One of the many (many) perks of working for myself is the freedom to control my hours. If the sun is shining on a Monday morning, I can head to the beach for a paddle, then make up for it after my daughter’s bedtime. If my friend in Cape Town has an engagement party coming up, I can be there, enjoy it, and let clients know when I’m back in the office. When I worked for an agency in Port Elizabeth, it didn’t matter if the sun was shining and my inbox was a desert. I had to sit behind that desk and drink cheap coffee. Day in and day out. Someone hand me a shovel.
But, now I work for myself. Things take on a new perspective when you’re your own boss. Don’t get me wrong; I sometimes go to the beach in the week. But, it’s not like I do it the whole of summer. Why not? Because I have to work! I need to feed my family, pay for gas, keep clients happy, and run a business. It’s all very adult.
This weekend, we’re going away for a watersports event that my husband’s attending. I’m excited. We’ll be staying in a gorgeous little beach house in Witsand, far away from the internet. But, then, I remembered a piece I want to publish that needs a lot more tweaking. It just doesn’t feel right. It’s for my own blog, though; not a paying client. So, it’s not going to happen in the next few days. I have clients and deadlines and invoices and emails and…
It’ll have to happen on the weekend. And that’s ok. Here’s how I’ll make working on holiday work for me (and you can too):
Do the Slog Before I Go
I’ll do as much research ahead of time as possible so that I’m not trawling through sites and blogs trying to assimilate the info. If you have a project that you’re planning to wrap up while you’re away, do the research, organise the documents, read through it all before you go. This will make things go faster and be a lot more efficient while you’re wriggling your toes in the sand.
Be Reasonable When Working on Holiday
This is a family getaway, so I’m not going to be waking up at 6am to start working on holiday. We’ll have a lazy breakfast, walk on the beach, sip on milkshakes, and watch movies. Then, when my husband’s in the water and my daughter’s ear-deep in sandcastles, I’ll whip out my iPad and get some writing done. No pressure, no rude grunting at the people interrupting my work. Balance.
The only way to feel well rested on a vacation is to rest. So, although I’ll have a project on the go and some things on my mind, I’m not going to let them dominate my short weekend away with my family. Working on holiday is supplementary to the real reason we’re there, and I won’t forget that. No blog in the world could be more important than that.
Tell People I’m Away
It’s best to tell clients and colleagues that you’re going to be away so that they’re less likely to bother you. By not having our phones going constantly and the not-at-all-annoying pinging of emails coming in, we’re going to be able to enjoy the time away and to concentrate on the work when we do manage to make an hour or two for it.
Choose an Inspiring Destination
We don’t always have a choice but, if we do, let’s choose a place that puts us in the right frame of mind for both working on holiday and a liberal dose of R&R. I love the water and, any chance I have to sit somewhere quiet and enjoy views of the sea is one that feeds my soul and puts me into a far more healthful frame of mind. When we go to Cape Town in October, we’ll be staying in Sea Point, near the Waterfront. This will be ideal to squeeze in a little creative work between retail therapy, lunches with my folks, and a dinner at my favourite restaurant of all time, Miller’s Thumb. Seriously. Their cajun dorado or rump bordelaise could only ever inspire me to greater things