Hi everyone!

I wanted to let you know I’m going off-grid for a week or so.

WHAT?! I hear you scream, immensely distressed at the thought of my absence for even a short while.

Fret not, dear friends, for I’m just taking a brief workation.

A what now? you ask, slowly raising an eyebrow and thinking a small break may not be the worst thing after all.

Let me explain.

Why Do I Need A Workation?

You may know that in the past couple of months I did a life-changing declutter and head-spinning move from the apartment where I’ve lived for over 18 years. There are still many little and big things to sort out to make the new place feel like home.

While this was going on I also revamped the Louder Minds website and visual style, which has meant learning new applications, and of course the inevitable ongoing fixes and tweaks that are needed when you change things up.

All of this has been great, but also seriously exhausting.

Now, I’m not someone who’s always super-in-touch with my own feelings. In fact it’s often a close friend who points out when I’m having some kind of major meltdown mild and entirely appropriate emotional reaction. So it’s taken me a while to realise just how exhausted I am.

Here are some of the little clues…

I’ve been feeling little joy in my work – just going through the motions.

I’ve been tired. Constantly.

I’ve been late to every combat class since moving.

I’ve felt nothing – no involuntary dance moves, no compulsion to belt out off-key lyrics – when listening to my 80s playlists.

But the real wake-up call was a couple of days ago when I opened the pantry door to make a coffee and found THERE WERE ONLY 2 REMAINING PODS.

Now I’m a person who always has prodigious quantities of chocolate, wine, and coffee in my house. Come the apocalypse, I will be ready.

Yet, clearly I was not. I would’ve had to negotiate the apocalypse with the mother of all caffeine-withdrawal headaches.

I stopped short, my arm mid-stretch toward the pod container, horrified at the near-catastrophe before me. Imagine if things had gone on just a little longer, and I’d found myself living in an entirely pod-free house. Imagine going out into the world to buy coffee and interact with people WHILE COMPLETELY UNCAFFEINATED.

How could I let things get this bad? I asked myself.

I don’t know, I answered, clearly too upset to recognise my own rhetorical tone.

Removing the remaining pods to make a double-shot, I took a deep breath and thought about the way things had been.

Waking each morning with a heart-stopping jolt at the long mental task list concerning the apartment sale, and finding a new place fast, and moving. Dealing with constant calls and emails for various issues ranging from a gas leak to a malfunctioning new clothes dryer. Scrambling to stick to my self-imposed schedule of 3 Louder Minds posts a week, a Friday Weekly Introvert Update, and daily posts on Facebook and Instagram. Trying to learn two new applications on the go. Saving things in random places without time to set up folders and then not being able to find anything. Doubling up on tasks and making mistakes because everything was being done in a screaming hurry.

Doing everything reactively, nothing from a place of centredness. Nothing with pleasure. Zero joy.

You might think the best thing for such a malaise is a vacation – to get away from it all and recharge. But the problem is that when you return, you return to the same place: Malaiseville. Plus, I wouldn’t find it relaxing to be away with everything in this state.

No, it’s not a vacation I need. I need a workation.

What Is A Workation?

I define workation as a time-out from day-to-day work pressures to do whatever is needed to bring joy back to your life.

It might include:

  • Sorting out files
  • Clearing space on the desktop
  • Discovering where those exported files are being default-saved to
  • Organising your Dropbox
  • Dealing with whatever is frustrating you every day
  • Watching a couple of tutorials on new applications you’re constantly confused by
  • Setting up processes and systems so you enjoy more calm at work
  • Deleting images to liberate storage space and avoid those dire messages on your iPad
  • Catching up a bit on email
  • Purchasing a palette of coffee.

You could think of it as sharpening the saw.

If your job involves creativity, or human people of any kind, then an occasional workation could make a big difference to your work enjoyment and your ability to not feel homicidal for extensive parts of the day.

Even if you can’t take a major break from everything, you may be able to take a day, or perhaps to set aside an hour or two a week to focus on the foundations of your work life.

You may think my solution, spending time on systems and such, sounds worse than the problem, and I get that. Not everyone enjoys order. I think maybe introverts do though, with our tendency to get overstimulated.

So anyway, that’s where I’ll be for a week or so. Workationing. So no posts, no Weekly Introvert Update, no Facebook or Instagram.

If you’d like a little more joy in your work too, you could always join me.

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