Work Life Camp

August is vacation time and I have taken four weeks off to travel, relax and discover. As a PhD student however, you are always taking your work with you, therefore we planned a “work life camp” for one week. We actually have been thinking about doing this for some time, because the idea of being away from home and dedicating half of the day to writing and researching, while then having time to go to the beach and enjoying vacation, seemed quite appealing to us.

We have rented a small cottage near Stockholm and have been spending the past days in our first work life camp. I had to write a paper with a specific deadline and I actually managed to get it finished on time, but it wasn’t a breeze. So here are my learnings for next time:

  1. Take entire days off: The idea of working in the morning and going to the beach in the afternoon sounds nice, but did not work out for me. I found it more productive to either spend a day working or taking it off entirely. But which in fact leads me to learning number 2:
  2. Plan for half days:  Even when I sit down and work I only get half a days work done. I admit, I let myself be distracted easily. So no 8 hour days on vacations. Working for 4 hours actually feels like a day of work. After all, it’s still mainly vacation.
  3. No project work: Choose things that you are really excited about to work on, not your regular projects. This will make it easier to sit down. Still I thought I would spend more time reading and developing ideas, but I am actually satisfied with finishing my paper on time.

Although I did not get so many things finished as I thought I would, I am still happy with our work-life camp. Who wouldn’t want to trade in this for the office?

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