My recent vacation to Hawaii reinforced two things: I love to travel and I really enjoy what I do working online. 90% of my 5 day trip was spent doing normal Hawaii stuff: hiking, visiting local landmarks and relaxing. But the other 10% of the time, I was busy responding to comments on my blog, dealing with advertisers and working on new articles.
Most mornings I would wake up around 7 am as the sun was rising(seen above) and lay in bed checking e-mails until I was ready to bust out my computer and get some real work done on our ocean view lanai(free upgrade of course!). Accompanying me on this journey was my cup of coffee and light breakfast(usually fruit and/or pastries). I’m not going to lie, it was a pretty awesome office to work out of for 5 days and it barely felt like work when I was working.
There was something about my ocean view office that calmed my nerves and made what I was doing seem a lot more fun than it should have been. It didn’t seem like work at all.
The Best Jobs Don’t Seem Like Work
These past few days in paradise reminded me of the good ol’ days. When I was working from home for a living and before I chose to give up my freedom for a soul-sucking day job. Even though my return to a day job hasn’t been all that bad, I still miss the freedom that working for yourself full-time allows for. While I was away I didn’t even bother to check my work e-mail and I probably would have ignored any work-related calls if anyone dared to call.
But when it came to blogging and working online, I didn’t mind responding to e-mails, negotiating deals with advertisers and doing a little writing here and there. I guess that’s the best situation to be in: when you can ‘work’ and it doesn’t seem like you’re doing work at all. You’re willing to ‘work’ whether you’re on an island in Hawaii or sitting comfortably on your couch at home.
I consider myself very lucky to have found a passion that allows me to work from anywhere on the globe(and make decent money while I’m at it). And although I only do it part time right now, it’s a huge benefit to be able to work regardless of your location. In fact, as I write this article I’m actually 40,000 feet in the air somewhere over the Pacific Ocean.
Flexibility is My Favorite
If you can find a day job that lets you work remotely while you’re on vacation or work from home then you should take advantage while it lasts. I think the optimal work day is four hours anyways(hence the name of the blog) and that can easily be done in the morning before your day even really gets going. In fact, that’s what my friend over at the Financial Samurai does. Think about all the BS meetings, chatting and internet browsing you do on a typical day. I know that I’d rather replace all that with a hike up the Na Pali coast(seen below) after putting in my four hours of work or tennis and lunch with a friend.
I started working for myself online because I don’t think my career in engineering will ever allow me the flexibility that I want when it comes to my work-life balance. There are definitely some careers out there that will allow it but mine is not one of them. I have a friend who recently moved to Singapore for 6 months to be with his girlfriend and his boss was actually ok with him working remotely! Now that’s my kind of job.
Lack of Flex for now
Right now, I don’t have much flexibility when it comes to my day job. I have to be in around 7-8 am and work 8 hours(plus lunch) before I get to go home. That also doesn’t leave me much time when it comes to my online work since I have to squeeze that in when I get home. But for now, I don’t mind the extra work. I know that if I keep growing my online businesses, one day the income from my part-time work will equal my income from the day job. And that’s when I’ll really find out how much I need/want the money from my day job.
When you no longer depend on the income from your day job, work can be a lot more fun. I’m not sure how my day job career will pan out but I’m not going to wait around and hope everything will work out the way I want it to. I’m going to do something about it.
Readers, do you have the flexibility that you would like with your job? If you could work from home or work remotely would you spend more time away from work or on vacation?
-Harry @ the Four Hour Work Day