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Paul Strickland
Paul Strickland

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Working from elsewhere

My work-life blend has taken a positive step forward in the last fortnight, and I feel quite buoyant.

After my much-needed week off in July, I spent the next few weeks being kinder to myself but still working comfortably hard. After about six weeks of that, I spent a little under a week with my relatives again, although this time I wanted to test the feasibility of working whilst being there. Therefore this wasn't time off, but still it had a fantastic effect on my wellbeing. I think there are two main reasons for this:

  1. Being around people
  2. Realising what constitutes true productivity

The social side of life

I am a comfortable introvert and do not need much social engagement. But despite that, it appears that I benefit from some. Having a few people to talk to in person each day helped to reset my mind a bit. Sometimes it's easy to fall into your own mind and if it's not pleasant in there, it's hard to deal with. Other people help keep you above water in that sense, in ways as simple as having fairly dull conversations about nothing in particular.


The big concern about this experiment was that I wouldn't be able to do my job effectively. With all the distractions of other people, I wouldn't feel the imperative to work, and there would always be something better to do.

To my great surprise, it was easy to get into a good work routine. This was obviously a good result, as it opens up the possibility of spending more time with my family on a regular basis. But just as importantly, it reinforced the fact that my productivity is not tightly coupled to time spent at the keyboard. I most likely did not spend the same amount of time working during those days, but I have no doubt that I was just as productive there than I am at home. For all the distraction and time spent with other people, I could still produce my work effectively, and I am confident that there would be no obvious difference between my support to my team and the wider project whether I was working at home or at my parents'.

I'm publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. You can join in yourself by visiting

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