Fake Commute

Love it! 6

What it is
Going from home to the office and back, when home and office have the same address.

How to
Fake commute means getting back the time we required to reach our formal office. It is a little time we are allowed to use for ourselves, whether it is a stroll around the block, reading a book, or listening to a podcast.
If you, like myself, have kids at home all the time, taking a break seems impossible and illegitimate, but we need to create an oasis of guilt-free time to set a boundary among the roles we have during the day.
Look at it as an extreme time boxing experience, regarding your whole day: delineate your working time between two defined activities spanning at least 20 minutes. Make it a routine on which you rely in a world where boundaries are otherwise blurred.
Get dressed, go out. Discover your neighbourhood, allow yourself to get lost and daydream. Have breakfast on the balcony. Meditate in front of an open window. And do not forget to switch off any notification device.
Clear your mind and set you up for the day.

Why it is good
Pretty physically speaking, the time we spent outdoors will help to oxygenate our muscles, to reinvigorate our bodies, to reinforce our immune system. Exposure to direct sunlight triggers the release of serotonin, which improves our mood, stress level, and sleep.
On top of that, routines signal our brain the passing of the time, give us a feeling of predictability, prepare us for the next task.
By taking space, we allow new ideas and solutions to rise on a conscious level, ready to be picked.

That time I invented fake commuting
Funny enough, about 8 years ago I invented the fake commute when taking my son to preschool. The place was next door, and it was very hard for my son, and myself, getting in the mindset of having to spent the next few hours without each other. So, I started to trick us having a walk around the block before and after kindergarten time. The separation was a bit less tough, and I have wonderful memories of us looking for cats in the alleys and discussing about the world around us.

Journaling in practice
Set up a tracker for outdoor time or a collection for one thought you had during each of your commuting.

Further readings
Il Post (in Italian)
Business Insider


  • Sahana Shastry

    This is such a good example of finding happiness in little things. And that its these tiny things that add up to a wonderful picture 🙂
    Especially glad to hear such life hacks during a pandemic. Some food for the soul and mind. Awesome work!

    • SaMe

      Thanks Sahana! I like also your fake “going to holidays” concept.
      I am thinking to extend it to fake “going to the cinema” on Sunday with the kids.

  • Ned Dwyer

    I agree completely with this. I used to work in Lisbon city and every day I walked to the station, took the train and then walked to the office. I always enjoyed it because on the train I got to read a book, study some Portuguese or just look out at the Tejo as the train trundled by. Now that I work from home, this part of the day is gone. I do try to get out every morning for a run or a walk, but it is not as structured as before.

    Turning off those notifications is also liberating. For those of you not on the front line where it is a life and death situation – just do it – one simple act will change your life!

  • Pat Castellaneta

    Interesting reading. The fake commute could be a new remind about the current deoxygenation occurring on body, muscles, heart and brain.
    Not easy to remind me how big things have happened during such moments. But i can only miss them. And seems sad to admit, but is what it happened in last period.
    I will try it, promised!

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