I’m not sure if you created any lofty goals for the year. But, for some of us, by the end of the first month, things start to get a little fuzzy, goals begin to seem less important, and we slowly slip into the worn-in feel of an old routine. As a small business owner or creative entrepreneur, it’s easy to lose focus when you’re more than likely working from home. In order to kick the motivation back up a notch, I thought I’d introduce you to Workation in the Time of COVID. By taking just a few days and a focused workation, in no time at all, you’ll feel that resurgence of ideas, energy, and focus…I promise!
If the term workation is new to you, I’ll explain the way it’s traditionally used and a few new ways to use it to your advantage. Don’t worry…you may not have to pack a bag!
Traditionally the term workation means precisely what the name implies; it’s a vacation centered around a traditional workday. The beauty in this union is that you get to enjoy a beautiful location while you’re working. The truth is that you’re more than likely taking a traditional workation because you lack work-life balance. In the US, millions of vacation days go unused every single year. As a small business owner, I’m taking a look at the workation with a different lens. So instead, I would like to focus on taking a workation entrepreneur-style!
First, let me explain the problems you might face at home or in your daily work routine. Now maybe these are not exactly “problems”, but they might be things that you’re not noticing that you’re doing that are keeping you from doing your best work. The biggest category is distractions.
Depending on your situation, this might include deliveries, mail, dogs barking, dog walks, feeding pets, feeding kids, entertaining kids, tv noise, phone distractions, and the one that I tend to have the biggest struggle with, THE KITCHEN! It seems like snack time is all of the time! The hardest part about being a small business owner working from home is that these daily distractions break your flow. It may not seem like a huge distraction, but often something as simple as getting the mail or receiving a package can lead to a project that distracts you from your work. Even though I do most of the ordering, I’m always intrigued by a package. I loooove getting packages! Thanks to technology, I know precisely when a package is delivered. Before you know it, I’m upstairs tearing through a delivery. Heaven knows that could lead to testing out a new set of pens, trying out new clothes, or organizing the pantry because my baskets finally arrived!
As you can see, one distraction can open up pandora’s box and it’s hard to avoid if you’re at home. The simple fact that you are at home might mean that you’re prone to doing chores first before tackling work. This could mean anything from the laundry to the dishes! I definitely think you can have a few things going at once, like chores and work, but you need to be intentional. Don’t let your chores become your excuse to procrastinate. So to recap, the biggest problem of being at home and working on your small business is that you’re at home with all of your daily distractions.
HOW IT WORKS
Now that I’ve gone over the possible distractions let me share how to take a short workation to tackle a big project, plan your content, or simply work uninterrupted without the fridge whispering your name each time you walk by. You’ll need to do a little planning before embarking on your workation adventure.
The first step is to look at your calendar and decide on a good 2-3 day block. If you’re going to book a hotel, consider staying somewhere close to home, especially if you have little ones or if this is your first time. This will give you peace of mind knowing that you’re not too far from home or if you forgot to bring something, being close to your home office isn’t a bad thing.
The next step is to make a list of tasks that you would like to accomplish. Be realistic and select projects that you can comfortably do in one short weekend.
Once you’ve decided on the tasks you’ll be working on, make a list of all the supplies you’ll need, equipment, tools, chargers, cameras, ring light, etc.
The next two are optional but highly recommended! I suggest you pack a gallon of water, healthy snacks, maybe even a lunch or two to put in the hotel fridge. During my recent workation stay, I also brought a kettle, coffee, filters, and a pour-over coffee stand. Truth be told, Justen had planned all of this for me and even included a few face masks in my travel bag. He also loaded the Peleton app onto a firestick, and I towed my yoga mat along for the 2-day stay! The entire purpose of this stay was to get a few courses recorded. I have all of the equipment, tools, and resources that I need here at home, but I also have many distractions. While I was away, I was able to dedicate all of my time to creating and recording. I also found that my constant snacking slowed when I only had 3 options available to me.
All in all, it was the most productive 2 days that I’ve had in a long time. I think you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish when all you have to do is work. I love taking this approach to content scheduling, recording, content creation, end-of-year reflecting, or even goal setting. This January, Justen and I did the same thing, but we used it to look back at the past year and set goals for the year ahead of us. Sometimes it just takes being in a new environment to help us find clarity.
WORKATION AT HOME
So…what if you’re not able to plan a few days away? I would do the next best thing and create this same scenario at home. It will require the cooperation of family, friends, or maybe you hire help for the day.
Start by selecting the task that you want to complete. Maybe you want to create a course or paint a new series of prints, whatever it is, first determine what you’d like to accomplish that has been on your mind for a long time.
Block out a two or three-day window where you feel you’ll be able to focus on the task that you’ve selected. Make sure everyone knows that you’re not available for those days. If you need to arrange for childcare or pet care, plan that out right away. A few days before you begin your big project, decide on where you’ll be working. Make sure to have your space clean and ready for your workation. The day before your workation, you’ll want to set up anything that you might need that normally pulls you away from your work. Create a station with things like coffee, water, snacks, etc. Create boundaries to limit the amount of mental and physical wandering you’ll be doing during these next few days. This may mean no chores, pick-ups, mail opening, etc. On the day of, you’ll want to be sure your phone is not a distraction, that you have a clear outline that you’ll be following and that you take a break every few hours to stretch and, if it’s possible, walk outside.
I know it’s challenging to run a business and a household. A lot of times, the two are inseparable. Suppose you’re able to block out, at the very minimum, just one solid day to dedicate to focused work. If you did that over the span of a year, imagine what you could accomplish!
I’m sure you’ll be amazed at how much you can achieve when nothing else is tugging at you for attention.
Here are a few freebies in the to help you plan out your first workation!
If you’re already a workation pro, I would love to hear from you!
Before I go, I have a question for you, are there any topics or special guests that you would like to hear on the show?
I’ll see you next time!