Guest Post by Lionel – Cent by Cent
This is a guest post written by Lionel, the author of the Cent by Cent blog. He’s a young, dynamic professional from Switzerland living and working in the UK. As a fellow financial enthusiast he shares my mission to take readers on a journey to improve your financial literacy and understand how to achieve financial independence!
In today’s guest post Lionel writes about how the pandemic has changed our understanding about work location and introduces you to the new term flexation.
The floor is yours Lionel!
What the Heck is a Flexcation?
Yet another of these new trends, another money sink probably?
Didn’t we all give up vacations for the grind, the hustle, and productivity? Our lack of breaks and getaways has absolutely nothing to do with the global pandemic…
What if I told you, you can get your finances in check, enjoy time away, and feel productive?
With the necessary rise of remote working in 2020 came another problem: How to separate work and personal life. Back in the day once you left the office you were free as a bird. Well if we forget about the office phone. Not only did the lines blur but they came with their load of questions.
Why live in the city?
Am I really happy in my tiny house?
Why am I spending so much time commuting?
Get me out of here!
Click play and read on as you listen!
Remember when working from home felt refreshing?
It was the new hip thing.
Yet not even a year down the road I’m looking forward to going back to the office.
A complete change in scenery.
Can you picture it?
Of course, I’m not excited by the idea of the Tube or crowded trains. I just need a change of scenery, I guess. Although my job doesn’t allow me to work from abroad, an exception was made for Christmas. For 2 weeks, I got to work from somewhere else. My “tasks” stayed the same it wasn’t a complete change…
Yet my mindset had been transformed!
Instead of routinely closing my computer at 4pm and writing or watching Netflix. I got to go out for a walk with my dog, for a hike in the forest, or simply meet new people. The combination of new smells, tastes, and scenery was all I needed.
I never wanted to become a digital nomad – a glorified Bali free liver. I always felt a need for a bit more stability. But the idea of mixing vacations and work had struck a chord. It was the first time I thought about flexcations.
What are the benefits of this newly coined phenomenon?
The idea behind flexcations is to rent a flat somewhere else and mix a weekend away with working remotely.
No need to take a full week off. Change the atmosphere and setting for a few days.
Burn-out? Never Heard Of It
As the lines between personal and professional lives blur – productivity starts to become a quicksand. What’s another email, analysis, or report? I had no plans whatsoever outside of work. I ended up working overtime daily and barely looking back on what I had produced.
It felt productive.
It felt important.
I never relaxed but I was wearing sweatpants so…
My life was stress-free, right?
How could you ever be under pressure in sweatpants?
Of course, being a digital nomad nowadays is not only utopic; it’s irresponsible (You know pandemic and all). On the other hand, renting a cottage in the countryside… sounds absolutely delightful. Whether it’s to spend time with family or simply alone a change of scenery alleviates the pressure. When making your choice of destination don’t become a financial sinner, wanting more will only cost you in the long run. For financial sins please also check out: 7 Deadly Personal Finance Sins To Avoid In 2021!
As I was sat in my childhood room (for quarantine reasons), I realized that emails could wait till tomorrow. I had better things to do! I was already giving enough of myself away during the day.
When I’m locked into work and my projects, as flow sets in – I tend to forget about what truly matters.
Additionally, this freeing discovery led to savings. Guess what? You don’t need to fly 8 hours to get a refresh.
A staycation is a heck of a lot cheaper than a flight to Bali and a house on the beach.
No matter what the influencers tell you.
Geo arbitrage exists of course but you have to do it the right way. I’ve already expatriated myself and if you are a reader of FInancial Imagineer know I’m not the first. If you want to learn more on geo arbitrage and expatriation discover my article “Should I Live Abroad? To Leave or Not to Leave”
Creative Once More!
As lockdowns come and go – my creativity spring has been drying out. I can’t say it’s a surprise. The same 4 walls and the same routine day in day out. I’ve already figured out my optimal desk setting, wake up time, and calorific intake. It should be easy to sit down and get to work. Yet…
When I first moved to work from home. Everything was fresh and inspiring. I had to solve the efficiency puzzle. It was a powerful driving force as I asked:
“What is important to my workspace?”
“How can I make my life easier?”
As time went on the questions had straightforward answers. It became boring as if completing the same riddle again and again. I needed to leave… Nothing radical.
It did the trick setting up new office space and having to organize myself again restarted my creativity. As I looked around new sources of inspiration were streaming – in from the yummy cheese fondue at dinner to the snow slowly falling outside.
“If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.”Jim Rohn
By tempting fate and pushing for a change I had set myself up for success.
You are probably wondering what happens when you go back home doesn’t it start all again? I was scared as well. Yet to my surprise it was just like pushing the reset button. I was ready to take life by the horns and get going once more!
Where to now?
I have no idea. On the other hand, I’m comforted in the fact I have learned a lot with my first few flexcations. Most importantly, you don’t need to spend a lot to have a brilliant time, and productive holidays are possible!
Taking time for yourself is sometimes all you need to kick-start your productivity and creativity.
Comment Matt: you may also want to try Jacuzzi Beerstorming
Hopefully, you are now planning your first flexcation.
We would love to hear your ideas (and probably steal some of them). COVID-19 won’t be the end of travel but maybe it’s time to reinvent it?
Thank you to Matt | Financial Imagineer for having me over!
Lionel – Cent by Cent
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this very important topic that affects most of us in one way or another! Appreciate it.
How are you coping with the pandemic?
What have you learned or how did you adjust your life to make it better given the changing circumstances?
Lionel and me would be curious and happy to read your comments below!