Commuting In Mumbai Is About Time Not Distance.
If you stay in Mumbai chances are that you spend more than 60 minutes one way to commute to work. Last week my shift started at 6 am which meant I would get company cab to pick me up. I would wake up by 4 am and be at office by 5:30. If I was doing an afternoon shift I would have to leave at 10:30 am to reach office by 12:30 pm. So unless I do an early morning shift or a grave yard shift there is not much I can do to reduce my commute time.
What Can I Do To Reduce My Commute Time?
I have a couple of options to reduce my commute time. As stated earlier I could opt for a morning or a grave yard shift but at this point a grave yard shift is a “no can’t do”.
The other option that I have is to get a bike, this will reduce the overall journey time by at least 15 minutes one way and if I factor the time I spend waiting for bus, train and rickshaw to get to work then I would save about 25 minutes or close to an hour for a round trip. Though I save about an hour, there is an additional risk to life when I am on bike [but far less than travelling by train during peak hours].
There is fuel cost too [thought I think it would be very close or even less than what I spend on daily travel] that I need to consider.
The other option is buy a car. Expensive and does not save time because cars would still be slower compared to bikes in traffic.
The biggest draw back in both the cases is the amount of stress you have to face when driving to work with traffic jams, the honking and I nearly forgot about the potholes.
How Do I Make The Best Use Of My Commute Time?
To start with I think I am lucky that I don’t have to travel during peak hours. However back in 2014 when I did catch the 8 am fast local from Malad the trains used to be so crowded that that best that I could do was stand between seats. I would plug my headset in and turn up the music and I was in my zone then.
Time is not equal to money; time is more expensive than money.
The biggest advantage of not having to drive is that even though I am spending more time in travelling I can use that time to do something else. If I spend 3 hours travelling to work, I can use those 3 hours to do something productive.
With proper planning and creating a routine you could actually make your commute to work via public transportation the most productive time of the day.
How Am I Going To Turn My Commute Time To Most Productive Time Of The Day?
First off, we are going to shift to a location even remote than the current location so I either quit this job and find another one or find a new place today close to work. Instead before the move happens I could try this.
Optimizing the Commute To Work.
- Wake Up Early & Exercise – I cannot wake up hit the shower and go to work, exercise is important to get all pumped up and have energy throughout the day.
- Breakfast – Low Sugar, No Junk & Nutritious Food, I don’t want to be hungry the minute I reach work.
- Leave early from home. Get ready for work even earlier. I don’t want to dash from home like a mad man. The mental state in which you leave for work sets the tone for the rest of the day.
- Bus Time is Daily Motivation Time: With all those potholes I don’t want to be reading, I am going to listen to podcast. Motivation To Move is my #1 recommendation if you are looking for a fully charged pumped up morning.
- Train – Off Peak Hours No Mad Rush. Use this time to read a book [kindle app on my phone comes real handy] and plan & visualize my day.
- Reach Office 5 minutes early. Freshen up and close my eyes and do a 5 min meditation. I almost never start my day at work without this even now. I don’t want to start my day feeling mentally exhausted and tired.
Optimizing the Commute From Work.
The time I take to reach home is often less compared to the time I take to reach office. For example if I leave at 09:45 and reach the station in the usual 5 minutes it takes, the next connecting train line up perfectly.
- Leave on time, which means getting the urgent work completed well before time.
- Recall / Review The Day: In the train on the way back, review and recall how the day went, note down 3 most important tasks completed and how the day could have been better.
- Social Networking & News: Check facebook, google pages and twitter. Check news channels and blog post and forums.
- I am beat after a long tiring day, listen to some relaxing music.
I put point 3 there and striked it out purely because this is something that I do a lot, be on the phone. I was once travelling by metro and the people seated opposite to me were deeply engrossed in their cellphones looking down their devices. I thought it was funny like monkeys in a cage copying each other until I realized I was doing the same thing. Also spending time on the phone on the way back home is going to screw with your sleep cycle.
I could complain about the time I have to waste travelling each day or I could try this plan and turn my long commute time as the most productive time of the day.
3o Day Writing Challenge: Day # 21
P.S: My first draft of this article took me about 10 minutes and I did it on the phone on a crowded train.