Commuting law of diminishing returns

I’ve been heading into work at different times of the morning, largely due to a plethora of meetings. Because, after all, why accomplish anything productive when you can just sit in a conference room and talk about it?

I tend to go into work on the later side, after doing a little bit of work at home in the morning, but I’ve had to leave a little earlier for some of these meetings. And a theory I’ve had in my head for a while proved itself true again.

I’ll call my theory the Commuting Law of Diminishing Returns. Here’s how it works: If I leave for work in the range of 30-90 minutes earlier than usual, the amount of time I actually save — as in, the time I actually arrive in my office — is cut in half.

Translation: If I leave for work one hour earlier, I actually arrive in the office a half-hour earlier than I would have if I had left at my normal time.

Why is this? Simple: There are far more people on the train platform, on the train itself, leaving the train station, at the newsstand, at the deli, or just plain in the way.

The moral of the story: It’s more efficient to leave later. And whether this is absolutely true or not, I’m running with it.

One comment on “Commuting law of diminishing returns

  1. Aims says:

    I totally and completely buy into this. If leave during the height of rush hour, say at 8am, I sit in traffic in the tunnel for a half hour and arrive at 9:00. If I leave at 8:50, however, I am at my desk by 9:20.

    By leaving late, I save a half hour. Right?

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