Under the Radar

160: Working Staycations


00:00:00   - Welcome to Under the Radar,

00:00:01   a show about independent iOS app development.

00:00:04   I'm Marco Arment.

00:00:05   - And I'm David Smith.

00:00:06   Under the Radar is never longer than 30 minutes,

00:00:08   so let's get started.

00:00:09   So I am deep in the throes

00:00:13   of working on my new calendaring app.

00:00:16   And it's an interesting place that I found myself,

00:00:19   where I, for the first time in a while,

00:00:22   and honestly, why I'm,

00:00:23   like, I put all my other projects on hold,

00:00:25   like, I'm just diving into this,

00:00:27   is I hit the point with this project

00:00:29   where it went from curiosity,

00:00:33   it went from something that was just like,

00:00:34   oh, let me explore this,

00:00:35   let me, like, have fun with this,

00:00:38   to something that was, like,

00:00:40   I wouldn't say obsessive,

00:00:41   but it became, like,

00:00:42   what I was thinking about all the time.

00:00:45   And that is a rare thing I find for myself,

00:00:48   that, you know, when it,

00:00:49   that every now and then you'll hit on a project

00:00:51   or a problem or a situation

00:00:53   where I find that my mind is just so focused on it

00:00:57   that, you know, whatever else I'm doing,

00:01:00   in the back of my mind,

00:01:01   I'm kind of thinking about it,

00:01:02   and solving problems that I'm having there,

00:01:04   or dealing with UI issues or whatever.

00:01:06   And I remember a sort of,

00:01:08   I remember someone trying to talk about

00:01:11   the difference between a hobby or an interest

00:01:13   and a passion.

00:01:14   And I thought that his,

00:01:16   this description was pretty accurate,

00:01:18   where it's like a passion is something

00:01:19   that you think about when you're doing

00:01:20   something else you like.

00:01:22   - That's good.

00:01:23   - Like, you can't stop thinking about it.

00:01:25   Even when you're doing something you enjoy,

00:01:27   you still, your brain goes back to it.

00:01:28   And at least for the moment,

00:01:30   at least for right now,

00:01:31   by that definition,

00:01:32   I'm like, I'm passionate about this

00:01:33   at this app and this project.

00:01:35   And what has been interesting

00:01:38   in this particular instance is for me,

00:01:40   I've been trying to find ways

00:01:42   to capitalize on that

00:01:44   and to sort of fully exploit the attention

00:01:48   that my brain is giving to this problem

00:01:51   and to this application.

00:01:52   And in many ways,

00:01:54   what I found is that I had this feeling

00:01:56   that I wish I could put more into it,

00:02:00   that I, like, I wish to me,

00:02:02   wish my days were longer, essentially.

00:02:04   And this is a topic that we've talked about

00:02:06   many times before on the show,

00:02:08   where I, in general,

00:02:11   like for most time of work

00:02:14   that we do as independents,

00:02:16   the way that we guard and structure

00:02:18   our working time is something

00:02:20   that I think is very important

00:02:21   for sustainability.

00:02:22   And I've tried lots of different approaches

00:02:25   and very variants on this.

00:02:26   But in general, what I have found

00:02:27   works best for me

00:02:29   is that I tend to keep office hours,

00:02:31   that I have a very specific time

00:02:33   that I start working

00:02:34   and a very specific time that I stop working.

00:02:37   And I may not always work

00:02:39   in between those times,

00:02:40   but I never work outside of those times,

00:02:42   if that makes sense.

00:02:42   So sometimes things will come up

00:02:43   or I'm just not feeling it that day

00:02:46   and I won't work in that window.

00:02:50   But I wanna make sure

00:02:52   that I don't let my work bleed out

00:02:54   into my personal life

00:02:56   and just generally.

00:02:57   I find that that was an important thing.

00:02:58   And I think especially when you work from home,

00:03:01   it becomes even more important

00:03:02   to have these kind of boundaries.

00:03:04   But it's been tricky and interesting

00:03:06   for me recently when I'm like,

00:03:07   I just wanna keep working on this.

