It is no secret that I'm a big fan of the concept of workshifting. This being the ability to work from anywhere I happen to be located at the moment. It means not being chained to a desk and lost in a cubical farm in some nondescript building in a downtown cityscape.
This shot was taken in my hotel room last week when I was getting some writing done before heading over to our Content Rules event.
What this does NOT mean is being chained to my technology either. It doesn't mean that I work 24 hours a day and never stop to enjoy the life going on around me. I know that I'm most productive in the morning and late at night. That is when I get a large chunk of my work done. Plus, anyone who knows me knows that my mind rarely stops thinking and noodling so sometimes my best work is done while going for a walk or hike.
I work hard, but I also work smart. I make sure my clients are happy and that my tasks get done. But, I also make sure that I do them in the best possible way and try not to waste time on getting them done. This means that I can get away from the computer and do other tasks as well.
I've got my phone with me always. To call it simply a phone is really an understatement because it allows anyone in the world to get ahold of me at a moment's notice if they need to. I know that if something is important enough I'm easy to get in touch with through a multitude of ways. If you can't find one, then you are not trying hard enough.
I travel everywhere with my iPad, iPhone and Field Notes. With those three things I can work anywhere, but I always remember I also work when I want to. Because I know this, I can sit down on a porch swing in Burlington, VT and look at the view above for a few minutes without checking my twitter feed or e-mail. Sure, I did check to make sure there were no fires burning out of control, but then I kicked back and just enjoyed the wind on my face and the beautiful nature around me. Plus, there were some psycho wind surfers to video tape!
Last night as I watched my Boston Bruins play a crappy hockey game, I'm sure there were conversations happening that I missed out on by not checking Facebook and Twitter, but I left the technology on the coffee table and ignored it. When a Friend pinged me about something, I answered immediately. But, then I put it right back. Always within reach, but not always top of mind.
The definition of work and the 9 to 5 culture is evolving. Yes, there are plenty of jobs where this approach needs to stay in place, but if yours is not one of them I don't understand why you keep yourself locked into that mindset. You need to figure out how to work smarter and what a healthy work/life balance looks like for you. It is different for each of us.
Life is far to short not to enjoy as much of it as you can.