Travelling – the best way to boost your personal performance
Our world is rapidly changing and we don’t even have time to realize it. We spend our lives in a back and forth, home-office-home type of routine, wondering if this is how a regular lifestyle looks like. We begin to question ourselves only when we realize that our work performance is very low, when reading a book after work becomes a real challenge and stress becomes our closest friend.
Numerous studies have shown that job-related anxiety is by far the biggest source of stress in our lives and that it has progressively escalated over the past few years. Increased levels of job stress have been demonstrated to be associated with increased rates of hypertension, heart attacks and depression, the so-called diseases of the 21st century.
So how can we solve this?
First of all, avoid sleepwalking through life. A daily routine can quickly reel in negative thoughts, so you better start planning a trip, to get some time off work; you will see that your mindset will slowly change to a more positive one.
Remember – if we are doing the same things day in, day out, it’s quite easy for negative ideas to get stuck in our heads.
According to a number of researchers from Columbia University and the University of Pittsburgh, routine and habits can limit our mental capability and it’s very important to spend time in new environments, because different cultures can improve our way of thinking.
We spend our lives worrying about financial aspects and career improvements, whilst bearing a lot of unwanted stress. And when that happens, it’s important to take a step back, start packing and go visit some new place.
Dare to experience different ways of living and your eyes will see a whole new world and then you’ll realize that work isn’t everything. Travelling makes our relationship with our jobs much healthier, due to us spending some time away from everything, and this will automatically improve our work performance.
Also, when you travel you have the chance to gain new skills or to improve the ones you already have: you become independent and your cultural competences will be increased, your communication skills will be improved, you’ll be more confident and adaptable, but above all, you will gain new perspectives.
Can we travel the whole world with a full time job?
Yes, we can! However, from the beginning we have to establish some new habits:
1) Your days off are sacred – so do not waste them! Studies show that employees only use 51% of their eligible paid vacation. You work hard and need to take a vacation. Vacation days are not only part of your overall compensation package, they are part of your ”recharge” system.
You need to understand the fact that taking time off is important for your mental health, which directly affects your performance at work, attitude and productivity.
2) Travel alone – it would be fun and you’ll spend a lot of time with you. Sometimes it is hard to find somebody who is able to come along in the same period, therefore it’s important to start packing your bag and go solo. From that moment on, you will become a better problem-solver and an independent thinker. Travelling yields a very precious reward, known as me time, which gives you the chance to analyze your life in retrospect.
3) Plan your trips around weekends and if it is necessary, you can either clock-in some overtime or maybe even work remotely. Sounds weird, right? Who wants to work during their vacation? Hear me out on this.
If you want to visit South America and you know that you’ll need at least three weeks to do that, but you only have 10 days of vacation, you can do one of two things, depending on your workload.
If you have a smaller project that you’ll not be able to finish before departing, you can still work on it while abroad, for about 2 hours or so. If it’s a larger scale one, you can clock-in some overtime, either while you’re at the office or from home, if your job allows it. This is all about maximizing your time.
4) Set-up a travelling bank account and start “travel hacking“ – Once you’ve created a travel savings account, try to save up some money each month. You can also set up an automatic transfer, so when your paycheck has arrived, a predetermined amount will go directly to your travelling account. Now that you have the necessary budget, start the travel hacking process.
This very short guide, presented by Forbes Magazine, should help you get a better understanding of what this process is. In a future article, we will discuss some tips and tricks on how to create a travelling budget and how to become better at it.
As a final thought, for those wishing to improve their personal performance and maintain a healthy relationship with their job, just start packing, randomly place your finger anywhere on a map of the world and buy a plane ticket for that destination.