Health + wellbeing

My work-life blend experiment

- February 13, 2012 2 MIN READ

Today is the first day of my holidays, and instead of wandering the streets of a city I’ve never been to before, I’m in a café with my laptop writing this newsletter.

I didn’t get all my work ‘done’ before my official holiday kick-off. It’s happened before, but this time it’s different because rather than stressing out about it, I’m bringing a bit of business writing work on holiday with me. And I reckon my writing is benefiting from the fresh energy I feel here.

Besides this, the stress of getting everything done in time was taking away from my joyful anticipation of a trip that I’ve been looking forward to for ages. Flipping the script has taken the pressure off.

In the past, I would have burned the way-past-midnight oil for days on end so that I could start the holidays with all the jobs ‘out of the way’.

But my itinerary has flex in it, so instead of working to the point of complete craziness, I’ve schlepped my laptop on the plane, found somewhere to set up shop, and jumped online for an extra day of work before the holiday proper starts.

And I’m so glad I did! Instead of starting my trip feeling exhausted and wrung out, I’m well rested and light-hearted. I’m writing to you from the very funky Retro Café in Hobart, and it feels like the first time in ages that work has been fun and my writing has flowed.

Want more articles like this? Check out the work-life-balance section.

There’s groovy art on the walls, friendly staff to chat to, and some fabulous people watching to indulge in. It’s made me remember that I can inject a bit of freshness and enthusiasm into my work whenever I like, just by shifting my desk to a dramatically different environment.

I’m often heard saying that one of the joys of soloism is that I can work from wherever in the world I like, but this is the first time I’ve done it willingly and with any kind of forward planning (as opposed to after begrudgingly acknowledging at the very last minute that there’s no way on earth I’ll be able to meet all my deadlines).

This feels like such a success that I think I’ll be taking working holidays on a regular basis. My instinct is that it will be a great thing to do when I want to be particularly creative. Kind of like an extended version of Madeleine Shaw’s concept of conducting her business planning on a train, which really tickled my fancy.

Are you already a fan of these businessman’s holidays? If so, I’d love to hear your tips for making work-life blend work. What are the vital ingredients for success, and what pitfalls do I need to avoid?