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Remotely Interesting

Remotely Interesting: The Commute Reimagined

publishedover 1 year ago
3 min read

As a majority of people have transitioned to remote work this year, there are certain negative comments that come up over and over: "I love remote work, but I'm struggling with boundaries between my work and personal life. I used to use my commute to relax, now I can't turn off my brain." Let's talk about this. Starting with, you don't need a commute you need a ritual.

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As many people have transitioned to remote work this year, there are certain common struggles that come up over and over: "I love remote work, but I'm having trouble with boundaries between my work and personal life. I used to use my commute to relax, now I can't turn my brain off."

Let's talk about this. Starting with: you don't need a commute, you need a ritual.

TLDR below 👇 | Read this on the web | Subscribe

What is a commute? It’s a transition (chosen for you) that provides distinction between your work and home life, and usually ends up being both time-consuming and annoying.

What is a ritual? A transition (you choose) that provides distinction between your work and home life, especially personalized to what is best for you.

The average commute time is around 30 minutes each way. That means the average person has an extra 5 hours per week when they work from home. It’s easy to automatically put this time towards working more, but what if you took advantage of the extra time instead?

You can create your own version of a commute via a ritual, with all the benefits of providing much-needed boundaries and turning off your brain, without the stressful downsides of traffic, dealing with public transportation, or expense.

What might your new 30 minute commute look like?

  • A walk around the block
  • Reading an interesting book
  • Cleaning while listening to your favorite podcast

Personally, I stack habits like reading, journaling, skincare, and more to create an intentional start and end to my day. A friend of mine likes to cook deliciously intricate home-cooked breakfasts and dinners as his “commute”.

Also, don’t feel the need to make your morning/evening ritual between work and time off be the same (like it was with your commute). Remember last week’s topic, our default way of doing things may no longer serve us as we switch to new ways of work. Question the default in order to improve your quality of life.

Action Steps:

  1. Determine what you’re currently doing with your commute time: Working more? Social media? Where has that time been going to?
  2. Consider where you want to spend that extra time: Are there activities that would better serve you? How can you put yourself in the best mindset? If you don’t know where to start, try out one of the examples above.
  3. Create action steps on incorporating your new ritual: This might be a big change for you. Start with baby steps and iterate based on what works and what doesn’t.

Just because you don’t have a formal commute decided on for you, doesn’t mean you can’t have a transition ritual to help you separate between your work and personal time. By being intentional with your newly added time, you can stop overworking yourself, and spend more time doing what you love. What would your commute reimagined look like?

TLDR

The average commute time is around 30 minutes each way. Now that you're working remotely, consider where you've been putting that extra time and how you could be spending it.

You can create your own version of a commute via a ritual, with all the benefits of providing much-needed boundaries and turning off your brain, without the stressful downsides of traffic, dealing with public transportation, or expense.
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Quote of the Week

"Knowledge work does not yet have its Henry Ford, but workflow innovations
with impact on the same scale as the assembly lines are inevitable."

-
A World Without Email by Cal Newport

In Other News

Question the Default Challenge

Today's topic is an expansion on one of the 10 questions I shared to help you consider how to use remote work to upgrade your quality of life. Check out the full list here.

Screenshot of Day 1 of Question the Default Challenge

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Take Your Full Lunch Break. Schedule Your PTO.

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Recommendation: Remotely Inclined newsletter

Sign up for Stefan Palios' newsletter, Remotely Inclined, to stay updated on the latest trends in remote work. He's spent nearly a decade analyzing why people do the things they do. His newsletter does particularly well at coverage on how different cities are incentivizing remote workers and laws being implementing affecting the future of work. I loved this quote from his most recent issue:

Quote from Remotely Inclined newsletter

Q&A

In reference to a post questioning whether 9-5 hours are the optimal work times for you:

Quote of tweet reply

Are you struggling with something around the future of work? Reply to this email with your question and whether you'd like to be anonymous. Your question might be picked to be answered in the next newsletter!

I always love to hear from you! What did you think of this issue? What do you think of commutes reimagined? What should I share about next? Feel free to reply to this message or DM me on Twitter @mar15sa.

I truly appreciate you taking the time to read this. Hope you have a lovely day!

Marissa