Wednesday, 15 September 2010

7 practical challenges you might face whilst living your dream life

When you think about giving up your office life, having more leisure time, planning your day however you want to and living out your dreams, what springs to mind?

Perhaps you imagine sitting on a beach with the sound of the waves gently lapping against the shore, whilst you occasionally check your email to see how much extra money has been deposited into your Swiss bank account since you finished your last bottle of ice cold beer?

(image via @johnnyvagabond)

Wouldn't that be nice? No challenges, just a life of easy and comfort. It's possible, I'm certainly not doubting that, and maybe one day that will be me. However right now in my first week since leaving employment to explore other ways of life, I'm still firmly in London trying to get my plans up and running and I'm already starting to find some challenges that I didn't anticipate. Practical challenges that need to be overcome before I can settle into this new lifestyle that I'm trying to create...

1. Need for social connection

This is an obvious one, but travelling to an office each day provides lots of opportunities to catch up with people you know and interact with them. It could be anything from a simple 'hello' to a long lunchtime catchup with colleagues you class as good friends. It's also a good way to meet new people through contact with new starters, clients or suppliers.

When you work from home these opportunities are few and far between and sometimes don't happen at all. It's easy to think that substituting real contact with social networking on Twitter/Facebook/etc.. will fill this void, but as we all know it's easy to end up wasting hours or whole days getting distracted with the entertaining or informative links being shared. On the flip side, I'm finding that the total lack of interruption means that the days seem about 5 times as long as they would normally, and you can get a huge amount done.

Solution - I think for me it will be signing up to a few daytime classes (languages, fitness, etc.) and catching up with more friends in the evening (update - I now think this is really important, here's why). It's definitely not daytime TV. Another solution to the isolation of home-working is to head into the city and work wirelessly. But even in a tech-hub city like London, that can have it's problems...

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

The Big Questions: 'So what do you do?' and 'So where are you going to?'

I've been asked the big questions 'So what do you do?' or 'So where are you going to?' many times recently and I've given a variety of answers to people and gauged their reactions. Some people are confused or even baffled, others are genuinely excited. To be honest it's almost impossible to answer but I will give it another try.