00:03:09   And how do I navigate that

00:03:11   and manage that was interesting.

00:03:14   And I think, and I'll get into it

00:03:15   in a bit of the approach that I ended up taking,

00:03:17   which I think is a useful tool in our toolbox.

00:03:20   But I think what is most important

00:03:22   is just to realize these moments when they happen

00:03:24   and to try and take full advantage of them.

00:03:26   Because I wish they happened more often,

00:03:28   but more often, most of the time, unfortunately,

00:03:32   a lot of the work feels like work

00:03:34   and not just like fun

00:03:36   in the way it's been feeling for me recently.

00:03:38   - Yeah, well, because even if you're working

00:03:40   on your dream app

00:03:41   and even if you are doing super interesting things,

00:03:45   only some small percentage

00:03:47   of the actual amount of code and work

00:03:50   that it takes to bring an interesting idea

00:03:53   into a shippable app and then support it

00:03:55   and maintain it over time

00:03:57   is actually that fun part.

00:03:59   And we talk about this here and there in different ways,

00:04:01   but it's really a relatively minuscule part

00:04:06   of the code that is actually the super fun stuff

00:04:09   or the stuff that you're doing when things are brand new,

00:04:11   'cause that's also super fun.

00:04:13   When you're starting something from scratch

00:04:14   and you're working out all the details,

00:04:16   you aren't hitting the tedious parts yet

00:04:21   when you're doing all that new stuff,

00:04:22   or at least for the most part.

00:04:23   Whereas if you have an app that's been around for a while,

00:04:28   you're spending a lot more of your time

00:04:29   doing things like trying to fix obscure bugs

00:04:33   or paying down technical debt that you accumulated

00:04:35   while you were having fun

00:04:37   or catching up to the newest hardware

00:04:40   and OS releases and stuff like that

00:04:43   or doing features that you didn't really want to do

00:04:46   but that the market has demanded

00:04:47   and that you pretty much have to do

00:04:48   that you find are boring.

00:04:51   It's a lot more of that.

00:04:53   So when you're in that fun mode,

00:04:56   you get to ignore all the realities

00:04:58   of an app growing up and becoming boring

00:05:00   and having to maintain an app

00:05:01   that grows up and become boring,

00:05:02   and you get to focus only on the fun stuff,

00:05:04   and it puts you in a whole different mindset.

00:05:07   - Yeah, and I think too,

00:05:08   it's naive, there's,

00:05:11   what I have found recently too

00:05:12   is there's even another level beyond the fun stuff

00:05:15   where I feel like often,

00:05:16   regularly I'm working on things

00:05:19   that I think are interesting and are fun,

00:05:21   but there's that even,

00:05:23   it's like when you're playing Mario,

00:05:26   you can be regular Mario,

00:05:28   you can be big Mario where you're feeling good,

00:05:33   you're engaged, it's fun, it's interesting work,

00:05:35   or you can be Mario after you got the star

00:05:38   and you are just a relentless crushing machine

00:05:41   that nothing can stand in your way,

00:05:43   and that star mode Mario,

00:05:45   that is the rare thing,

00:05:47   but it's even more of a unique opportunity

00:05:52   to try and take advantage of,

00:05:53   and I think it's fun when that happens,

00:05:56   it's just really cool,

00:05:57   and you feel like you're,

00:05:58   I think in professional sports or those types of things,

00:06:00   they talk about the concept of flow,

00:06:02   where you were like,

00:06:03   there's this different state

00:06:04   that you can eventually get into

00:06:06   where you're just,

00:06:07   all of your mental faculties and attention

00:06:11   is focused on one thing,

00:06:13   and that one thing starts to become,

00:06:15   it feels more effortless,

00:06:17   not that it's like you're still doing the work,

00:06:18   but it feels much more attainable,

00:06:22   and I think what was interesting

00:06:23   in this particular situation is that,

00:06:25   but I noticed it a little bit of myself,

00:06:27   but I noticed my wife,

00:06:28   who's very insightful and knows me very well,

00:06:33   was like, this is not the normal version

00:06:35   of just you're having fun and interested at work,

00:06:38   this is something different.

