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Maximize Your Virtual Commute

November 4, 2020

By Mary E. Corrado, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

As the COVID numbers are rising, I think it’s safe to say that remote work isn’t going anywhere soon.  We’ve talked a lot about remote work lately, but a recent article in Fast Company shines a different light on it.  It talks about making the most of your now virtual commute. We’ve saved all this time commuting to and from work, but how are we making the best out of that time?

I know a lot of people are feeling burnt out right now.  While reducing burn out takes several approaches, one might be rethinking how you are using all the time saved by omitting your commute.  Before the pandemic, most of us got up at the same time every day, got ready, and had some time in the car to mentally prepare for our day.   On the flip side, when we left work, we had time to mentally unwind and make the shift to home life.  Now, we are thrust into our day immediately and back into home life immediately.  We’ve lost that transition time. But it doesn’t have to be lost, if we learn how to maximize it.

Below are six approaches listed on you can take to add back into your life the advantages of a commute – which we probably didn’t even realize existed until they were gone.

1.       Block out the time.  Figure out the time you spent on your commute and add it to the beginning and end of each day.  If you prefer, simply set it at 15 minutes each way.  Mark this time in your calendar, planner, journal, etc.

2.       Make a list. Think back to how you used this time.  Did you mentally go through what you wanted to accomplish that day on your commute in?  Did you listen to music or an audible book on your way home?  Write it all down.

3.       Consider new possibilities. Now think about the additional possibilities of how you could use this time.  Did you always wish you could exercise after work instead of spending that time driving?  Now you can.  Again, write down all the things you’d like to use that time for.

4.       Be intentional. Think about what you need in the morning versus what you need to decompress in the evening.  Morning activities should be ones that help you focus and wake up the mind.  Evening should be things that help you decompress. These activities can be different depending on the person.  Write down what you think could help you.

5.       Build new rituals. Now look back at everything you’ve written down and fill in your time with those activities.  Try them for two weeks and see how you feel. 

6.       Reflect and take action.  After two weeks, if they seem to be working, they will soon become your new ritual if you continue.  Continue to tweak your new routine until you feel that you are getting the most out of it.

If you are feeling burnt out from working at home, consider taking the time to build in just 15 minutes to the morning and evening for rejuvenation.

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