The Value of Your Commute

I used to drive 20 minutes or so to work, and the same back.  Maybe more, depending on traffic.  I used to dread the windshield time, and long for the days when there wasn’t ten miles of asphalt between me and my desk.  I’m in that world now, looking at a five minute commute each way.  No more highway.  A traffic jam is more than six cars on the road.  It’s a whole new world.

But it wasn’t until I lived in this world that I realized what it would cost me.  Such as…

  • World events.  I used to bounce between ESPN and NPR radio, catching up on world events and analysis.  Good stuff.  Gone from my life, for the most part.  Oh, Google News helps, but it’s not the same.
  • Mental preparation.  The drive in was normally my first real awake time, and allowed me to prepare for the day ahead.  Mental notes on things to do, people to see, tasks to complete.  All were compiled, sorted and prepared for action.  Now I either need to start earlier or think faster.
  • Decompression.  When I leave the office, I am almost immediately in home mode.  Still working, just different.  That transition time is important.  I just didn’t realize how important it was.

Don’t hate your commute for stealing time from your life.  Take a breath and learn to respect it.  It might add more to your day than you think.


  1. Good post Dwane. I’m a commuter (37 miles each way) and I’ve come to rely on the time to and from the office to do exactly what you’ve described. For those that think commuting is just “sitting in traffic” they are completely missing the point.

  2. I absolutely agree and have always said this. I drive approximately 15 miles each way which can take anywhere from 30-40 minutes depending on traffic & lights, and that time is absolutely invaluable to me. Especially for gearing up and winding down as you mentioned.

    The only time I swear about it is when that commute is extended to 60-90 minutes due to a good old fashioned Buffalo snow storm (’cause yeah, we actually go out and drive in them!)

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