I drive 310 miles a week to get to and from work. That comes to a total of 6.7 hours a week, minimum, sitting in a car driving back and forth. All of that time wasted.
I love it. I know there are a lot of other things I could be doing with that time that are more productive but I don’t care. I am guaranteed 6.7 hours a week where the only things I need to think about are not dying in a horrific car accident, I’ll get back to this one later, and whatever I feel like. I wouldn’t exactly call the time personal time as I am limited in what I can really do, but that almost makes it better.
Danielle can tell you from experience that when I am done with work I have tunnel vision and all I want to do is get the next thing done and marked off the list. I used to come home from work and would proceed to work around the house for another 3-4 hours with barely a “Hi, how are you?” I recognized my behavior but it’s hard to change, there are only so many hours in a day to get everything you need to and want to get done.
A lot has changed over the past few months. I have changed jobs, moved, and added another dog to the equation, but I think what has helped the most is being forced to relax. I know driving isn’t relaxing for everyone but to me it is. There are a lot of exceptions though. The time in the car is my chance to reset and prepare for a new environment. Everybody has their own way of doing it. For some people its reading and other its exercise. My issue is I’m not forced to do those every day and I’m not forced to be engulfed by those. I can still plan my day while I’m running; actually, that’s what I normally do. When I’m driving, I have enough attention to focus on what is at hand and superficial ideas/thoughts. I may plan or postulate or make mental notes but that’s all the distraction I allow myself to have. There is no in depth planning or analyzing; that’s for another time.
There are an endless number of things to do; they are sometimes unavoidable no matter what you do and how you plan. I accept that, I have even interrupted my “personal” time to pull off the road and make a few phone calls because I had to do. That doesn’t change the fact that I am still forced to take my 1.33 hours a day for myself and do nothing because I have to. My schedule is now built around this time table. I know this isn’t possible or realistic for everyone but take time for you. Not just time away but time where you cannot and do not let yourself worry about everything else. Find what that is for you, and do it. Maybe walk the next trip to the store instead of rushing there with the car.