I am very grateful that I don’t usually need to commute anywhere. Commuting is generally the low emotional point of people’s days, and tends to be a profound waste of time. I’ve especially been thinking about this point as I’m trying to write a few articles on how people use their mornings. One of the worst aspects of a morning commute is that it gobbles up a big chunk of time that could be used to tackle personal priorities or major focused work projects before the person runs out of steam.
That said, this week I did a little bit of travel that involved driving during rush hour, late trains, sitting in train stations, eating at grab and go restaurants during peak times. In other words, things I tend to avoid because they waste so many minutes (and hours). But since I don’t do such things every day, it was kind of fun to observe the world, think things through without my computer open, and observe random human foibles. (Thought: if 90% of the people on the Schuykill Expressway at 8:30AM are there every morning, you’d think they’d know what lane they’re supposed to be in before it actually exits… right?) I would look at the clock and realize how much time had passed, even though I hadn’t done anything. Running around makes you feel like you are doing something. We always face the temptation to be like hamsters on our wheels.
Anyway, if I had to go through the grind every day it would be depressing. But taken in small doses, it (including the chance to read, guilt free, on the train!) gave me plenty of ideas to write about. A change of pace and scenery is good. Even if it’s not immediately productive. Sometimes it’s good to waste a little bit of time.
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