We all need to find away to get to work. However you get to work, there is a commute. For me, I spent the last thirty years on a bike in all forms of weather, heat, rain and even snow. Fenders keep your back and bike clean. I, like many people the world over gird themselves emotionally and mentally to leave their house to start their commute. The thermos of coffee and local drive music certainly can help ease one into a work mode mentality.

Now I have the opportunity to work remotely. This includes utilizing my home office, field offices in varying description. Libraries, coffee shops, park benches, my outdoor office and even a kitchen butcher block table have been the my office over the last few years. The problem is the mental hurdle of separating non work from work. I have asked people over the years how does one settle in on starting work.

I have discussed separating work mode and home mode with former corporate executives who made sure that their home office is the furthest away from their kitchen. Revamping the attic space was one such remedy for a home office. She also said, she refrained from doing laundry during working hours. That last statement  is another post.

For me, I set out a circuitous bike a commute to test. While biking fast through the neighborhood, this gave neighbors along my route a chance to create their own stories about where I am biking to and who I was working for. Summer set in over the last year I developed sciatica. I needed to rethink my commute. I have been diligent on my experiment in rewiring of my brain with newly acquired skills. I stopped off at a church in walking distance to my home. This church is special because it has indoor pool that is nearly 100 years old. Imagine swimming at Hogwarts.

Swimming was never a skill I worked at over the years. I would say, I was not good at it. After attempting freestyle for the first week, I turned to my much used copy of “Four Hour Chef” by Tim Ferris. There is a great section on meta learning and Total Immersion Swimming. I reread section and researched on swimming techniques. It was exciting to work on a new neuroplasticity project and over a four month time I have been able to create a new dedication to a new commute to work.

I am fortunate to been able to create a good sense of rhythm to my morning routine. I get up in the mornings at 6:40, get ready, then walk to the pool by 7:10. The pool does open up at 5:30 However, I just can’t see getting there any earlier. (I have to set three different alarm time setting to get up) There are times that I have the pool to myself for the first half an hour or there are those who have shown up earlier. (I swim for about an hour) Regulars come in at about 7:40. I do allow myself time for conversation. It is a variation of water cooler (yep, I went there) talk that helps with getting social connection that is important to mental health. This is very important, especially if you work at home. I know the regulars and their names. It helps build a bond among like minded swimmers. I have been happy to report my swimming strokes have improved with this new commute.

My evening commute is a bit sloppy. I would either do a quick bike ride or run an errand then home or I would close up my work then head out for a walk. Then home. I have been known just to stop work, close up my lap top and put things away then head upstairs to the living section of my house. It is not perfect as I feel that there should be a mental sense of coming home. It is an on going project.

If you work at home or work remotely it is important to build in a commute, making it brief or as long in all in order for you to separate working life with your home/recreation life. Historically there has always been some kind of signal to the beginning or close of the work day. Looking differently at the way you approach your commute can add a healthy outlook to your work.