We all know how painful the commute is...or was...thanks to the increase in remote working, commuting is nowhere near as frequent as it was. However this produces it's own problems. Although the commute at times was stressful, and a waste of valuable time in your day, it also gave you a time before and after work where you could close off your thoughts and either start work with a "work mindset", or arrive home with some of those immediate work issues left at the office.

Advantages to the Commute

  • It helps with removing mental blocks
  • Creates a clear barrier between personal life and work
  • A good commute can leave you energised for the day
  • It helps wind down your mind and body at the end of the day

So how can we take all these advantages but introduce them to remote working? One method is to introduce a "fake commute"

Fake Commute

What I mean by this is to introduce an activity to start your day and end your day to give you all the advantages the commute used to, without all the traffic and people (unless you like that kind of thing). Here are some examples of things you could do at the start or end of your day:

  • Taking a walk around your neighbourhood
    • This will seem strange at first, but after some time it will feel the exact same as a regular commute. It needs to be a decent walk, minimum of 10-15 minutes to really help. But take the chance to listen to music, a podcast, or just enjoying nature.
  • Introduce a stretching routine
    • There are a lot of YouTube videos out there that can help giving you a good morning, or evening stretch routine. Not only do you get the advantages of the commute but you also get the advantage of flexibility
  • Read a book
    • This reading activity is purely for you, so make sure it's something you really want to read. This has the bonus advantage of getting through that pile of books you've been putting off for ages.
  • Meditation
    • Similar to a stretch routine but more like stretching your mind. It doesn't matter if you do this to start your day, or end your day. The benefits to mental health are huge and no matter what your next activity is you'll feel refreshed and high on energy.
  • Change your clothes
    • This may seem like a small one, but especially at the end of the day the act of changing your clothes can really impact your mindset. It's almost like when you wear a uniform for your job, and once you change into your regular clothes your are no longer in the work mindset, so treat your clothes during the day like a "uniform".

Try It Yourself

You don't have to do all the above at once as that would be even more hectic than being stuck in traffic or on the train, however just introducing one of these to your routine will have a huge impact. If you get a chance have a read of this article that helps lay out some of the points I have covered above. Have a think about what your "fake commute" looks like, as an example I am personally stretching every morning which means I can actually touch my toes and then at the end of the day I enjoy reading this manga series.