How do you get to work?  Drive?  Bus?  Commuter Train?  Have you ever calculated how much time you spend commuting?  A week?  A month?  A year?

Commuting for work is the BIGGEST waste of one’s time.  Ever.  Hands down.  At least in my opinion.

OK, for those of you who can read the newspaper, read a book, work an excel spreadsheet or knit a scarf while on the train since you live far enough away from your work so you’re able to get a seat everyday, one can argue you might spend some productive time while commuting.  Or for those of you who walk, bike or take public transportation less than 20 minutes each way, that’s not bad (that’s my situation today).

For the majority, however, commuting has to be the biggest waste of time (not to mention the cost to your wallet and the negative impact it has on the environment).  I used to commute.  I don’t anymore.  Now I’m grateful for my 10-20 minute “commute” each way to my office.  In my Chicago days from 1990 – 2001, I commuted, on average, 2-3 hours a day.  Either on the subway, on the Kennedy Expressway or on the Eisenhower Expressway.

That’s 10-15 hours a week.  That’s FIVE HUNDRED to SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY hours a year (assuming I took two weeks of vacation each year).  How ’bout them apples?  Amazing how it adds up.  Just think about what I could have done with 5,500-8,250 hours over the course of 11 years.  Instead, I spent them grabbing a hand rail on the train or with my hands on the steering wheel.  Never again.

This is a Work/Life Balance issue, folks (See Step #8 in the 8-Step Process of a Successful Career Change).  I would love to know four things about you and your commute:

1.  How much time do you commute today?

2.  What method of transportation do you use?

3.  What would you do with the time you’re currently spending commuting?  More time with your kids, spouse and/or friends?  Work more on a hobby?  Working out and staying fit rather than adding on more pounds each year?  Create a business plan for your dream side business?  Go fishing?  Whatever it is, tell me.

4.  How do you think you can reduce or eliminate your commute?

Can’t do it, you say?  BS, I say.  I did it.  Why can’t you?  Excuses only lead to more and more hours of needless commute time adding up year after year.  I’m not suggesting that reducing or eliminating a commute will come fast or easy.  It won’t.  If that were the case, everyone and their mother would already be doing it.  But it can be done with the right planning and fortitude.

Live and work your life with passion!