Location independence: Maintaining a Work-Life Balance
This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 9. I’ve already taken the plunge and started my location independence adventure in the middle of July. By complete coincidence, I chose Portugal which was the example Natalie suggested!
My husband, Geoff, and I moved over here just over two months ago. We moved into the townhouse we already owned on a resort in the Western Algarve. We had been trying to sell it so we could live in more of a community area. With the uncertainty over Brexit, we were getting nowhere so just decided to go and live there anyway.
It’s a beautiful place in a lovely location so it’s really no hardship!
Managing my work-life balance – the plan
My original plan was to maintain my UK business with my existing client base and occasional new work. I would go back to visit the UK for a week, staying with my parents, every 4-6 weeks.
I planned to reduce my working to part-time, 3 full-time days a week. This was so we could take long weekends to travel on city breaks to different parts of Portugal and other European cities. We would then take longer haul trips 2-3 times a year to visit other places on our bucket list.
I was also going to gradually build online courses with my business partner, Sammy. We both planned to fit this in around our individual client work.
Managing my work-life balance – the reality
I’ve found managing my work-life balance has been quite a challenge. We’ve needed to get many different official documents and items in place. We discovered that each usually needed two trips to have all the right paperwork and two hours to get done. However, everyone we met was lovely and very helpful. It did mean we found some fab restaurants for lunch when we got our timings wrong!
We also decided to learn Portuguese. We started with a teacher 4 days a week for the first two weeks but this was just too intensive and time-consuming. Since then we have reduced the Portuguese lessons to twice a week and supplemented them with language CDs. We could easily not bother but we really want to make the effort.
I also realised my working pattern wasn’t going to quite fit with taking advantage of my new location independence. I needed to make three changes.
First, I would find it easier to work part-time every day. Following what I’m learning from Natalie, I will be working for 3 hours at a time, in the mornings when I’m most productive.
The second change will be to spend half of this allocated working time on developing my online courses. This will accelerate the speed that we can launch the programs and achieve more independence.
The final change will be to build my outsource team so I’m not doing all the work! I’ve already downloaded Natalie’s 5 Steps to Reclaim 10 Hours a Week and am working through it creating my SOPs – Sexy Operating Procedures.
There are other aspects of my new location independence that I’m reviewing. Not all finalised yet, I decided to make the first three changes and then evaluate again. I’ll let you know how I get on.