I open my laptop to work. I’m in a beach-facing apartment at the coast. I can see the ocean in front of me. I want to sit on that beach. There’s nearly nothing else at all I want more.
Something interesting happens when you remove yourself from your normal work place. Or rather, something interesting happens when you surround yourself with better things to do than work.
You stop seeing your work as something valuable. You see it only as a means to an end. It becomes a way for you to “go to the beach.”
And when that happens, you might feel a pull towards outsourcing more of your work. Because if you don’t, then you’ll be stuck in the holiday apartment you’re renting while your friends go relax on the beach and play in the waves.
And you don’t want to be miserable, do you?
Of course not. No one wants to be miserable. We choose it by accident. We choose it because we fail to see the alternatives around us. But when those alternatives are staring you in the face… they become hard to ignore.
This experience taught me something.
And it’s a simple lesson but a powerful lesson. It could be a life-transforming lesson.
Here it is:
To make it possible to spend more time at the beach… You need to spend more time at the beach.
Norio 'The Obvious' De Sousa
Sounds a bit stupid and like one of those woo-woo quotes you see floating around Facebook but it’s a lot more profound than that.
What I’m saying is that if there’s something you want to do with your life, you should tease yourself with it. But do it while you’re working.
Don’t take a week off.
Don’t go “on holiday.”
The point of this exercise is to mix your ideal life with your work life.
I suspect 2 things will happen
The first is that your dreams will feel more normal to you the more you do this. That’s great. The more you can reinforce that “living your dream” is normal for you, the easier it will become to make it a permanent change in the long-term.
Take a day, take a week. But do it.
The second thing I suspect will happen is that you’ll feel shitty that there’s all this awesomeness around you and yet here you are, being boring (and bored) working in front of your computer instead of enjoying life on that beach in front of you.
I’ve spent a lot of time and effort trying to make my work environment conducive to work when, really, what I should have been doing was working somewhere where the temptation not to work was strong. That way, my work environment would pull me closer to the life of my dreams.
Here are some other ways you can try this:
- Spend the day working at your favourite coffee shop or restaurant. Can’t afford the whole day? Try just the morning or just the afternoon. You don’t get dessert till your work is done.
- During the week, go work in your favourite relative’s house. Take your computer and promise yourself to spend time with them after you’ve done some work. Make sure it’s family you actually like 😉
- Play golf? Take your computer to the club house of your favourite green. You only get to play golf after your work is done.
Do this regularly. Do it with things you love. But remember: You only get those things after your work is done.
Start delegating, outsourcing and automating your work so your work can pull you closer to the life of your dreams.
Here’s the video summary of this post: