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How To Work Less And Spend More Time at The Beach

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.

How miserable.

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:


About the author

Norio De Sousa

Norio is a Tech Assassin on a journey to becoming a Word Assassin.

  • After two months working inside an office I am back home today and recognize the benefits of doing so. Also realize the benefits of being in the office. Going to find the strengths of both and meld them. While I like your written word it would be great to hear your voice and inflection in this. Maybe instead of a complete audio just a takeaway or summary of the post in audio form.

    • I’d love to hear what you come up with in finding the strengths of both options (home- and office-working) and melding them! And thanks for the audio idea. I’ve just recorded a quick video and will add it to the post soon.

    • I’ve just added the video summary. Whadya think?

  • I really like this line of thinking – doing it before you’re ready definitely gets you out of your comfort zone, and shows you which barriers are real and which are just your imagination…:-)

    • Very well put! Sadly, I’ve found that I’ve stopped myself from doing many great things because of the barriers I’ve imagined to be in my way. Stupid, isn’t it?

      • It sounds flaky, but that moment when you realise that you can do something if you just stop not doing it is weirdly powerful (we’re going for a fortnight near Monte Carlo in the spring because it finally occurred to me that we could do an intensive course somewhere we’d like to go!).

        • That sounds like a good time! And yes it sounds flaky which begs the question, just how much stuff that sounds flaky is secretly powerful?

          • Not to mention how much of your life you could spend on flaky stuff that turns out to be entirely flaky…;-)

  • Well said Norio. Like Richard Branson says its all just living! I find that when I travel I am super productive when I am working. Guess it is that you know you got something you want to go and do, like taking a walk on the beach or spending time with friends, but only when all your work for the day is done.

    • Thanks bud 🙂 Glad I’m not the only one to notice this!