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By Craig Cox, Project Manager
According to the BBC and Office for National Statistics, the average UK individual spends 57 minutes a day commuting to and from work. This means the average time spent travelling over the course of a career is more than a year – 382 days to be exact (based on working from age 20-65 and 25 days holiday a year). Imagine what you could learn or achieve in a whole year?
As a recent graduate, I accepted my first full-time job at AiM. There was only one drawback – the office was 52 miles from where I lived.
I don’t mind driving, I actually quite enjoy it. But it meant on a good day I was spending 3 hours on the road. One day I spent 6 – in this instance, I reached a point where it actually became comical. I did try to make the most of my time by listening to podcasts and found them to be an extremely productive way of using my time. However, I eventually exhausted the list of podcasts which I was interested in. Listening to music was another option, but I soon realised radio stations basically play the same playlists over and over again.
After a year of commuting, I finally decided to reduce my travelling time dramatically by renting an apartment which is roughly 100 m from the office. It was rather a big change!
As you can imagine, I instantly felt the benefits:
- Increased energy resulting in better performance at work
- More free time in the evenings resulting in improved quality of life
One benefit that I had not considered at the time was being able to retain a better sleep schedule. I am definitely someone who likes routine and structure, and I need a good 7-8 hours’ worth of sleep. Changing my alarm from 6.30 am to 8 am meant that I could stay up later during the week whilst maintaining an adequate amount of sleep and subsequently having late nights at the weekend didn’t have an impact on Monday morning.
I have now been living in the new apartment for 6 months and I am definitely happy with the decision. A 100 m walk is something I can’t complain about. Besides the benefits stated, one thing I do not miss, is looking at Google Maps just before leaving work and hoping that I do not see red.
So what am I trying to get at? Going back to the original statistic – on average you spend over a year of your life commuting to and from work. I believe many people underestimate how much of our time is spent on travelling. Whilst travelling time can’t always be cut down, I believe looking for further ways to increase efficiency and productivity in all aspects of our day is vital to improving our overall quality of life, work performance and standard of living.
Oh and if you would like any suggestions on podcasts, please feel free to ask – firstname.lastname@example.org