Johnson Cook

Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Johnson Cook - Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Atlanta Traffic – This Post is Not What You Think It Is


Every day, I drive myself 37 miles from Peachtree City to the Atlanta Tech Village in Buckhead (and 37 miles home).     Funny thing is: I love the commute.  People typically give me the “oh that must suck” and “poor you” comment, but I’m not kidding you. It’s a healthy time for me.

Here are some reasons why and perhaps tips for you if you have a commute.

Appreciating WHY there is traffic.
There are a lot of people in Atlanta. That means a lot of cars.  If there weren’t a lot of people in Atlanta, could you do the things you do?  What if you lived in Algona, Iowa… you would have fewer cars, less traffic, but would you have the same opportunities for connection and success that you have now?

Appreciate the buffer.
I don’t know about your house, but at my house there are 3 wild people under the age of 7 at home. At the north end of my commute there are 300 wild people under the age of 30. It’s wild on both ends. The downtime in the middle is quiet. Other than my shower and my run, it’s pretty much the only quiet time I have all day.

Productive, if I choose.
I love It’s my audio book listening app. I’ve got 3-5 books at any one time queued up on my iPhone and can play them through the Bluetooth connection to the car and it’s a great way to focus on deep study while still multitasking.   Also, the 40 minutes in the morning and afternoon are typically the only chance I have to sit in one place and return phone calls.  I try not to schedule calls during the commute but many days this ends up happening as well.

You know your city.
Every single day, I have the pleasure of passing the Atlanta Airport, Turner Field, the State Capital, Atlanta City Hall, Grady Hospital, Georgia Tech, Midtown, and Buckhead. I love how well I’ve come to know the city. I see the new tower cranes as soon as they pop up. I see Billy Cory’s crazy ass digital smokestack in the works in downtown. I see the Auburn Avenue revitalization coming together each day.   It’s exciting to me to see physical progress of the city. Otherwise I spend most of my time in the digital progress of the city via Twitter, blogs, emails, AngelList.  There’s just something about the tangible stuff around you.

Traffic is one of those things that people love to hate about any city. But I refuse to be a hater. I’m happy to have the freedom and opportunity to participate in Atlanta, with all it’s big city challenges and opportunities.

Oh, one more tip… I’ve written about this before. Even when you’re sitting in your car alone, try smiling at yourself even in the worst gridlock on the downtown connector. Its a very simple exercise you will find to provide immense and immediate stress relief.  Just relax, dude.

Category: Ideas
  • Tara says:

    Funny – I said the same thing to someone the other day – no one understands why I enjoy my days that I drive into work from Suwanee – except when it turns into 2 hours when it rains. Your drive is definitely more interesting than my 400 trek but like you said, there is no other time when I get a full hour+ of peace to do what I want, talk on the phone, listen to talk radio or listen to a book. Now If I had a “wife” stationed back in Suwanee to take care of the kids stuff and all of the other “life” stuff…I would make the drive every day! My husband has a wife – why can’t I have one too??!! Such a rip-off.

    September 27, 2013 at 9:36 am
  • Xin Hong says:

    You idea of listening to audio book while sitting in the car is fantastic. To have so much on the plate, I find it hard to squeeze time for reading as well.

    You book list is great, by the way. I have subscribed your blog, and am saw the reading list. I am reading “How to win friends and influence people”. A timeless book. I am from China and currently live in the U.S. The principles in this book is indeed powerful in both cultures. People are the same from the core.

    September 30, 2013 at 10:41 am

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