Just before the pandemic in 2020, Holly Worton decided to write 12 books in 12 months, along with another writer Michelle Kulp.
They both did.
But there was a big difference in their approach. Whereas Michelle white-knuckled it each month, Holly went very strategically.
Her secret tool — workcations.
In her book Workcations for Writers, she writes about how she used vacations to write her books.
A workcation is a laser-focused getaway where you focus on ONE writing project so you can get more done in less time.
It’s incredible how much writing you can do when you have uninterrupted time with zero distractions.
Our days are full of interruptions.
Have you ever realized how interrupted your typical day is? For example, an average person checks their cell phone 96 times a day which equates to once every ten minutes and responds to email every 6 minutes. No wonder we’ve lost our ability to focus and do deep work.
A workcation is a two-day (or longer) retreat that you can use to complete projects and get things done — like writing books.
“Something miraculous happens when you are away from your everyday surroundings,” writes Holly Worton.
A Workcation helps you get over procrastination.
Typically, when we are procrastinating on something, it’s because we most likely need long, uninterrupted, undistracted blocks of time to truly focus on that project.
Whatever writing project you can’t seem to complete but need to get done workcations might be the solution.
Holly discovered workcation accidentally. One day while attending a workshop she arrived a day early. She used the time to do a number of pending things and was surprised by how quickly she was able to do them.
“The following month, I headed off to a hotel just before the end of the year holidays and completed an entire online program in one weekend: I recorded videos, created worksheets, and built a whole members website to host it all. I was on fire. I had embarked on my first workcation with a very ambitious project to complete, and I achieved my goal.” — Holly Worton
Why Workcations Work?
Going on a workcation requires getting out of your regular workspace and going somewhere different, usually a hotel, a rental property, or an Airbnb. It needs to be a place where you have peace and quiet — where you won’t be interrupted. Ideally, it should be somewhere that doesn’t offer distractions, like great nearby restaurants or local attractions.
The workcation is about being hyperfocus and getting things done — alone.
Why take a workcation?
For two and half years I tried to work from home where I see a messy kitchen, a basket full of ironing, groceries to be put away, and a garden to be tended to. Invariably I will get up from my desk for a little break and start doing a chore. An hour will be chewed out of my work time.
But whenever I’m away from home, I get things done more quickly and easily than I do when I’m in my “home office”.
A hotel or an Airbnb is a clean, clear, uncluttered environment that’s devoid of distractions and chores beckoning me to attend to them. It’s much easier to focus and get more things accomplished.
Workcations are the perfect solution for a busy writer like me who can’t seem to find the time to write her next book.
With a workcation, I would be setting aside space to only work on my writing. I’ll be able to write more words in less time.
“Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest.” — Leo Babauta
Workcations are better than working in the coffee shops because coffee shops are noisy and you can only sit there for a few hours. The workcation is more intense — you’re there for longer to focus on a particular project.
A fresh environment can take you out of whatever is blocking you and a change in scenery can work wonders for your productivity. This new and different workspace can be very stimulating to your creativity and it could be a place you return to month after month.
Holly Worton encourages people to find one place to go and stick with it.
Once you’ve done a couple of workcation weekends, your mind will subconsciously associate this type of focused, intense work with this specific location.
What workcation is not.
Workcation is NOT about combining your family holiday with remote work.
It’s NOT about a romantic getaway with your partner where you get some work done in your free time. If you’re half-working and half-relaxing while on holiday, you’re not doing either of those things very well.
What to do during workcation.
During a Workcation you can get projects like these done:
- Write a new book
- Edit a book
- Design and write a whole course
- Redesign or create a new website
- Write your articles for the entire month
- Map out your publishing plans, projects, and goals
- Create your business plan
It is better to work on one specific project during a workcation and complete it rather than a little bit on multiple projects. You’ll be able to work at lightning speed, so you can get into the flow state and achieve your goals in record time.
“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” — Paul J. Meyer
When To Take Workcation?
If you are working, it could be a weekend — Saturday or Sunday. And if you are not working, you can have it during the week like me. I prefer weekdays because some accommodations are cheaper during the weekdays than on the weekends, and I still have my weekends free.
Two days are more than enough.
Holly says she once did a three-day workcation to build a new website but was so burned out at the end of it that she didn’t repeat it and kept her workcation limited to two days.
I am fully sold on the concept of workation and booking my workation. I will let you know how I go.
In the meantime, you should check out Workcations for Writers and see if it is for you.
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