All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
Well, maybe, but did Jack ever think about combining the two? I bet he didn’t.
This might sound like madness. In the busy modern world, leisure time is absolutely vital if we’re to recharge our batteries and return to work feeling refreshed and ready to get stuff done. But what if we could mix work and pleasure in a way that actually enhances productivity?
I’ve spent most of the year practicing this fine art, and I’m happy to report that it works wonders. As a result, I’ve got more stuff done than I ever thought possible, and haven’t neglected my family and hobbies.
Here are my five tried-and-tested ways to combine leisure and work:
1. Plan holidays like you plan projects
Holidays are fun, but planning them takes great skill. If you can break down the constituent elements that make up a fabulous holiday and plan each one effectively, you’ll improve your project skills at work no end.
You don’t need to worry about military accuracy or fine detail (unless that floats your boat), but by treating a holiday plan like a project plan, the times your called on to build the latter will benefit immeasurably.
2. Talk to your friends about work challenges
Something troubling you at work? Why not take whatever challenge it is you’ve encountered and remove it from the workplace? Instead, work it into a conversation with friends. Ask their opinion and idiot-check your own thinking.
A fresh perspective on something that has been bugging you for ages will help you devise a plan of action, and if you opt for this method, you’ll do so while enjoying your social time.
3. Take a ‘bizcation’
I’m not one for buzz words like this, but it’s hard to argue against what it stands for. Business trips are rapidly being used by travellers to work in some extra ‘me time’, and while the thought of combining a commercial adventure with a vacation may sound rather risky, it’s actually a great way to unwind.
If your boss allows it, see if you can include a day or two post overseas business meeting to do a bit of sightseeing. If you’re given the nod, you’ll return equally refreshed and inspired.
4. Invest in hotel loyalty programs
If your line of work involves a lot of hotel stays, it pays to invest in a loyalty program or two. Most hotels will offer some form of extra curricular activity, be it a gym, pool, or room upgrade package.
By participating in such programs, you’ll turn what would normally be soulless, depressing business overnighters into far more relaxing and enjoyable getaways.
5. Take your family or partner with you on business trips
If you’ve got to head off on a business trip for a few days, why not take your partner or family along for the ride? Again, this depends on your boss and the synchronising of diaries, but if everything lines up, it’s a great way to get stuff done and enjoy yourself at the same time.
Working for a living is far more enjoyable when you know you’re returning to loved ones at the end of a long day, no matter where you happen to be working.
It really is possible to mix business and pleasure. Who said work should be boring?