00:06:39   - You've become Super Dave.

00:06:41   - Super Dave.

00:06:42   (laughing)

00:06:44   I can't do the Mario music,

00:06:47   but when the star music starts up,

00:06:49   that's how it feels,

00:06:51   and she was like, what are we gonna do with this?

00:06:53   This is a unique kind of fun thing.

00:06:55   - How can we harness this energy for good?

00:06:57   - Yes, and not waste it,

00:06:59   because honestly, I've been doing this a long time,

00:07:02   and it doesn't happen very often,

00:07:04   and I wish there were ways

00:07:09   to put myself into this state on a more regular basis.

00:07:12   In some ways, and I think maybe it's a whole topic

00:07:14   unto itself of are there ways to out of it,

00:07:17   it makes me think of life hacks,

00:07:20   where it's like, what are things you can do

00:07:21   to maximize your performance and super boost yourself,

00:07:25   but I don't know if it works that way,

00:07:28   I don't know if it's something

00:07:29   that you can just turn on and off,

00:07:32   or you can do things that might encourage it,

00:07:35   or there are things that actively will work against it,

00:07:38   but mostly it's probably just a coalescence of,

00:07:41   I don't even know, specific events,

00:07:43   or just the place you are mentally and physically,

00:07:47   and the time you have,

00:07:49   and the problem and the interesting opportunity,

00:07:51   and whether it feels like it's urgent or not,

00:07:53   there's so many things that go into it

00:07:55   that are just outside of your control.

00:07:58   - Yeah, it's like trying to summon a bolt of lightning.

00:08:01   You can do things to increase your odds,

00:08:02   but it's still mostly out of your control.

00:08:05   - Yeah, exactly.

00:08:06   I mean, I'm lucky to get one of these states once a month.

00:08:09   It's not even that frequent most of the time, honestly.

00:08:13   If I'm really honest with myself,

00:08:15   maybe one day every two months,

00:08:17   I'll have an amazing day

00:08:19   where I'm in this kind of super zone-focused state

00:08:22   where I'm just plowing through things

00:08:24   and getting a lot done, but it's pretty rare.

00:08:27   - Yeah, so what I thought was interesting, though,

00:08:29   is because these are so rare,

00:08:31   it's like something I've had in the back of my mind

00:08:33   for a long time, though, is just like,

00:08:35   what should I do when this happens?

00:08:37   And the thing that always comes to mind

00:08:39   is a concept of, for the purposes of this discussion,

00:08:43   I'm gonna call it graycation,

00:08:44   which I'm sure, I think you know what that means, right,

00:08:46   Marco, but in case other listeners aren't listeners

00:08:50   of the fine Cortex podcast,

00:08:53   CGP Grey, who's one of the co-hosts of that show

00:08:55   with Mike Hurley, will periodically go off

00:09:00   to an undisclosed location for many days

00:09:04   and have these kind of work retreats, essentially.

00:09:08   And it's a business trip, but not in the sense

00:09:12   of business trip like going to WDC

00:09:15   or going to a conference or meeting with clients.

00:09:18   It is a work trip whose sole purpose is to work,

00:09:23   just by yourself, and the way that Grey does them,

00:09:28   I think is very interesting,

00:09:29   where he's trying to, in many ways,

00:09:31   control his environment such that there are,

00:09:36   like I was saying earlier, there's not much

00:09:37   that you can do to necessarily positively encourage

00:09:40   this kind of productive state,

00:09:42   but there are things that will definitely take it away.

00:09:45   Like there are things that will definitely get in your way

00:09:47   or cause problematics or cause distractions or interruptions

00:09:51   and so I think in many ways what you're doing

00:09:53   is he's putting himself in a situation

00:09:55   where the default mode is good productive work

00:10:00   because his environment is encouraging of that.

00:10:03   And while you can never guarantee

00:10:05   that that's actually going to happen or actually work,

00:10:08   I thought it was a really interesting idea

00:10:10   and it's something that for a while I've kind of toyed with.

