Monday, April 27, 2015

Don’t Talk Yourself Out of It

This post is #13 in a #17 post series about workcations. The learn more about workcations and see the full eBook, check out Workcation. Have the best life now! on Amazon. It's free to borrow, if you have a Kindle device or Amazon Prime. 

Hopefully, by now you feel motivated and encouraged to plan and take a workcation. However, if the thoughts of going hiking after work is suddenly being conflicted with prohibitive thoughts, such as “how am I going to find a babysitter,” or “I just have too much to do,” well let me encourage you to stop those thoughts!

Let’s take a few moments here to look at common objections to a workcation and understand how you can move forward through them. These objections are simply mental speed bumps that you simply need to drive over and not look back. Let these positive rebuttals fuel your tank and help you continue to stay full of hope and accelerate over any hesitation, doubt, or reason to not take a workcation.

Commons Objects to “Workcations”
Objection: “I Don’t Have Time”
Make time! Yes, we are busy. We are ALL really busy. However, constantly telling everyone how busy we are just makes us busier and doesn’t help solve the problem of creating additional time for you. It all starts with making a time budget. Similar to allocating financial resources each month to various categories, such as mortgage, gas, food, and electrical bills, making a time budget will help show how much of your time you are actually spend. You may be surprised how much time you spend watching TV or just being busy by texting, viewing emails, and surfing the Internet. Lumping these activities into a grouped budget will help you maximize your time and find additional time to pursue relaxing activities. For example, you may decide to check & respond to email only twice a day (in the morning at 10AM and early afternoon at 3PM), to help free up time.

The vital essentials: As you make your time budget, think of the following main lifestyle categories. Each of these categories are vital to our life’s existence and are typical to most life schedules.
1.       Work
2.       Commuting
3.       Shopping & Errands
4.       Household Chores
5.       Eating & Meal Preparation
6.       Exercising

Low-level time drainers: Now think about the following additional “time draining” activities. These activities can seem important, but often take away from life essentials and opportunities to pursue a vacation or workcation.
1.       Watching TV
2.       Playing Video Games
3.       Writing and responding to emails
4.       Browsing social media sites
5.       Texting

High-level life enhancing priorities: Now think about important, sacred, and high-level pursuit that you value. How much time are we allocating or budgeting towards these pursuits. Your list make look different below, but here are some ideas to help your dream life continue to soar and reach new heights.
1.       Family
2.       Friends
3.       Religious interests
4.       Resting and relaxing
5.       Pursuing physical, mental, or spiritual goals

Objection: I don’t have enough money.
Save or create additional income. Your solution to this will really depend if you are a gather or a hunter. If you are a gather, you will meticulously save to acquire enough resources to enjoy an activity on your list. If you are a hunter, you will identify new revenue generating opportunities to increase your cash flow. This may include starting a blog that generates advertising revenue, driving as an Uber driver in the nights, or babysitting for friends on the weekend. No matter your personality time – either a hunter or gather – your ability to find pockets of money to help support your life and workcation pursuits depends on the willpower and dedication to make it happen!

It doesn’t have to be expensive. Last time I checked walking was free! Unless, you are walking on a treadmill at a gym. Then you may have to pay a monthly gym fee. Many, activities, such as visiting a local park, swimming at a lake, or walking at the beach are free or very inexpensive. If your workcation list is too expensive and beyond your current budget, it’s okay to scale it back and purse activities that are within your budget and spending threshold comfort levels.

Objection: It’s too much effort
Breaking bad habits requires willpower. Establishing new habits require less. According to the adage, it takes 21 days to establish a habit, but new studies actually find that it takes closer to 66 days. The “21 days to form a habit” seems to have evolved from University of Southern California’s Maxwell Maltz’s book, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life, which states it “would take about 21 days of practice for an old mental image of ourselves to dissolve and a new one to ‘gel.’” It may take some of us 21 days, however it, may only take some of us 18 days to establish a new habit. On the other end of the spectrum, it make take others 254 days to establish their new habit. The ability to establish a habit really comes down to how your new habit will impact and evolve in your current lifestyle. Ask yourself how much willpower do have to achieve your habit or goal?
Taking a workcations doesn’t have to be a regular habit. Try one first. If you don’t like it or don’t see the benefit, then it’s may not be for you. However, I would encourage you to try a few, before you simply throw in the towel. Additionally, workcations are something that can be integrated into your life at various points to help enhance it. They don’t need to be regular occurrences or if they are, they can be strategically added to your life’s time budget.

