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Travellers ADHD- are you a sufferer?!

Time to come clean

I’m ready to admit something. This lifestyle design business isn’t all sandy sarongs and sunset mojitos. Depending on how you work it, there is some ‘real life’ in there too. To tell you the truth, the last few weeks I’ve been feeling pretty de-motivated. I gaze into space, twiddling a pencil before latching on to any excuse to meander away from my desk. My task list is growing exponentially, but with precious few ‘done’ ticks. For now at least, I’m losing the battle.

Who’s going to own up too?

I wonder if any other self employed folk ever feel like this? I suspect they do, but when we are in the zone we are too busy to talk about it; when the ‘get up and go’ has run dry, I guess none of us really want to own up. After all, what have we got to moan about? We can do what we like, whenever we want. ‘Motivation problems’ could just look like a euphemism for being bone idle.

Vulnerability in what we do

I worry I will never get ‘it’ back, which seems to be the key element stopping me enjoying this period of enforced relaxation. I’d always taken it for granted that I had no problem staying focused. ‘No, I never feel tempted to watch Jeremy Kyle’, I could honestly reply when asked how I cope with working from home (I would genuinely rather watch paint dry than force feed my impressionable brain with that rubbish!) It now strikes me that there is a vulnerability about being self-employed which you aren’t aware of when you are on a roll. But when the motivation dries up and progress grinds to a standstill, it’s troubling to say the least.

Think I’m on to something

I think I’ve found the answer though. I’ll know for sure in 3 or 4 weeks. The revelation came to me from an unexpected source.

It’s summertime in the northern hemisphere (seasonal references can be sooo northern-centric). Friends are being released from their homes and offices into the wild- they are going on their annual vacation.

What has surprised me is how so many people come back as exhausted as when they went. The whole experience creates a bit too much tension. A few days away is fine, but after the fortnight they report being happy to get back. The travelling was a bit much. They are looking forward to settling back in.

A personal brick wall

So then I started thinking. What if I have just hit my ‘been in the same place for too long’ wall? Maybe I’m also fatigued- of NOT travelling. Whereas the stress of choosing from the 2 for 1 toiletry offers, haggling over holiday insurance, agonising over the most efficient way to arrive at the airport before dawn take their toll on the infrequent traveller, maybe the reverse is true for those of us who yearn for new horizons. Maybe I’ve just got weary of going to the same supermarket week in week out. Seeing the same view from my desk. Going to the same pizza place. For some people these things bring security. For others, after a few months they make our feet start to itch.

Over the horizon – Thailand

So, maybe I have got some sort of environmental ADHD. Or more romantically, gypsy blood in my veins. Or maybe I’ve just been thoroughly spoilt. Whatever the reason, it’s time for a change, if for no other reason than getting me back to work!


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9 Responses to “Travellers ADHD- are you a sufferer?!”

  1. I’ve definitely been in the same place too long, Hannah, which is why I’m so keen to make my business location-independent, like yours!

    I think motivation is a thorny issue for the self-employed – as you say, we can pretty much do what we like, when we like. But that takes quite a lot of managing, even though we are doing something we love – there are always bits of the job we’re not quite so fired up about, and that’s when the motivation tends to wane – for me, anyway.

    At least you know what will sort out your lack of motivation – another trip to new pastures! Enjoy the journey!!!

    • Sounds like you’ve got a feeling getting away will sort out your motivation issues too, glad I am not alone. Thanks Julia

      • Hannah & Chris
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  2. I definitely know what you’re talking about. I think most self employed people are fairly territorial and don’t like to admit they ever have days filled with procrastination. Where the washing up looks more inviting than sitting at the desk.

    Being a location independent worker has made a huge difference to the amount of unproductive days I have now. We are either travelling and fully in holiday mode or we’re desperate to stop and have a few days or even weeks of full on 9am – 9pm work days. There’s more VERY productive days and more acceptance of days when we don’t even attempt work and don’t feel guilty for it.

    Normal office work dictates you should work 9-5 for 5 days a week. People that go self employed often try to keep to that regime. Escaping it is when you really become a happy self employed person with more freedom and ultimately more happiness.
    Luxury travel blog recently posted..Luxury hotels and tours in Asia

    • Luxury travel blog
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    • Thanks for your comment! That’s great that you have figured out a good rhythm for work, being flexible about getting it done when you need to and getting the most out of your travelling as well. Work does seem to flow better using that method! We’re enjoying your trip updates!

      • Hannah and Chris
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  3. Hi Hannah,

    Thanks for writing this! One of the biggest things I have struggled with since becoming self employed is the guilt when not working. Also like the previous comment said, feeling guilty when not working 9-5. However being away has given me so much clarity and has actually given me an opportunity to really understand what distracts me when I’m working from home and what I need more of! Sunshine being number one.

    I am confident once you start moving again and browsing the 2 for 1 deals you’ll be inspired again. In the meantime it might be worth doing something completely out of the ordinary (which is probably not much for you guys! Lol) to reignite your inspiration and motivation. Just a thought. :)

    • Thanks Leanne. You are right, doing different things can be really inspirational, and sunshine! We’re getting so much out of being away at the moment, I hope you are too!

      • Hannah and Chris
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  4. Hi Guys,

    It’s inspiring to see how far you’ve come on your journey so far. I’ve only just started to read your blog but its exciting to hear about everything you’ve seen and done. At this moment I’m living the 9-5 and the struggle is pretty hard on this side of the fence. One day soon I hope to compare the two sides. I tend to be a homebody at the best of times so i know I’ll feel what you’re feeling at times.

    Thanks for posting your thoughts.

    • Thanks Byron
      It IS hard doing 9-5 when you aren’t sure it’s right for you but can make it seem easier if you are clear what it is helping you achieve (ie saving money for x,y,z gaining work experience etc) And its always much better to know what you do want than knowing you want something different but aren’t quite sure what…keep us posted on how your quest for more independence goes!

      • Hannah and Chris
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