Is Working From Anywhere Really All That Great?

When I was fresh out of college, working in a cubicle at Time Warner Cable Media Sales, my 5-year goal was simple – I wanted a job I could do from anywhere. I wanted to be able to work from a boat, floating around the lake, or from the beach, or from any other fun exotic location I could imagine. Within 2 years, I had that, when I started working as an online journalist. I’ve been doing this work-from-home thing for over a year and a half, now, and I’ve noticed some things.

First off, I work far more now than I ever have in my life. When I had a 9-5er, it was just that – I clocked in at 9a, and left by 5p, nearly every day. I was very careful to not get overtime, as I saw a firmly drawn line between work and play. You work to live, I always said, you do not live to work. However, now that I completely love my job, and am my own boss, things are completely different. I start working at 7a, and typically don’t stop until shortly after 5p, sometimes going into 7p. I usually also put in at least an hour each night, after Mrs. Guru has gone to sleep.

Thus, I’m working far more actual hours, now that I can work from anywhere. I also went on my first working vacation last month – a week in Myrtle Beach with Mrs. Guru. It seemed like the perfect setup – I didn’t have to take time off, and I was able to get up early, work from 7a until 9-10a, and then have the rest of the day to spend with Mrs. Guru. Of course, I wasn’t *as* productive, but I got the important things done, and had email coming to my phone throughout the day, in case something came up.

Unfortunately, after a week at the beach, I got home and realized that I was not any more rested than I was before the trip. I’m also slightly behind the curve still, since I was on a limited productivity run through the week. The result is that my ‘vacation’ wasn’t really as relaxing as I’d hoped it would be. Is this how it always ends up being? Where’s the balance?

Are you a ‘digital nomad’? Have you noticed that you work more now than you ever have? How are you balancing that with a ‘real life’?

Published by rcadden

Just a dude with a phone.

12 thoughts on “Is Working From Anywhere Really All That Great?

  1. I honestly don’t think it’s the ‘digital nomad’ work from anywhere thing that’s causing you to work more hours – I think it’s that you enjoy what you do a lot more, and also just the nature of being a blogger. You have to keep up with the news, and the news never stops — therefore your job never really stops either.

    I think if you had any number of different jobs, but were still living the ‘digital nomad’ lifestyle, you’d find that it was the same hours or fewer than a cubicle bound job.

    As someone who commutes 3 hours round trip daily, I’m sure envious of your commute too!

    -olly

  2. I honestly don’t think it’s the ‘digital nomad’ work from anywhere thing that’s causing you to work more hours – I think it’s that you enjoy what you do a lot more, and also just the nature of being a blogger. You have to keep up with the news, and the news never stops — therefore your job never really stops either.

    I think if you had any number of different jobs, but were still living the ‘digital nomad’ lifestyle, you’d find that it was the same hours or fewer than a cubicle bound job.

    As someone who commutes 3 hours round trip daily, I’m sure envious of your commute too!

    -olly

  3. Interesting topic Ricky. Even if I’m not exactly in the same case as you – I still have my main job – running a website effectivelly is a full time job.
    14 months ago my baby borned and I thought that I would never find time enough between familly life, work and hobbies (goin’ out, website,…). I think what matters is to be organized. Set up precise time for each activities and during this time do nothing else.
    And when I’m in hol, I completelty disconnect forcing me not to publish – even the most important news – during this time. Otherwise you cannot disconnect and relax. Morevover I force myself to disconnect -phone/tv/web -once a weeK for 24h. Very nice !

  4. Interesting topic Ricky. Even if I’m not exactly in the same case as you – I still have my main job – running a website effectivelly is a full time job.
    14 months ago my baby borned and I thought that I would never find time enough between familly life, work and hobbies (goin’ out, website,…). I think what matters is to be organized. Set up precise time for each activities and during this time do nothing else.
    And when I’m in hol, I completelty disconnect forcing me not to publish – even the most important news – during this time. Otherwise you cannot disconnect and relax. Morevover I force myself to disconnect -phone/tv/web -once a weeK for 24h. Very nice !

  5. There’s working from anywhere and there’s vacation. You need to shut it down if you expect to chill and relax. Trust me … been doing the always on thing for a very long time. Vacation is good. The world does not stop. Enjoy 😉

  6. There’s working from anywhere and there’s vacation. You need to shut it down if you expect to chill and relax. Trust me … been doing the always on thing for a very long time. Vacation is good. The world does not stop. Enjoy 😉

  7. There’s working from anywhere and there’s vacation. You need to shut it down if you expect to chill and relax. Trust me … been doing the always on thing for a very long time. Vacation is good. The world does not stop. Enjoy 😉

  8. Yeah, this was my first ‘workation’, and I wasn’t a big fan, lol. Living and learning is the important thing, though, that’s for sure.

  9. Yeah, this was my first ‘workation’, and I wasn’t a big fan, lol. Living and learning is the important thing, though, that’s for sure.

  10. Agreeed with @atmasphere; you have to vacate work in order to have a vacation friend.

    When I was doing writing “most-time” last year, I found that similar could happen if I did not keep up boundaries. There’s only so much that can be done, and that should be communicated to co-workers and self as much as possible. I also made it a point to engage in more non-writing activites such as mentoring, so that even if work wasn’t done for the day, I had to take that time away. Only then could I stay refreshed.

    Alas, the pay wasn’t good enough for what I was doing to do it as a solo gig, but having learned this and other lessons, I know better what to expect from myself.

  11. Agreeed with @atmasphere; you have to vacate work in order to have a vacation friend.

    When I was doing writing “most-time” last year, I found that similar could happen if I did not keep up boundaries. There’s only so much that can be done, and that should be communicated to co-workers and self as much as possible. I also made it a point to engage in more non-writing activites such as mentoring, so that even if work wasn’t done for the day, I had to take that time away. Only then could I stay refreshed.

    Alas, the pay wasn’t good enough for what I was doing to do it as a solo gig, but having learned this and other lessons, I know better what to expect from myself.

  12. Agreeed with @atmasphere; you have to vacate work in order to have a vacation friend.

    When I was doing writing “most-time” last year, I found that similar could happen if I did not keep up boundaries. There’s only so much that can be done, and that should be communicated to co-workers and self as much as possible. I also made it a point to engage in more non-writing activites such as mentoring, so that even if work wasn’t done for the day, I had to take that time away. Only then could I stay refreshed.

    Alas, the pay wasn’t good enough for what I was doing to do it as a solo gig, but having learned this and other lessons, I know better what to expect from myself.

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