Unfolding plans 113 – happy workation

Wow, that was some workation.  For the month of July I’ve been trying something different.  While I was out and about I stopped and bought a postcard that showed the beautiful or unusual places that I happened to have visited.  Every work day I sent one to my youngest daughter as she was in the plan.  I also took a photo of them and put it on Twitter.

It took me a while to get going but once I’d worked out the best places to buy postcards and how to rejig my route to add some interest I was well away.

Why is a question you may ask?  What possible application could this have for my business and why am I wasting my time (and yours possibly) by writing about it?

Let’s start with it was a bit of fun.  It was a small challenge that occupied a corner of my mind for a while.  I had fun sending them and my daughter had fun receiving them which had to be worth the price of the stamps.

But there are some much more interesting things to come out of it.  It was creative.  If I was an artist perhaps I could claim that it was an installation.  It allowed me to consider my role and the places from where I work from a different perspective.  Combining a pleasurable activity with what some may consider to be a less than pleasurable activity has caused me to consider some of my opinions.

Durham is a beautiful place.  Yes, some places are more beautiful than others but even the most industrial parts have interest.  The postcard was a way of celebrating a location yet finding them in even the most picturesque areas was, at times, difficult.  I came to see places that I’d driven through many times in a different light.  I saw their town squares, historical churches, pleasant walks and green parks.  I saw a lot to be proud of and made many a mental note to come back again and visit properly.  I saw opportunity to promote ourselves in many more places than I would have imagined, much of it which went begging.

It also helped me find interesting things to tell about my days.  It is very easy to fall into the trap of got up, went to work, came back, had tea and went to bed routine.  Finding angles to talk about and searching for pictures to support these stories was a challenge at times.  It was a bit like using analogue Twitter by restricting what I could say to half the card.  At times I found the physical writing hard as I’m not used to wielding a pen anymore.

The big win for me, however, has been the ability to view my work differently.  A workation means I’ve looked for entertainment and enjoyment in what I have done.  I didn’t go to meetings, I went to social events.  I didn’t go to locations, I went on excursions.  The change has been as good as a rest.

My funniest card was the millennium one from Spennymoor.  The most difficult task was trying to find one in Seaham (it has a lovely church) and the best was the last from Beamish showing a man in a tin bath.

Wish you were here!

About philjackman

Guerrilla Worker, strategic thinker, occasional maverick and reluctant over-achiever with an interest in culture change, creative opportunities and regional development.
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