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