Part of setting up this business was to do more of what we love in life. We're coffee, health and nature obsessed so it's no accident that Exhale embodies all of that too. But while work doesn't feel like 'work' and we seriously love what we do, we also appreciate we need to give time and space for the family to grow.
This summer we spent 5 weeks in Sri Lanka for a mix of working, family adventure and recharging.
We saw it as a test, but it was epic so our plan is now to travel-work every August.
How to work while travelling - running a high-growth business and entertaining two high-energy kids!
We started by taking the first 10 days as a true, phones off holiday and notch up some big hitting mini-adventure-family-fun.
Followed by 3 weeks of working 4-5 hours a day, spent a week in each of three different places. Plan your work shift around time zones. We worked 1pm to 5.30pm each day which is 8.30am to 1pm UK time. Mornings off for family adventures. Evenings whatever we felt like, sometimes off, but more likely doing fun Exhale stuff.
Here are a 11 tips to maximise productivity:
- Buy a small, light laptop which will easily fit into your daypack.
- Get a well-protected laptop case.
- Buy a light, second screen that powers from your laptop. This one was amazing.
- Take a mouse and mouse mat - because it's the little things!
- Get a top of the range phone with fast internet you can tether your laptop to and don't be afraid to pay for GPS on workdays. This is also invaluable when travelling to remote locations as power cuts are frequent. And you can work from trains or your lap on looong journeys. Our Pixel 6 on Vodafone had faster internet than any local phone and most WIFI!
- Always ask for a table and chair on arrival in every room. You feel awkward the first time, but it’s a gamechanger and makes working more pleasurable = more productive. Don’t be shy!
- Take a big powerbank to charge your phone on the go.
- Keep all tech fully charged to work on long journeys or during powercuts.
- Don't take on any tasks that aren't going to move the needle... i.e. cut the chaff!
- Choose your mode of transport around your work. Local buses = no work. Train with reserved seat and table = solid work.
- Embrace it! Don’t be afraid to take zoom calls in boardshorts and laugh it off if your kids video-bomb your zoom calls! Own it!
This was our first time, so we made plenty of mistakes. But we also learnt a lot so I hope you enjoyed our blueprint for how to make this doable if you ever get the chance to mix business and pleasure.
Let us know if you've ever done it or plan to do it in the comments below. And if you can add anything to the above list please share below so others can read it.
Kirsty and Al x