Object: It’s not worth it to me.
You simply may need more time. The timing may not be right for you right now. Maybe your priorities and responsibilities are spread too thin. No matter the reason, it make take more time for you to be open to explore one.   
         Understand your needs. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, we have various needs that need to be filled before we pursue higher needs. For example, basic needs, such as air, water, nourishment, sleep, and safety, need to be fulfilled before we pursue and fulfill higher level needs, such as the need to give and receive love, self-respect, and achievement. Ironically, Maslow placed self-actualization needs at top of his pyramid. These needs, such as truth, justice, wisdom, and meaning, are classified as peak experiences and only experienced by a small percentage of the general population. If your desire to continually stay at the level of pursuing lower level needs, that is fine. However, if you pursue a workcation, your eyes may be opened to higher level needs as you fill your heart socially, and you fill mind and soul with self-actualization. 

To learn more about how you can enhance your life, check out Workcation. It's available to borrow for free via an Amazon Kindle.  

Monday, April 20, 2015

Ideas for a “Workcation”

This post is #12 in a #17 post series about workcations. The learn more about workcations and see the full eBook, check out Workcation. Have the best life now! on Amazon. It's free to borrow, if you have a Kindle device or Amazon Prime. 

      Workcations don’t need to be elaborate and require a lot of money to enjoy. From enjoying a picnic in a park to taking a stroll along a hiking path, workcations are meant to get outside and enjoy nature, while unplugging from technology and connecting with others around them. Below are some additional workcation ideas to help you make the most of your experiences and share a range of opportunities for workcationers of all budget levels!

Low-Cost Workcations Ideas:
Takeout picnic in park. Instead of eating at that fast food restaurant or quickly in your car, take a few moments and enjoy your next takeout meal at a park.

Walk along beach. You may be geographically restricted to this, but if you leave near a beach, take advantage of it! Ditch the work shoes, socks, and enjoy the soothing feeling of sand beneath your toes.

Visit a Lake. Not a beach fan? Check out your local lake. Maybe you dust off your old fishing pole, bring some bread to feed the ducks, or just take a few moments to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Hike a trail. You may be surprised how many nature, walking, and hiking trails exist in your area. Check out or for a comprehensive list of excellent hiking trails.

Mountain bike ride. Riding takes some coordination and endurance, but if you are feeling brave, check out a local riding trail.

Volunteer at a charity. Although this may be considered “work,” volunteering at a local charity may be a refreshing give back and integrate a philanthropic element to your life.

Medium-Cost Workcations Ideas:
Overnight camping adventure. Most campsites cost anywhere from $15-50/night and require advance reservations. If you are planning on camping during the summer, plan early!

Athletic lesson, such as a standup paddle board lesson. Check the daily deal sites, such as Groupon or Living Social, to help save money and find the best deals in your area.

High Cost Workcations:

Rent a RV. Kick up your camping adventure and trade your tent for an RV. You may find yourself tempted to stay plugged in, but the RV can at least provide some more shelter, allow you to enjoy an overnight workcation in all seasons, and have a kitchen for meal preparation. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

How to Make your Own Workcation

This post is #11 in a #17 post series about workcations. The learn more about workcations and see the full eBook, check out Workcation. Have the best life now! on Amazon. It's free to borrow, if you have a Kindle device or Amazon Prime. 

Experiencing your own workcation simply doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a little time to plan, prepare, and get ready for your first experience. The simple steps below are to help you make the most of your experience and help you appreciate each and every workcation moving forward.

