I used to live only a 10 minute walk to work and it seemed like I had more time in my day. I wasn't spending much time commuting. However, my time was extremely unstructured. I never got up at the same time in the morning, I never left the house at exactly the same time every day. When I arrived home I usually didn't have any sort of plan for the evening so I just fell into doing whatever I felt like at that very moment, cooking, watching TV, etc. Thus I wasted many hours doing nothing.
For almost one year now I have been commuting to and from work everyday via train. How have I gained an extra hour then? The 35 minutes I spend on the train every morning and evening forces me to focus my attention on something. I don't like to sleep on the train so I rather focus on knitting, reading books or like now, writing. Before I would have twiddled away this extra hour in the evening but now when I come home I've finished some knitting project or made strides in a new book.
I get bursts of ideas and energy to accomplish something but if I can't complete it right away, somehow I lose sight of it in my daily life. Sometimes I wish that my train ride was an hour or even more each way so I could get more accomplished in my day. Then I have to remind myself that I have another 23 hours where if I just structured my time a bit better I could get more done.