Making the Most of Commute Time
Most freelancers will tell you that one of the joys of working from home is avoiding the commute to and from work. There is nothing nicer than knowing that while everyone else is stuck in a traffic jam or stuffy bus, you’ve got an extra hour or two up your sleeve to do anything you like.
Often however that extra time can quickly start to feel normal. It stops being extra free time and starts to get lost in your regular work time.
After freelancing for a while I started to realize that I almost missed the commute to and from my old job. Why? Because the commute gave me time to think. I had two hours every day where I could get lost in my own thoughts, and there was nothing else to do but just be.
As freelancers it is so easy to get into the habit of feeling guilty whenever we’re not working. Work can easily take over much of our free time and lead to imbalance and dissatisfaction. One of the great joys of freelancing is that you do have the flexibility to work in a way that brings you balance and helps you get more out of your life. I was finding that work was becoming the sole focus of my energies, and everything else was left by the wayside.
So I’m currently trying to revive the commute time in my day. And I’m not just riding the bus for the sake of it. Rather, I’m making it a time to do something other than work. Instead of working from 8am to 7pm, I’m attempting to start work at 9am, finish at 6pm and keep my two commute hours for other activities. The great thing is that I seem to get just as much work done in a day, I just don’t waste as much time.
The key is to get away from your computer for those times – so it’s best not to use your commute time to read blogs or chat on forums. Make it a time to do something important that will make a difference for you. So for instance you could make it a time to:
- Make a delicious dinner,
- Play with your kids,
- Walk around the neighbourhood,
- Read a book in a cafe,
- Spend time with your partner,
- Meditate, or
- Work on a hobby.
The important thing is that it is a time for you to develop yourself outside of your work life. You’ll find most of the examples above allow you to switch off and just be – they force you to shift your attention away from work. If you can use your old commute hours to accomplish something outside of work you should find freelancing becomes a whole lot better.