I‘m commuting now close to 10 years and It‘s not always easy, you lose so much time traveling from and to work and your private life is definitely suffering from this. What I‘ve started doing is squeeze as much free time out of my day by micromanaging like crazy. I‘ve previously mentioned (link to social blog entry) that we have so much stuff to do and so little time. When commuting that time is even more precious.
What helps me is having a routine, because if you don‘t have to think about what to do you tend to do it faster and more efficient, it has become a habit. It sounds a bit like OCD but I wouldn‘t go that far.
So when the alarm goes off, I stand up and do the same thing every day, go to the bathroom to do the morning /business/, come back to the bedroom and make the bed and get dressed. Then I eat breakfast (usually something quick like cornflakes). After that, I brush my teeth, get fully dressed, give my cat something to eat and off I go. Now all this, from the moment the alarm clock rings to the moment I leave my apartment, usually takes 25 minutes.
On the train in the morning I used to watch some stuff on my iPad but nowadays I just close my eyes, listen to some music and sleep a bit. On the way home I try to either watch an Episode of a TV Show, do some reading or like now, write a blog entry. Usually, I get tired really fast so I close my eyes again and doze off a bit.
I do grocery shopping (almost daily, always buy stuff I need immediately) and then at home I jump on the home trainer for a quick work out while watching some YouTube Videos I bookmarked throughout the day. I used to play some songs on the drum as well but this year with all the working out, it has become quite difficult to do both. Then I take a shower and start preparing dinner and eat.
After this is all done, I usually have 3 hours left until I should be sleeping which is not much. Maybe do the dishes, cuddle with the cat, do some cleaning up at home, work on the homepage. All shorter things I tend to do but combined fill up a whole evening.
An hour before I plan on sleeping I hop into bed and watch something on the iPad again before my eyes get really sleepy, then I turn off the iPad, the light and go to sleep. Close to 7 hours of sleep is a must have for me, otherwise, I don‘t function properly.
Am I crazy?
So this is my daily routine for a work-day, as you can see, seeing friends or going to the movies or just go out is kinda tough with a micromanaged day like this. Changing one tiny thing of my routine brings the whole thing to a collapse. Of course, I don‘t wanna be obsessed with it and be spontaneous as well, but it‘s difficult I admit.
Reducing work a bit has helped me for sure. Working fewer days and have more days off definitely was the right choice for a better work/life balance and I feel more relaxed. But still, the routine helps to optimize the remaining work days.
The current routine might change though because working out daily is ok for now, but will I be able to keep this up for another month? Same with writing a blog entry (even though I made a pledge to myself). We‘ll see I guess.