The Commute

After ten months of working remotely, I’m back at in an office. With this transition, I’m also back in the car for over an hour each day.

I didn’t realize how important my commute was until it was gone. I’m generally not a believer in “work-life balance,” but more of a proponent of “work-life blend.”

Clocking in and clocking out is not the answer. But driving to and driving from provides a daily, forced transition ritual.

How you utilize this time is critical. It doesn’t have to be the same every day.

For me, I ask, “How can my time spent driving to the office prepare me to do my best work?”

Some days, that means listening to a marketing podcast to learn the latest trends that’ll help me succeed. Other times, it’s listening to a mindless entertaining podcast, which tends to have this weird effect of forcing me to think creatively about real problems. Or, I’ll listen to instrumental music, which has become a meditative experience for me.

Driving home, I ask, “How can my time spent driving home prepare me to be the best husband and dad?”

Sometimes, I’ll use this time to call my Mom (yeah, I said it.) Or, I’ll listen to a podcast or record. My intent when driving home is typically to “empty” myself after working all day. It’s not to de-stress, but rather to let go of any problems I’ve been trying to solve, or issues I’ve been navigating.

This time is crucial to recharge and reorient myself before walking through the front door, and I found in the ten months I worked from home that I could never successfully do this when it wasn’t a daily forced ritual.

So, here’s to commutes! They’re not as dreadful as you might think.


Tom Tate

I'm a suburban polymath living just outside Philadelphia with my wonderful wife and three kids. Digital marketing nerd for a SaaS company by day. Rabid movie, music, game, and book consumer by morning, noon, and night. I share life hacks and learnings via email at Weekly Coffee. I also host Power Time Podcast, a Nintendo retrospective. Sometimes I write stuff. Most of the time, it's on the internet.