WORKATION – I must confess – when this word was coined, I was quick to jump at it. It meant I could work and play together? WOW!!! Think about it – I could go on vacation and work too – this meant less guilt for being away from work for long periods of time like 3 to 4 weeks, and I’d end up feeling like superman, never missing a day of work. John Henderson, Regus Regional Director for Asia Pacific, said, “The dedication that people worldwide are showing towards their jobs is admirable with a huge percentage of business professionals taking their work away with them.” “However, this can also be interpreted as an indication that they feel overstretched or insecure in their jobs and are unable to properly switch off. The effects of work place stress are well documented so it is important that workers carve out some personal time.”
As jazzy as this new buzz word sounds – it is a TRAP when not used wisely. Here is why:
Induces High Stress – You are neither here, nor there. This means when you are working you are thinking about play and vice versa. It stresses you because you feel pulled between the two. For example, if you are on workation and get a free window of two hours, you could choose from many things – write a blog, play in the pool, go for a walk and allow yourself to soak up the smell of the woods, the nature around you, enjoy the chirping of birds, or think about what’s the next big goal you want to achieve, that big work challenge that you are faced with, the outcome of a certain meeting and so on.
Heightened Levels of Guilt – Because you are not fully present to the job at hand whether it is work or play, you build guilt around your time in both areas. This makes you constantly feel inadequate and out of control. Unless you plan your days better, get into micro scheduling and be completely disciplined about it, workations could flop face down on you. You are never fully present in anything – not work, not play. And this defeats the very purpose of a workation.
Where from here? So while I am trying to get back to old school from Workation to either work OR vacation – these are some ideas I feel work for me
Plan two clear vacations a year – with no work. Fully relax, unwind and feel rejuvenated. And this to me would mean indulging my body, mind, soul and senses into nature, nothingness, new ideas – that are not forced – which means you allow them to naturally come to you, new experiences like gardening, walking in the rain, cycling in the hills and so on.
WORK when you work – no distractions of personal life, family or backlog of things you need to catch up on – like sleep, children time, love time, reading time, that pending house repair, taxes and bills that need your attention …nothing. You know that you need to be fully present and give WORK your 100% right here, right now. Your mind has only WORK to focus on.
Play when you PLAY – enjoy whatever it is you are doing – reading that book, watching a movie with your bestie, coffee time with friends, holiday with family, quality time with your spouse or children, switch off your gadgets…be fully present, involved and active. This shows the people you share your time with – that they are important, you are there for them – and this helps you build strong relationships. These relationships go a long way in ensuring a happier quality of life where you know you are always supported. No matter what.
Old school really works, because it was based on the principles of single minded focus on the things at hand. And for a non multi-tasker like me – this is a huge relief! One thing at a time, and the journey of life seems less stressful and more enjoyable.
Like this post? Go ahead and share it with those who live in high stress zones. This may be able to give them a new perspective on the concept of WORK and PLAY.