00:10:14   I'm like, "Huh, I wonder what that would be like.

00:10:15   "I wonder if it would be interesting for me

00:10:16   "to go on a Greycation and do some work like that."

00:10:20   And we sort of started, like I started talking to my wife

00:10:23   when she noticed that this seems like a different thing.

00:10:25   Like, "You always talk about going on a Greycation.

00:10:27   "Why don't you think about trying that?"

00:10:30   And we genuinely thought about it

00:10:33   and I think that's sort of what will unpack

00:10:35   the rest of this, a lot of this episode

00:10:37   is kind of talking about is going somewhere

00:10:41   and changing your context or putting yourself in a place

00:10:44   where you can be super focused

00:10:47   and you're giving yourself in many ways permission

00:10:49   to do that and you're having it be a intentional,

00:10:53   you're having a conversation with your spouse,

00:10:55   your children, like whatever it is

00:10:57   that you're making a conscious decision to do that.

00:10:59   Like, there's pros and cons and what I ended up doing

00:11:02   is I kind of went to a, I guess a Greycation staycation

00:11:06   where I've been holed up in my basement

00:11:10   for the last two days and I then decided not to go somewhere

00:11:14   because in the end, like, we'll get into it,

00:11:16   like the logistics of actually going somewhere

00:11:18   and setting up a productive work environment for yourself

00:11:21   is a bit complicated and the way the timing worked

00:11:23   for my schedule is like at most I could probably do this

00:11:25   for like two days which is kind of like the effort

00:11:30   of setting it up would probably have not been exceeded

00:11:32   by the benefit from it so I ended up just like doing it

00:11:35   at home but I gotta say it's a really interesting tool

00:11:39   that I, to like have in your toolbox,

00:11:41   to feel like you can go into,

00:11:43   when you have these opportunities in this mode,

00:11:45   like having a conversation with your spouse,

00:11:47   deciding that this is something you're gonna do

00:11:49   and then just like going for it, like it's kind of crazy.

00:11:52   I mean, and I've been working, you know,

00:11:53   like working crazy hours which is not something

00:11:56   that I usually recommend doing but I think for short sprints

00:12:00   it's really interesting and productive

00:12:02   and like I've gotten a ton done.

00:12:03   I think I'm getting close to the point where I was like

00:12:05   my hope was that by the end of this

00:12:07   that I'd kind of be hitting that kind of like

00:12:10   feature complete functional, you know, sort of like

00:12:12   whatever you wanna call it, like the first beta

00:12:13   or like all the base work is done

00:12:17   and then it becomes polish and refinement

00:12:19   and I think I'm gonna get there and like,

00:12:22   it's really cool for that to have taken two days

00:12:24   rather than taking a week in normal mode, I suppose.

00:12:28   - So, is it, so how is this different compared to

00:12:33   your regular working conditions besides hours?

00:12:37   Like is it just hours where you're basically saying

00:12:39   like I now have unlimited hours to work

00:12:41   and I will not do anything else

00:12:42   or is there more to it than that?

00:12:44   - So, I think there's A, there's that part.

00:12:46   There's the just like I am consciously and intentionally

00:12:51   not doing anything other than work

00:12:53   with the exception of like eating, personal hygiene

00:12:56   and going to the gym.

00:12:57   Like those are the things that I do.

00:12:59   Other than that, like I am working.

00:13:01   I'm like sleeping.

00:13:02   I did a little bit of that.

00:13:02   Not as much as normal, but some.

00:13:04   But I think the biggest difference in a weird way

00:13:08   is probably mindset and expectations for myself

00:13:12   where in general, like, you know,

00:13:17   there's, especially when you work from home

00:13:19   and you have children.

00:13:20   Maybe it's a little bit simpler if you don't have children

00:13:22   but, you know, and your spouse is a bit more self-sufficient

00:13:24   but I always have the feeling of, you know,

00:13:29   like things are going to happen with the kids at home

00:13:31   and I feel a sense of responsibility for engaging in that.

