In the pursuit of “more” we find ourselves in constant motion.
In fact, we are spending an increasing amount of time inside our cars (or some other mode of transportation) on the way to somewhere. This isn’t, necessarily, a bad thing, but the question is:
Is your commute an isolated experience, or is it connected to what matters most in your life?
Work-life integration, or living Off Balance On Purpose requires us to see the connections that unite our moments and provide infinite opportunities to progress down the path of excellence. And the “path,” or route, or road, between our commitments, is often exactly the place where we can make the most progress.
By “commuting,” I simply mean:
Going from one place to another, via car, bus, train, plane, bicycle, feet, or any other mode of movement.
Let’s take advantage of these daily excursions. Convert the process of “getting there” into an opportunity to “connect” to the important aspects of your life. Make forward progress toward your ambitions, and strengthen the “lifelines” – the connections that help align your efforts and improve your resolve.
Intentionality is the Key
Instead of just passing time, listening to the radio or bemoaning the traffic, deliberately invest the time. This is YOUR time and your opportunity to make meaningful progress in an important way that you decide will be beneficial.
A Word about Safety
If you are driving, the safe operation of your vehicle should always be your primary concern. Take no action that would, in any way, diminish your attention or abilities.
Refer to my previous post, The Myth of Multitasking to underscore that we are incapable of doing many things at once. Certain “combinations,” such as texting while driving, should NEVER be attempted. Even making or accepting phone calls while driving requires caution and the use of safety measures, such as hands free headsets and voice activated calling. Also, it is imperative that we follow the law with regard to these practices. Be smart and be safe in every instance.
Connect your Commute to Your Five Essential Spheres:
- Listen to audio programs that will expand your knowledge and expertise.
- Turn off your radio and spend your commuting time thinking about the issues that need your input.
- If you are not driving, but riding in a car pool or taking alternate transportation, such as a bus or train, you might use your commute time to get a jump on planning your day, or actually do some work on the way!
- Call a friend or a loved one you haven’t spoken to in awhile. This works best when you are driving alone (and able to speak freely).
- Join or start a car pool and enjoy the company of others while you “get there.”
- Taking the plane, bus, or train? How about writing a handwritten letter or postcard to the person you care about? The handwritten word carries an impact far greater than email or text message.
- Depending on the distance involved, you might decide to leave your car at home and cycle, walk or run to where you are going. For instance, I will frequently ride my 36” (wheel diameter) Commuter Unicycle between my home and office. The four mile trip takes me about 20 minutes and provides a fantastic workout.
- Listen to a nutritional program or health podcast to learn about staying in better shape.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevators, and park a good distance from the building to enjoy a brisk, short walk before and after your workday.
- If you are NOT driving, but taking some other form of transport, you might even catch up on some rest, by napping the commute away.
- Listen to a spiritual audio program, or to scripture, as you commute.
- Contemplate your beliefs and your faith, and ask for guidance.
- Connect to God (as you believe) through prayer, and express your gratitude for both the abundance and challenges in your life.
- Catch up on your favorite hobbies, sports, and interests via podcast.
- Read a book (or an audio book) for enjoyment.
- Learn a new language.
- Enjoy your favorite music and choose the tunes that will put you in the perfect mood to tackle your challenges.
You can easily see that the options are limitless. Hopefully, these ideas will help inspire more and better ideas of your own! So get creative. Find new and enjoyable ways to connect your commute to the vital aspects of life.
Please share your examples, via the comment section below. We can all learn from each other.
With encouragement always,