instead of just being idle, you can use this time to read a book or two. It will make the time go by much faster and you may just emerge from another day of awful traffic more well-read than ever!
But if lugging around a book seems a little too cumbersome, you can also download eBooks on your smartphone ( i use a galaxy note II , comment yay! if you are pro-android! ...cough..sorry...) or an eReader. This might be the cheaper option ultimately since there are many resources online that can provide thousands of free eBooks such as Project Gutenberg ,Amazon and Nigeria's Okada Books. If reading in your car isn’t your thing, you can also listen to an audio book version of your reading list instead. 

2. Work on career growth and personal development 

Instead of sulking in your vehicle, why not use this free time to develop your skills ? All you need is your smartphone or tablet to download some productivity apps that are geared toward personal and professional development. Some of our favourite apps are coursera , Udemy for learning new skills in a semi-academic setting and duolingo for learning new languages , more on duoling below. It has been found that 87% of workers don't get promoted and therefore earn less than they should because they don't make out time grow their careers and develop themselves. NB don't forget to add these new acquired skills to your resume !

RELATED:  5 SIMPLE WAYS TO CREATE A UNIQUE RESUME

Which productivity tools are you currently using? Let us know in the comments

3. Listen to a podcast

Tired of the usual radio stations playing the same music and talking about the same things? Why not try listening to a podcast? Podcasts let you choose what you listen to while waiting for traffic to subside. Think of it as being the DJ of your own AM radio. There are a countless number of podcasts of varying interests available online and you can simply pick the ones you want to listen to at your own pace.
It can be hard to figure out where to start so here are a few ideas to get you started:
Personal favourite: The Tim Ferriss Show. Hosted by world-famous author Tim Ferriss, this podcast features a look into the lives of the top-paid people in the world. Tim explores tools and tips these people used to get where they are today. It can give you some perspective on what you need to do to get your business off the ground.

RELATED:  25 BUSINESS PODCASTS YOU SHOULD START FOLLOWING

Got a favorite podcast? know a local podcaster?  Let us know in the comments

4. Relax and Meditate

Channeling your inner peace will probably be the last thing on your mind while you’re stuck in the midst of a traffic jam ( provided you aren't behind the wheel...smh). But the stress caused by the constant traffic is probably why you should give meditation a shot. Meditation is one of the best ways for you to leave such a frustrating situation with a positive frame of mind instead of piling on more stress after a long day at work.
A bit intimidated because you’re a beginner? There are a few free apps available that can guide you through your first foray into meditation.
Headspace gives you a free 10-day meditation guide (although you have to pay to unlock other special features) that will sufficiently guide you through just 10 minutes of meditation a day.
Offering more than just meditation, Omvana is a transformational audio app that offers 25 free tracks (pay to access hundreds more) to help you meditate, focus on your priorities, inspire your work, boost your creativity, and other goals to care for your mental well-being.
Calm is a free meditation app that lets you choose between 2, 5, 10, 15 or 20 minute guided meditation sessions and also has a free 7 day program to kick things off.

5. Get into a discussion with a stranger


Some people are more stimulated by face-to-face interaction , why limit yourself to technology when you can take it back to the 70's right?  I've personally found this to work well for me, i try to listen to the person.. a lot is learned when you sit back and listen  , from the unkempt young man that gives you a step by step breakdown of their well thought out start-up idea to the "beautiful prim and proper middle aged woman that uses her husband as a bad example at every turn and thinks her kids are out for her...beats being on instagram ( assuming its not a source of income or business ...and yes i know it's a source of entertainment and in lots of cases... news) 'Apples and Oranges' check for my comment below.

6. Learn a new language

“Learn a new language” is often on people’s bucket lists but we never really get around to actually doing it. Classes can be rather expensive and time-consuming. But thanks to some free language programs, you can learn a new language or two while waiting for traffic to get better.
Duolingo will teach you the basics of French, Spanish, German, Turkish, Swedish, and a few other languages by incorporating reading, speaking and listening to its modules. Its interface is fun and user-friendly so it’s not intimidating at all for first-timers.
If you prefer to talk to native speakers of a language, Busuu might be for you. It considers itself the largest social network for language learning, because aside from teaching you the basics of a range of languages, it also lets you talk to native speakers who will give you feedback on your work.

Looking for lots exercises to flex your newfound skills? Memrise is a flashcard-style learning system that lets you learn not only a new language but also about its history and culture. There are many courses to choose from since its users can create and contribute to the catalog.


Getting stuck in traffic is the worst but you can always make the best of it. While it can be a huge drain on your time, you can always use it to your advantage and turn it into an opportunity to explore new interests. How do you keep yourself busy when you’re stuck in traffic? Share it in the comments below!

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