00:13:35   And sometimes that's easier and sometimes that's harder.

00:13:37   And you know, my kids are at school most of the day

00:13:39   so it's usually not as big of a thing

00:13:41   but certainly in the evenings and morning,

00:13:43   like I wanna be engaged.

00:13:44   I wanna be a part of their life

00:13:45   and I wanna be, you know, really,

00:13:47   I wanna be the best dad and husband that I can be

00:13:49   in those moments.

00:13:51   But I think the biggest change was that my wife and I

00:13:53   had a conversation and we just, you know,

00:13:55   it's like for the purposes of this couple days,

00:13:57   she's gonna treat it like I'm on a business trip,

00:14:00   like I'm physically gone and I'm gonna treat,

00:14:03   like I'm on a business trip and physically not there.

00:14:05   And from a mindset perspective, that was just saying,

00:14:07   you know, a conversation and an agreement we came to

00:14:10   and, you know, so I didn't feel bad when I didn't engage

00:14:14   with, you know, with the normal day-to-day things of life

00:14:17   or like she didn't have expectations for me

00:14:19   where she's like, oh, would you mind, you know,

00:14:21   would you mind picking this thing up from the store

00:14:23   or like things where it's like I am still here

00:14:25   but we had totally different sort of mindset

00:14:28   and expectations for that.

00:14:29   And it was interesting how what that did

00:14:33   is it meant that my, after probably half a day,

00:14:37   my brain sort of switched into a mode

00:14:39   where all I was thinking about all the time was work,

00:14:43   that I didn't have the background processes of home life

00:14:49   running, you know, while I'm doing my work,

00:14:51   which is normally the case where, you know,

00:14:53   in the back of my mind, I'm thinking about things

00:14:55   that relate to, you know, to the kids in their school

00:14:58   and things that, you know, like home life or, oh,

00:15:01   is there, you know, is there laundry in the dryer

00:15:03   that I should fold or, you know, oh,

00:15:05   does the dishwasher need to be unloaded?

00:15:06   Like those types of things that, you know,

00:15:09   if I were physically gone, like if I were,

00:15:10   I acted to actually do a, you know, a remote retreat,

00:15:14   I wouldn't be aware of and so I wouldn't think of.

00:15:16   And so it changed the mentality there.

00:15:20   And I think it also was a difference of,

00:15:23   like, it's the ability to feel okay about that, maybe.

00:15:30   Like, 'cause obviously in a normal day,

00:15:33   I can make the choice to not be an engaged,

00:15:38   you know, member of my family.

00:15:39   Like I could choose to just like blow off folding the laundry

00:15:43   and unloading the dishwasher or, you know,

00:15:45   picking up after the kids or making dinner

00:15:47   or whatever those things are.

00:15:48   Like I could choose to do that.

00:15:50   But in those contexts, like I would feel bad about it,

00:15:52   A, and like B, I wouldn't,

00:15:56   I would still be thinking about them.

00:15:58   And so I think there was the like,

00:16:00   because it was a conscious choice

00:16:01   and like we're all on board with it

00:16:03   and we're just gonna decide like,

00:16:04   it was easier and better for me to be here rather than away.

00:16:07   But if we treat myself like I'm away and we just, you know,

00:16:10   like I give myself permission to feel okay with the fact

00:16:12   that I'm not engaging with things,

00:16:14   it was, that was the big difference

00:16:16   that I think allowed me to stay in that place work-wise

00:16:20   for a much longer period than, you know,

00:16:22   the normal like maybe five hours

00:16:24   that I could do at a stretch otherwise.

00:16:27   - That's interesting, yeah, 'cause like it seems like

00:16:28   it's more about the like permission structure around like,

00:16:33   you are doing this thing period

00:16:36   and you are not allowed to help out around the house

00:16:38   kind of thing.

00:16:39   It's more about that than seemingly a lot of other things.

00:16:42   - Yeah, and I think there is a lot to that.

