Unconventional Tips for Remote Working Parents on a Working Vacation

Working Vacation Airplane

Understand the No Boundary Bias of the Internet

There’s a funny thing about people on the internet. We’re hidden behind computer and smart phone screens. To the uninitiated pro web user, the autonomy makes people exhibit lots of interesting behavior.

One of those behaviors I call the no boundary bias. The interwebs are wonderful in how they connect people, but it can be somewhat misleading in how it strips out a lot of context.

Let me give you an example.

If you email someone, it feels immediate and personal, almost. as if your comment has been received straight away.

That’s not the case though. In most cases it takes some time for the receiver to process the email. And it’s not clear what else the receiver may have going on in their working or personal life.

The point is that the internet and all the efficiencies and scale it brings, creates a sense of entitlement and urgency in people. This is a good thing with technology.

However … it takes time to do business with a busy human being, not a machine.

So the point is …

If you work online, don’t feel bad or get stressed out if the human beings contacting you are frustrated with your lack of near immediate response time.

They may be missing the context of what else you got going on or are suffering from the no boundary bias.

Work Hard, Play Harder

I had a great vacation to visit family recently. I made the decision to not fully unplug because quite frankly my business is BOOMING, and I wanted to keep on top of the momentum.

That being said, I backed off the throttle a little bit, did not work on the weekends, and took big chunks out of the day to do fun family stuff.

That’s why we built these kind of businesses. Remember?

So if I ran 3 hours of conference calls with clients around the world, I would spend the next 6 hours enjoying time on the beach, surfing, and just being with those important people I traveled to see.

Transparency Rules

I’ve heard some people say, that if you run a location independent business, don’t tell people if you’re travelling because they’ll think you aren’t serious or committed.

I don’t agree with this at all.

Be open with your clients and customers if you want.

People like doing business with real people that have a real life.

If they know you’re travelling, they might even be more understanding if you’re a little slower than usual.

Working Vacation is an Art Form

Some of my income is totally passive income, so when I go on vacation, it really doesn’t matter.

Other parts of my income are service business based. If I’m not unplugging completely and want to work while traveling, the tips in this article are principles I live by.

Enjoy your next working vacation!

And never forget you built a location independent business so you could take it anywhere.

Also be sure to still take those vacations where you unplug completely!

Parents Put Down the Smart Phone

I’m not perfect at this myself. I work from home online & the iphone is part of my working life.

However I will say that in my view the best thing you can give your children, your partner, your family, your business conversations, and even when talking with strangers …  is your complete undivided attention.

True attention and focus is one of the scarcest resources in the world.

It’s also creates the space for the magic of life to happen.

Our children are watching how we use technology.

What does our behavior around smart phones teach them … or not teach them?

The Dolphin Way: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy, and Motivated Kids – Without Turning into a Tiger

indexIn her new book, Dr. Kang takes the approach of offering an alternative to the controversial Tiger approach to parenting.  She very clearly identifies the many challenges and stresses of raising a family in today’s modern rush.  She spends some time dissecting why many parents have come to be Tigers – stressing out their children, stressed out themselves, rushing, pushing, striving.  And then, thankfully, Dr. Kang offers many solutions, tips, scenarios, and true-life experiences to teach and remind how to reconnect with a gentler, kinder, ultimately more effective way of parenting and living.

There are many useful pieces of Dr. Kang’s book.  One piece that I sticks with me and that I have shared on multiple occasions with friends (parents and not), is regarding the importance of free play in life.  Free play is what kids do when given the opportunity to be kids (it is what adults do to with free time if they still know how).  Free play is what schools, extracurricular activities, ivy-league college goals, sports, and a host of other overly-structured, time-hogging activities steal from kids and parents. Research shows that free play is essential to the development of problem-solving skills, creativity development, and social skills.  Turns out, those kids who lived completely structured, planned, scheduled, achieving childhoods, look really good on paper; but they don’t have the skills to be competitive in today’s creativity driven, problem-solving, entrepreneurial marketplace.  Employers are noticing too; they are changing hiring processes in search of children raised with plenty of opportunities to pursue free play.

Tonight, while putting my 4 and 2 year old girls to sleep, I asked them what they wanted to do tomorrow.  They both rattled off a flurry of sentences, each beginning with the word play; play in the garden, play outside, play at the park, play with blocks.  Kids learn and explore through play; it is the ultimate learning tool.  Free play is also just plain old fun!  You should try it some time.  With and without your kids.  You will all benefit.  I saw a t-shirt sporting mom recently who’s shirt proclaimed, “when mom runs, we all win”.  True in my family!

Another part of Dr. Kang’s book that really resonated with me was about intuition and the importance of self-care.  When we can push aside the stress, concerns about public perceptions, and influences of modern culture and connect with our true intuition we can usually make good choices and decisions for ourselves and our families.  The more we are over-worked and under-played, the harder it is to make that connection with our intuition.  A headline in a parenting blog caught my eye recently, If you find yourself yelling at your children, you’re probably not taking care of yourself, it read.  So true!  As parents, if we don’t take care of ourselves, there is no way we can do a good job of meeting the needs of our children.

Dr. Kang reminds us that we can’t make decent decisions when we don’t eat, forget to drink water, don’t exercise, don’t take time to unwind and refill, don’t take a moment to watch the sunset.  These things make us human and parenting is an immensely human task.  As she herself admits, what she is teaching in The Dolphin Way isn’t rocket science; we can all attain the methods she presents IF we feel our way back to the little things that are really important in life.  Listen to your kids, talk to your kids, enjoy your kids, enjoy your kids enjoying themselves, trust in nature, trust yourself, trust your kids, let your kids be kids and let them be themselves. 

Thank you Dr. Kang for providing a tool to help us all be a little more human.  Our kids thank you too!

DrDr. Kang is an award winning Harvard trained psychiatrist and author of The Dolphin Way: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy, and Motivated Kids Without Turning Into a Tiger. She is currently the medical director for Child and Youth Mental Health for Vancouver and a clinical associate professor at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Kang has helped hundreds of children, adolescents, and parents move toward positive behaviors and better mental health.


How to Start Your Backyard Organic Vegetable Garden

phil-nauta-the-smiling-gardenerDid you ever want a quick introduction to backyard organic vegetable gardening?

Phil Nauta (the Smiling Gardener) just released an online organic gardening course on Organic Life Guru about how to round out your backyard organic gardening skills for personal use or larger production.

This is a good course if you’re looking to improve your organic gardening skills or food security position. You can discover more about:

  • How to choose your garden location
  • Companion planting
  • Succession planting
  • Crop rotations
  • Creating polycultures
  • Saving seed
  • Building and designing raised beds
  • Specifics on growing many different vegetables

This video course is a stand alone part of his 12 month program called The Smiling Gardener Academy.

3 Bonus Organig Vegetable Gardening Tips from Phil Nauta