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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Productive Commuting

As much as I complain about the traffic between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, the commute represents rare alone time. I don't do the commute every day, but those days I do, I try to enjoy the downtime rather than stress about the traffic. The commute actually gives me time to return phone calls, listen to music and wind down so that I've left my workday behind when I walk into the chaos of a house full of kids.

On the days when I have a 10-minute drive home from my newspaper's Broward office, I am physically present -- capable of seasoning chicken and robotically asking how school went -- but the eyes are glazed and my mind is miles away(did I forget to respond to that e-mail from my editor?). For all the downside of a commute, the upside is the ability to transition -- to put some physical and mental space between office and home. More and more, I find I need that. Do you?


Anonymous Debra Helwig said...

Hi Cindy -

Great post! You are right on target. I have the luck of being able to work from home full time from an office in my basement. Every day I "go to work" and really do keep work & home separate (a trick in itself)...but I find I miss the drive time I had when I was in an external office every day. Going 10 steps upstairs into the arms of a waiting 3 year old and a dinner to be cooked and etc. can be overwhelming, especially when I'm still writing a brochure or planning tomorrow's phone calls in my head. I find I'm doing both things at once, and frankly, neither of them well. I crave the "disconnect" and "reconnect" space that a commute created for me...and I'm searching for better ways to make it happen in my new environment.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Suzanne Dupree Howe, Esq. said...

I no longer have to commute for my job, but I connect with what you are saying. My old 30 minute commute was a forced mental breather that was nice in a strange way! It is a chance to think over your day and process it, refocus on goals, and listen to some music.

It reminds me of when you go on a business trip and you are away from all of the duties at home. You have nothing else to do but relax in your hotel room (unless you brought your laptop) and watch old episodes of Forensic Files or ready that paperback.

12:16 AM  

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