00:16:44   Like it is, 'cause if I, you know, like, and this is the,

00:16:48   it's easier probably to avoid

00:16:50   the permission structure problems

00:16:51   by physically going somewhere else.

00:16:53   But if you're gonna stay at home,

00:16:54   but you're gonna have me or like make a decision

00:16:57   to do a extended focused special work period,

00:17:01   like it's, as long as everyone's on board with it,

00:17:03   like you can, I think you can still get a lot done.

00:17:06   And though I am still intrigued

00:17:09   by the thought of going somewhere else,

00:17:10   because I think it would be easier like to do it that way,

00:17:13   because there's always in the back of your mind,

00:17:15   as much as it's like, I've given myself permission

00:17:17   to not do the dishes, I still slightly feel bad

00:17:20   when I don't unload the dishwasher,

00:17:22   when I take my dishes upstairs.

00:17:23   And like, I'm doing a lot of like, I'm, you know,

00:17:27   like I'm mostly downstairs, but I'm not, it's like,

00:17:29   it would be, I didn't quite go to the extent of like,

00:17:32   packing food from, you know, for the next,

00:17:34   for the couple of days and like putting it in,

00:17:36   like putting it in my downstairs fridge

00:17:38   and like physically cutting myself off,

00:17:41   like that kind of felt silly or like, I, you know,

00:17:43   when I want to get dressed in the morning,

00:17:44   I go upstairs to my closet and get my clothes.

00:17:46   Like I could have just brought everything down.

00:17:48   - Right, you could sleep down there.

00:17:50   - Well, I did, I am sleeping down here.

00:17:51   - Oh, okay.

00:17:52   - I did do that different, just mostly because logistically,

00:17:55   it means that like, I'm going to bed super late,

00:17:59   and it's just less disruptive for my wife

00:18:01   to be able to be like, you know, she's like,

00:18:03   I'm just not, I'm not like coming to bed late at night.

00:18:05   And then, oh, this is why you were so responsive

00:18:08   the other night when I messaged you at like 10.30,

00:18:10   figuring like, he'll see you in the morning.

00:18:13   And you were like super responsive.

00:18:15   I'm like, whoa, he's up late.

00:18:16   I assumed you were like secretly traveling somewhere

00:18:19   in a different time zone, because I'm like,

00:18:20   there's no way Dave will be up at 10.30, like messaging.

00:18:24   - That is well past my bedtime.

00:18:25   I usually am in bed by nine, and so yes,

00:18:27   it was, it was definitely a rare different thing

00:18:31   where like, I'm sleeping in the guest room downstairs

00:18:33   and staying up till, I mean, it's not crazy,

00:18:35   like I'm, I think the, I'm also aware that

00:18:39   at a certain point your productivity starts to wane

00:18:42   with time, like you just, you can't sustain it.

00:18:45   But I found that I could do probably a good like

00:18:48   12, 13 hours in a day, and still be, you know,

00:18:53   so it's just like performing well.

00:18:55   So it's like I was staying up till, you know,

00:18:57   midnight or something like that, which, you know,

00:19:00   is much later than normal, and, but is still like

00:19:04   in that sweet spot of, you know, getting work done.

00:19:06   And then, like the funny thing is you finish,

00:19:08   you lie down to go to sleep, and then I have to like

00:19:11   force myself to stop thinking about the work problems,

00:19:14   because I know that I'm just gonna sit there like

00:19:16   solving problems for the next 30 minutes if I don't.

00:19:19   - Right.

00:19:20   - Like, you know, consciously shut myself down.

00:19:23   - All right, well let's cover actual travel in a minute,

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00:21:17   So you've been doing this like, you know, traveling,

00:21:20   or like kind of virtually traveling

00:21:22   by changing your environment at home.

00:21:24   I do think, first of all, that's genius,

00:21:27   and I wanna try that.

00:21:28   But I do also think there is some value

00:21:30   in actually physically traveling somewhere else.

