The Working Vacation

This sounds counterintuitive – who wants to be checking emails while they are lounging on a beach half way around the world?

The truth is, if you’re a creative person, you likely won’t be satisfied by long periods of off time on a beach. Ideas (work related or not) will come to the surface and you’ll quickly need a pad of paper and pen.

If you yearn to see the world – you know that it can keep your perspective fresh.

So I bring you the self-induced Working Vacation.

The great thing is that you felt like you went somewhere, and yet your productivity isn’t hurt that much. If you prepare yourself, you might even experience a boost in productivity. Its a taste of the jet set life. Sold yet?

Ok. So how do you make this happen?

First, you need to build trust with your employer. Basically, get shit done and do it well.

Second, arrange to work remotely here and there. Part two of trust building.

Only then can you broach the subject of working remotely for a week or so. At that point, the fact that you’re in Portland as opposed to a coffee shop down the street from your office doesn’t really matter.

What can you promise?

Promising to work on your vacation is extremely different than having a vacation ruined by work. You need to set solid goals & expectations ahead of time.

The amount of goals you set can vary on how much you want to mix business with pleasure. A good starting ratio of time off to productive time is 50%. This gives you some solid goals but still allows you a few days here and there to fully enjoy your transplanted location.

Where to go?

The working vacation requires a creatively inspiring location. This could mean a cacophonous city, or a remote farm. Anything that helps you zoom out of your work and look at it from a larger perspective.

When you’re surrounded by the promise of discovery and adventure, you become a lot more loose with your sense of time. This can help lead to the holy grail of clarity:

Knowing which half of your day is going to be more useful.

You are forced to think of things in a more critical light – after all your likely surrounded by either beautiful or interesting things. This positive pressure to get out there and see stuff can help you be more thoughtful about each task you’re going to do.