Eliminate your commute

Earlier this week I was interviewed about my rather meandering lifelong career path and asked what advice I might give in terms of building a successful career.

I had a lot to say on this subject, and perhaps I will share more in the future, but one of the best pieces of advice I can give to anyone in terms of their career is this:

Eliminate your commute.

The closer you live to your place of work, the happier you will be. With our hours and minutes so limited by the interminable rotation of the Earth, far too much time is wasted by commuters traveling to and from work every day.

My commutes have ranged from 90 minutes to 5 minutes, and I assure you that the 5 minute commute, which I have enjoyed for the past 15 years, is the only way to go.

If your commute is more than 15 minutes long, you need to move.

Move now.

Recapture that lost time with your family and friends. The most valuable thing in this world is time. It is the only commodity in constant demand by every person on the planet regardless of their income level.  Do not spend a minute more than necessary driving to and from work.

And please don’t tell me that you enjoy your 45 minute commute because it gives you time to decompress or provides you with the alone time that you cannot find anywhere else.

This is what I call a ridiculous rationalization.

If you truly require the time to decompress, drive home, park the car in the driveway, and take a 30 minute walk around the block before ever entering the house. Not only will you have the time you need to relax, but you will get some exercise at the same time.  

If I could only give one piece of career advice, it might be to eliminate your commute at all costs. There is no better way to be happy in your career than to increase the amount of free time you have to spend outside of your career.