00:21:33   Because it seems like a lot of what makes this effective

00:21:37   is this kind of, you know, the change in daily routine,

00:21:41   and the change in the, as men can literally,

00:21:43   the permission system of like,

00:21:45   kind of what you are either expected,

00:21:48   or what you are self-motivated to do

00:21:50   in your daily home life.

00:21:51   So whether it's things like, you know,

00:21:53   cleaning up in the kitchen, or helping out with kids,

00:21:56   or doing the laundry, or whatever else.

00:21:58   Like, whether you are required to do that,

00:22:00   or whether you are self-driven to do those things.

00:22:02   When you're in your home, you will do those things,

00:22:04   whereas a lot of times to get out of that, mentally,

00:22:08   you have to leave your home.

00:22:09   Because when you're not even at home,

00:22:11   you can't do those things.

00:22:12   Like, when you're traveling,

00:22:13   the freedom from those things is implied,

00:22:18   because it's part of traveling, right?

00:22:19   It's part of what makes traveling, you know,

00:22:21   costly or difficult for a lot of people,

00:22:23   but that's part of traveling.

00:22:24   And so, if you actually go somewhere,

00:22:28   I feel like you force this even more,

00:22:31   and even more strictly.

00:22:33   And I think it adds, when you're traveling somewhere,

00:22:35   there's the element of the money cost.

00:22:37   Like, you are actually costing yourself money,

00:22:39   like you're by staying in a hotel,

00:22:41   or flying somewhere, or whatever else,

00:22:43   or taking a train, or whatever it is.

00:22:45   Like, you're probably spending money to do it.

00:22:48   And so I feel like that even also helps justify, like,

00:22:52   in your mind, it's like, I bought this trip

00:22:54   to do this thing, this is the purpose of this trip.

00:22:57   And so, if you take any of that time on that trip

00:23:01   doing things that aren't the purpose that you bought it for,

00:23:04   you kind of feel like you're wasting it.

00:23:06   You feel like you're wasting your money,

00:23:07   and so that can be also a very powerful motivator.

00:23:09   That's why I recommend that if people go to,

00:23:14   if people want to see WWDC sessions,

00:23:16   try to go to WWDC if you can,

00:23:17   because you spend so much time and money to be there,

00:23:22   that when you are at WWDC, you go to all the sessions,

00:23:26   because that's what you're there for.

00:23:28   Right, like, you feel bad if you miss a slot,

00:23:31   because that's what you're there for.

00:23:32   So you end up seeing way more sessions,

00:23:34   and being in labs and everything,

00:23:35   you get way more out of the conference that way

00:23:38   than you do just by telling yourself,

00:23:40   I'll watch the videos later,

00:23:41   because how often do you actually do that,

00:23:43   how many videos do you actually see,

00:23:44   whereas like, if you are there paying for it,

00:23:46   you will see a lot more.

00:23:47   And so if you can take advantage of, like,

00:23:49   that financial incentive also,

00:23:51   when you're talking about work vacations,

00:23:54   I feel like that's, it makes this less accessible,

00:23:56   and it's harder to do it frequently for a lot of people,

00:24:00   but that adds a powerful motivator of like,

00:24:03   you don't want to waste your money,

00:24:05   and so you force yourself,

00:24:07   not only do you get the automatic permission

00:24:09   to not do stuff at home,

00:24:11   but you force yourself even in a stronger way

00:24:14   to focus on the work that you went there to do.

00:24:17   - Yeah, and I think, like, I strongly considered

00:24:19   for this particular,

00:24:22   this work session, going somewhere,

00:24:24   and I mean, we even thought of just like,

00:24:25   there's a hotel not far away

00:24:28   that I could very easily have just gone to,

00:24:31   and like, you know, has a little kitchenette,

00:24:32   and like, kind of lived in there,

00:24:34   and I think there is definitely like, that is,

00:24:37   and like, honestly, I think I'm very intrigued

00:24:39   the next time I kind of find myself in this situation

00:24:42   to try the going somewhere version,

00:24:44   'cause I think it might be like,

00:24:45   this was a taster, and I think I liked that it worked,

00:24:48   because part of me was just worried

00:24:50   that I would like, go somewhere else,

00:24:52   or try something, like try this,

00:24:54   and it just wouldn't work, and I'd feel like, I'd feel bad.

