It’s summer (going to be!). The sun is shining. The beach is calling.
Unfortunately, you’re missing all of it because you’re spending eight or more hours a day inside, watching the summer go by instead of enjoying it.
But guess what? You don’t have to miss it!
Just because you’re too busy to take a holiday doesn’t mean you can’t take a workcation. Why spend July in your office when you could spend it at a cottage in the lakes, or at an exotic beach?
Not only will you be having way more fun, you might also become more productive. Being in a new location gives you a new sense of perspective, gets your creative juices flowing, and can decrease your stress levels.
There are 2 kinds of Workcation
A workation is when you’re on vacation and working at the same time. This can be either very good or very bad.
The bad kind: this is when you’re forced to bring work along on a planned vacation. Instead of taking your much-needed break and recharging your batteries for a week or two, you’re not really on holiday at all. Your work is keeping you from spending time with your family, and you find yourself flooded with emails and unable to put your phone and computer away.
Instead of coming back from your vacation de-stressed and filled with new creative energy, you’ll probably just feel as fatigued and worn out as before. As we know it’s important to take a mental break as well as a physical one.
The good kind: this is when you’re doing the same work you usually do, but in a cool, exotic locale. Check out my previous post on last year’s Workcation in Ireland – Quite the experience!
Some big biz even send top performers to cool places like Costa Rica or the Dominican Republic, all expenses covered. Their only requirement? That team members would do the same work they usually would at home – then have as much fun as possible after work.
Richard Branson also saw the value in combining fun and work: back when Virgin Records was starting up, he used to regularly go on team vacations to the West Indies to try to find up-and-coming reggae bands – and of course, to sample the local cuisine.
In this day and age, it is possible to do more and more jobs from a remote location. The result? More people get the opportunity to travel the world without sacrificing their careers.
While freelancers and entrepreneurs have been taking ‘workations’ for years, more nine-to-fivers are now taking advantage of the flexibility offered by developing technology. If all you need is working Wi Fi and a phone connection to do your job, then why stay at the office?
For you to take a workation and have it be worth it, you want to work efficiently for a period of the day, and then spend the rest of it exploring and relaxing.
So eat the frog first: do your work in the morning. Get up at the same time you would on a regular workday and spend a few solid hours focusing on your most important tasks.
Plan which tasks and subtasks you’ll focus on and set yourself a deadline for the time you want to finish. When that time comes, turn off your computer and simply enjoy the rest of the day.
Clear boundaries are essential for you to be able to both work and relax. And indeed, your time relaxing is valuable to your time working; in that state when you’re not focused on a specific task or routine, you’re more likely to come up with new ideas. You all of a sudden have the time to think about the big picture.
So, keep a pen and a pad of paper handy in your down-time in case you get a sudden burst of inspiration and want to jot down your new idea.
Let your customers know when you’ll be available
Since you probably won’t be reachable throughout the whole day, the key to having your working vacation be a success is to communicate your availability as clearly as possible, with both your suppliers and customers. Before you leave, let customers know that you’ll be away for a certain amount of time and that your responses might be slower.
Take a real holiday too
My last tip to you, home workers and workation enthusiasts alike, is to also take a real holiday! At some point, you need to give yourself a complete mental break.
While combining work and holiday is a great way to enjoy the perks of both, you should at least once a year also go on a trip where you don’t bring your computer with you, you don’t need to check your email, and you don’t need to work on a deadline.
Holidays are good for us. They are good for our wellbeing, our mental health, and our creativity. They help us keep our stress levels down, and can help us avoid or recover from burnout.