What Really Happens When You Live an Unconventional Life
The first question I was getting asked before my umpteenth international travel – for which we love using Expert Flyer by the way (there goes my travel secret) – this year was why.
Why are you going to Canada and Asia? Is it for work? Is it for vacation? If it’s vacation, why is it so long? If it’s for work, what kind of work do you do?
When you live an unconventional lifestyle, you will get questions. And at first, you may not know just how to answer them. It’s funny, nobody ever asks these questions:
- Why did you have a baby? And then a second one?
- Why did you buy a big house? And two big cars?
- Why did you get a dog? Or a cat? Or both?
- And why on earth did you get a job? Especially a job that you hate so much?
It is understood and accepted that that’s what people do across cultures, generations and races. You get a job, you get a house, you get pets and you have babies. Or a combination of any of those. There’s nothing unusual about that.
But what if you just don’t want to live that life? What if you are yearning for another life where you travel as a default and you stay in one place as the exception?
What if you never have kids, because you don’t want them not because you are impotent, and heavens forbid, you never feel any regrets for not having them either?
What if you get sick and tired of getting a stupid job and working for a greedy lying corporation that doesn’t care about you?
What if you choose to believe you are meant to do something more with your life and if it involves a little risk, you decide that it won’t kill you and it might just be the best decision of your life to go against the flow?
What if you want to live an unconventional life in a conventional world?
Well, you’ll get questions. I’ll tell you that. You’ll hear some of them, and you’ll feel the rest, but questions will be a part of the journey so make friends with them.
Don’t Let these 3 Silent Emotions Kill Your Lifestyle
Be kind and compassionate to those who ask them because they are simply curious and the unconventional lifestyle draws curiosity and attention. All the same, you must ressit the 3 silent emotions that arise within you:
- Never be ashamed for it.
- Never apologize for living a life that you want to live.
- Never feel guilty about it.
Or else you might as well go back to living the conventional life, darling. Because feeling guilty about living the life of your dreams is unnecessary torture; that means you are in charge of this torture. You hand yourself the sentence. And just as easily, you can do without it.
The Not-So-Magical Formula to Mixing Work and Travel
Alright, now that we got that out of the way, I’ll get to the second most asked question I was getting:
How are you getting all your work done with all the traveling?
That’s one of my favorite questions; staying productive while traveling. How do you concentrate on work when you want to go outside and play and visit the places and the countries you are in? How do you stay in the work zone and still make time and energy for the play zone?
Having done it well, and not so well, I can tell you that it’s a skill that can be learned. So that’s the good news.
If you’ve never been able to get anything done on any of your travels, relax. You can change the pattern. You are not doomed. There is plenty of hope. It takes a little bit of planning, preparation and a few simple habits that you are overlooking in the midst of all excitement.
I learned to develop these habits from years of traveling nationally and internationally. At first, I was traveling for my old company as an employee and my relationship to my work was entirely different as it is now that I am self-employed.
If you are an employee and traveling for work, I would urge you to focus LESS on work and MORE on your travel.
Too often, corporate business trips are a messy mesh of going from the plane to the car to the hotel room and then in and out of boring cold poorly-lit meeting rooms without ever taking a glimpse of the country you are visit. What a shame!
Put boundaries on the work hours, tell your boss you need a breather and take time out to explore at least 1 full day.
So What Are These 4 Productivity Habits When Traveling?
Now if you are in love with your work, and passionate about getting it done against all odds, and yet, you don’t want to miss the unique opportunity of being far and away from home, then here are my super effective habits for getting yourself into the productivity zone:
Habit #1: Decide on the 3 most important tasks you have to accomplish during the trip:
You must do this before you leave. The size of the task varies from trip to trip, and it depends on factors such as the length of your stay and the schedule of your activities.
For instance, my goal for this long trip is to fully launch my class, Smart Exit Blueprint, and to start writing my second book, The Healthy Smoothie Bible with a looming deadline of late November on the horizon. Everything else is secondary.
This decision has a different impact on the road than at home, because with travel, you have the wonderful blessing of pressure. Pressure is the most effective muse for writing and working. You don’t have all day to fool around. You have 3 hours in the morning to get it done or else you won’t go outside and play.
So clarity about what needs to get done combined with time pressure is the first trick to super productivity.
Habit #2: Use the idle time as vigilantly as you use the larger blocks of time:
There is a lot of idle time and wait time during travels. Anything from waiting in line, delayed flights, subway rides, waiting to meet someone, you name it. If your goal is to be super productive at the end of the day, you don’t have the luxury of large chunks of uninterrupted time so you have to adapt to working those small 10-minute or so chunks.
That means you have to prepare your tools and devices to allow you to do work anytime and from anywhere.
I use my iPhone and iPad and Kindle non-stop. And I pull out my laptop and sit on the floor of the airport without a second thought if I have 20 minutes to write up a blog post or send a few urgent emails. Don’t underestimate the idle time for getting things done.
Habit #3: Arrange for an accountability partner during your travels:
Sometimes, we just need a little extra incentive. If you happen to share your work with your travel partner, as I do with my husband, then tell them your goals and ask them to keep you honest.
If you are traveling alone, then have your mastermind group or your mentor or your coach hold you to your promises for getting work done on your trip. Send regular updates. Give yourself deadlines and meet them and report out on them.
Habit #4: Follow serious self-care and self-nurturing during the trip:
Here’s the thing: When you don’t feel good, you don’t want to work, and my days of forcing myself to do something are way behind me.
So eat well, stay away from junk food, skip alcohol, do your 10 minute invigoration daily, and get your sleep. If you do these things, you will have plenty of energy and desire to work.
You may roll your eyes at this one and consider yourself to be very disciplined, but if that’s the case, you wouldn’t be reading this post. We all need help managing those endless distractions, and not to mention the extra excitement of being away from home.
The best part about being super productive on your travels is that you enjoy the reward of exploring and playing a lot more than if you were doing it full-time. Laying on the beach or walking around Tokyo is not half as fun as when you do it after finishing a chapter of a book or taking care of your clients and customers. The completion of work makes playtime all the sweeter!
What are your habits for staying super productive when work and travel cross path? Do you like to combine them or do you keep them separate – work at home, play away from home? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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Disclaimer: I have product mentions in this post that I proudly endorse as affiliate.