Write it down: The easiest way to start your workcation is to write it down. You may already know what you want it to be or you may have a list of several workcations that you would like to explore. If your list is long, you may need to prioritize it to help you focus. There is a magical element that happens when we write something down. It becomes tangible, brings to fruition the ideas and life and helps us rationally explore something we may just be thinking about.

Research additional ideas: You may think you have the best idea for a workcation, but there are other ideas that may be available. Spending time on family, travel and outdoor websites and blogs can help stimulate new ideas to explore and pursue. Additionally, social media sites, such as Pinterest and Instagram, may help bring to life other ideas that you can explore during a workcation. Searching particular hashtags on Instagram, such as your location or a particular theme, may introduce new ideas to explore. For example, after spending time on Instagram searching the hashtag #CrystalCove, I saw pictures of backpackers in the local area. Seeing remote pictures of tents in the local state park, inspired me to pursue and plan a local backpacking trip with friends. Prior to seeing the hashtagged images, I wasn’t familiar with the possibility of backpacking less than 10 miles from my house and after doing the research and seeing the images, it brought for a new opportunity to add to my workcation list.

Prioritize & Schedule it: We are all busy. Ten years from now, we will even be busier. Each year, as we accept more responsibility and advance in our life path, it seems there are more commitments and obligations for our time. No matter what is thrown our way, it’s important to find time to relax and enjoy some personal time pursuing the activities that interest you. Your calendar may already be planned out for the next three, five or ten months. However, marking off a few hours, one night or even a couple of nights now for the activity of your choice, will help make your workcation a reality. Scheduling has two powerful impacts. It gives your something to look forward to and gives your workcation plans a timeframe to help make it a reality. The goal is to plan your strategic downtime, in order to have the workcation ready for you to take advantage of it.  

To learn more about how you can enhance your life, check out Workcation. It's available to borrow for free via an Amazon Kindle.  

Monday, April 6, 2015

Benefits to Time Off/Workcation

This post is #10 in a #17 post series about workcations. The learn more about workcations and see the full eBook, check out Workcation. Have the best life now! on Amazon. It's free to borrow, if you have a Kindle device or Amazon Prime. 

As you continue to define and expand upon the reasons behind your workcation, let’s look at some of the leading studies about the benefits of taking time off. According to Alertness Solutions, an independent research firm, the benefits of a vacation respite can help increase worker performance by 80%, and reaction times of returning vacationers increased 40%. As you take breaks from work, your ability to reconnect actually increases!

Imagine that! Productivity increases as we take time to play and reconnect with your true passions. In fact, Stuart Brownfounder of the National Institute for Play in California shares that active play increases the responsive, flexible, skilled aspects of our brain. All of these qualities are excellent for the workplace and help us be more well-rounded and flexible employees.

Additionally, if you have a family, the social benefits can extend beyond the workplace. The Disney Time Survey, an independent research study conducted by Kelton Research, found that quality family time not only increases while on vacation but the family members are able to learn more and new things about each other during this time period, compared to when at home.  This helps family members feel more relaxed, calm, and even more affectionate. 

The benefits of taking breaks from work – either the form of a traditional vacation or workcation, simply don’t stop at productive level. These benefits can help your overall health. In fact, the distinguished Framingham Heart Study discovered that vacations actually help reduce the risk of heart disease, particularly in men. Specifically, men who didn’t take a vacation were 30% more likely to have heart attacks then those who did. The study found that even if you plan on skipping one year to create a bank of vacation hours, the effects of not taking a vacation can increase your risk of heart disease. Taking breaking helps refresh the soul as well as improve overall health!

Now, as we have seen from earlier chapters, Americans are not taking vacations and leaving substantial amount of days in their vacation hour bank. A workcation is not about making you take all of your vacation time, although these stats may make you reconsider using more of your banked vacation days. It’s about helping you identify how to take more prolonged breaks in your life. If it’s an hour walk at a park or an overnight camping adventure, a workcation, however you define it, can add productive, health, and social benefits to your life.

To learn more about how you can enhance your life, check out Workcation. It's available to borrow for free via an Amazon Kindle.