I’ve been here over a week. I count about a week because I took four days off as a break and a way to adjust and organise my work on the road. I moved to a beautiful village in the Cotswolds, stone cottages with smokey chimneys, a bit of rain, a lot of sunshine, and even a little snow last night.
I set up office in the lounge, sprawled on the sofa, papers everywhere, my laptop on a cushion, a fire going and an endless stream of cups of tea right next to me.
I took over 3TB of stuff with me, afraid I would forget something, afraid to drop the ball with clients waiting for their books, afraid to forget bills and payments and everyday stuff that we don’t think about when we’re away from home.
I’m not on holiday. That is what I realized I had to remember right from the start. It’s so easy to think I’m on holiday, tucked away in this little cottage, peaceful, quiet. The perfect retreat. But I’m working, this week I’m working full time, just like at home. I realize I’ve never worked quite so well in my life… having less stuff, no messy desk (in fact, no desk at all!!), no house to clean, no other decisions to make. I’m a guest and to do my bit I cook in the evenings, and enjoy that. We watch movies, talk, laugh, relax.
And during the day the place is mine, everyone off to work and I have fast wifi, an endless supply of tea and cream, my laptop and my phone. I’m so grateful for the technology that allows me to do this. I’m doing my sessions, recording videos, even launching my new Mastermind group today. Creating new things, writing new material, getting fresh ideas because I can relax and my mind is so free.
Organizing the US part of this trip is a challenge… dates have shifted, and I’ll probably be in even more places than originally planned. I knew from the beginning that the word of the day would be FLEXIBILITY. If I’m flexible, anything is possible. If I can adapt, think on my feet, find solutions, I’ll be alright. Things slot into place. People turn up at the right moment. Systems start working, and the work just flows.
Every day has its own challenges, some logistic, some technical, some social. Where am I going next weekend? How do I get there? Is there wifi? Who is there… daughter, mum, friends? How social do I have to be, how many hours do I get to do some work and how long will it take to travel on Friday?
I’m beginning to see ways around all these issues, and I want to bring it all back to my work at home. Maybe even find some tips and tricks I can share with everyone. For now, the first would be: Take the minimum you need to do the work and hide away everything else. Go somewhere else to do some of the work, even if it’s the coffee shop down the road. Write and look around and enjoy a drink and see if things feel different, if it feels like working on holiday.
I usually have so many difficulties focusing, and it’s so much easier here. I can work fewer hours and get more done. I can take time off and walk to the Abbey and see a 600-yr old Bible in four huge volumes, written on vellum and illuminated by monks and sitting under beautiful stained glass windows. And inside the Abbey an open coffee shop, people drinking tea and having soup, right there at the back of the pews, little tables and children and mums having a cuppa and a chat. Community, like it used to be. I walk through the church almost more in awe of this than the fourteen hundred-year-old arches above me.
Nourishing my soul. We all need that. We have to make space for that. We have to find a way to make time for that.
I always hear “I don’t have time. I’d love to do XYZ, but I don’t have time.”
Well, nobody has time. We have to MAKE time. And we do, we make time for what we really want to do, and we do it. I even teach this in OTB :)
What do you want to make time for this year? How are you going to nourish your soul? Which way do you want to go?
I’ll be glad if I can help you on the way :)
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