Think about how long your workday is. If you’re counting the hours from the minute you sit down at your desk, you’re doing it wrong.
Your workday really starts the second you leave your home and lasts until you’re back through your front door. Yes, you may only spend eight or nine hours in the office, but once you factor in the commute, what’s the grand total?
Census data shows that Americans travel an average of 26 minutes each way to work. That’s 52 minutes a day. Four hours and 20 minutes a week. Nine days a year.
Is that too much time in-transit? We think so.
Here are 10 benefits of reclaiming at least a few of those nine lost days:
Reduce the Chance of Getting in an Accident
It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure this one out. Less time spent in your car = less opportunity to get caught up in an accident.
Save Money on Gas
Think about how much money you spend on gas each month. Now think about spending that money on something more meaningful (or fun!).
Yes, your commute affects your mental health. Commutes are stressful, isolating, and can sour your day right from the get-go.
This is another obvious one. Less time in the car means less time releasing emissions.
Become a More Reliable Employee
When it’s easier for you to get to work, it’s easier for you to get to work on time. Fewer late starts. Fewer absences. Happier bosses.
Improve Personal Health
Besides reducing your stress, reclaiming those lost nine days means more time for you to sleep, exercise, and make healthy food choices.
Increase Your Productivity
If you’re in a better mood when you get to work (see #3 above), you’re more likely to think clearly and be productive throughout the day.
Improve Work Life / Home Life Balance
When you live 10 minutes from work, taking your lunch break at home becomes way easier and you can carve out more dinners at home. It also becomes more feasible to get home in time to take the kids to extracurriculars (or, hey, even be present to support them!).
Improve Your Relationships
This ties into #8 above. At least one study has linked longer commutes to an increased chance of getting divorced. Romantic relationships aside, when you get to spend more time together, you have more chances to show your friends and family the love they seek and deserve.
Improve Overall Quality of Life
Technically, achieving any of the above would improve your quality of life, but we’re saying it again here because it’s that important. Something as simple as travel shouldn’t hamper how happy you are.
Yes, it’s easy to talk about cutting your commute time, but it’s harder to actually do it, right? Particularly if you work in the city, but don’t want to live there.
Try this: Instead of figuring out how to find a good home close to where you work, think about where you want to live and how to find a good job nearby
You can find the best of both worlds in communities like Santa Clarita Valley, where burgeoning major industries are not far from good housing, and quality of life is a big deal.
Nine days is no small amount of time. Even if you only reclaimed half that, it’s still days’ worth of quality time you can use to make your life just a little bit better. And, if time is money, commuting is the stress that DOESN’T pay.
So hit that snooze button. Go home for lunch. And give your car a rest.
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Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees will hold a joint meeting with the Associated Student Government via Zoom video conferencing Wednesday, Oct. 28, at 1:30 p.m., followed by the adopted budget workshop.
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