Thesis: The Saint Commute is what can save an aging innovator
A moment in life comes when the circumstances and the diminishing life force makes a person a bit too lazy for their taste. Nine-to-Five and family responsibilities limit the time for actual innovation to the point when doing anything extra becomes a chore. The dreaded 9PM sucks all the vital forces out of what remains of life and work on non-work related projects grind to a virtual halt.
A natural thing would be to decide to make sure that all the activities that are not directly related to ‘doing the work done’ and ‘having a family’ are minimized. This includes the commute.
Fifteen minutes is not enough. Three times 15 minutes is not doable. Changing from the Overground to the Underground (which we all love and cherish) is making the focus go ‘bye bye’ and trying to navigate around the tourists and slow movers only raises the blood pressure to the level that makes any reasonable contribution to the actual task of writing the overdue follow up to the 9 months old ‘article 1 of 3’ impossible.
In comes the PROPER commute. One hour on the train. Preferably starting where there are still seats available so that you can sit down and open up the laptop.
I would like to make the case for The Saint Commute. It is time to abandon the zones 4 or 5 with their way too comfortable 15 minutes non-stopping service to Victoria. How about the seaside. How about the Canterburries, Brightons and, may I suggest, Folkstones of Kent.
It does take longer to get from ‘nowhere’ to London but the act of doing that does offer an opportunity to do some actual work on the train. One is no longer limited to 10 minutes of the short jump between the Place Not That Far and the Place That Has Jobs. One does no longer pretend that: Next day I will make time to do some stuff done once the kids are in bed.
Welcome to your new office. Courtesy of Southeastern or Thameslink.
You do waste the 2 hours a day for the commute but you gain the 2 hours a day to do Your Own Stuff. The family may suffer in the short term but in the long term you gain the lack of crowd on the weekends, the walks on the beach and the 10 hours of work each week on Your Own Stuff. Which may be just enough to sparkle the Great Idea which is going to procure your retirement fund or make sure that you stay in touch with technology not directly related to your current professional involvement.
This may sound like a crazy idea to a youngling (I am looking at you, people born after 1990) but it may make a difference to the dads and granddads of software development. Especially those that are not ready to be pigeon-holed to COBOL and Python 2.6.3 and some other non-cutting edge technologies or frameworks.
Once one is done with all the good things that The Big City is providing and needs less of Bars Open 24 Hours, this becomes a sensible alternative.
There, I said it. I need more time during the week away from my family so that I can have more time for my family on the weekends.
Oh, did I mention that property prices are still in the area of dreams, not wild dreams outside of The Big City?
Saint Commute to the rescue.
I may even implement this.