00:24:57   Like, if, you know, the, it wouldn't,

00:24:59   I wouldn't be productive,

00:25:00   and it would just kind of fall apart,

00:25:01   and I think it didn't happen,

00:25:03   like, it was productive, it got a ton done,

00:25:05   and I really enjoyed it,

00:25:06   and so I think finding an opportunity to do it

00:25:08   and actually going somewhere would make a lot of sense,

00:25:11   but like, one of the big things, though,

00:25:12   that I was kind of curious how your perspective on this,

00:25:15   because one of the biggest things in my mind, though,

00:25:18   or for why I didn't really want to go somewhere,

00:25:20   is that I feel like it's hard to,

00:25:23   like, recreate the physical work environment

00:25:27   that like, you can tune and tailor at home,

00:25:29   and I know this is something that you've had to deal with,

00:25:30   with your, like, you have a,

00:25:33   sort of a place that you go in the summer

00:25:34   for a long, for long periods of time,

00:25:36   and to do work there, and all the,

00:25:38   sort of the gyrations and things you had to do to get there,

00:25:40   like, in my mind, I was like, I'm gonna be like,

00:25:42   putting my iMac Pro in my car,

00:25:44   and like, driving it over with me,

00:25:46   and like, carrying it upstairs,

00:25:47   and, you know, setting it up on a, you know,

00:25:48   like a hotel desk, and kind of like,

00:25:50   hoping that would work, but like, that's in some ways,

00:25:53   like, I think going somewhere would be awesome,

00:25:55   but the logistics of actually making that happen,

00:25:57   and like, having reliable internet,

00:25:58   and all that kind of stuff is,

00:26:00   they're the things that I found to be the most,

00:26:02   sort of like, concerning for whether

00:26:04   I would actually get there and be frustrated,

00:26:05   like, if I tried to work on a, you know,

00:26:07   work, if I tried to work on a MacBook Pro,

00:26:09   when I'm used to working on an iMac Pro,

00:26:11   like, I don't wanna have things like that

00:26:13   that would annoy me, and kind of break that flow state

00:26:16   that I'm hoping for.

00:26:17   - Yeah, that, I mean, that depends a lot

00:26:19   on the kind of work you need to be doing.

00:26:21   You know, like, in, for our friend Gray,

00:26:24   like, he's usually doing writing work

00:26:25   when he's doing these kind of things,

00:26:26   and so that, you know, it's easier to move

00:26:29   writing work somewhere because it's less dependent

00:26:31   on things like, you know, large monitors,

00:26:34   fast computer performance, fast internet speeds, et cetera,

00:26:37   and so, like, it's easier, like, for me,

00:26:40   I would have a hard time doing this for some things,

00:26:42   but like, you know, sometimes, like,

00:26:43   if I'm like, on a plane, and I'm just on my laptop

00:26:46   with no internet connectivity, I end up getting

00:26:48   way more work done than I think I will.

00:26:50   Not, I mean, sometimes I just get nothing done,

00:26:52   but like, but a lot of times I get a lot of work done,

00:26:55   because it, like, I realize, like,

00:26:58   a lot of that stuff doesn't matter

00:26:59   for a lot of the work I do.

00:27:00   Like, sometimes I need ridiculous horsepower,

00:27:03   ridiculous screen space, you know,

00:27:04   huge amounts of connectivity and everything.

00:27:07   Sometimes I just don't.

00:27:08   Sometimes I can, like, I can take a span of six hours

00:27:11   where I'm not connected to anything,

00:27:12   and get a lot done on something

00:27:14   that I can just do totally offline,

00:27:16   and with a small screen, with a crappy keyboard, et cetera.

00:27:19   I think for, if you're talking about doing something

00:27:21   for, like, multiple days, I would have a bigger challenge

00:27:24   with the ergonomics of the whole thing.

00:27:26   Like, you know, you're gonna be sitting

00:27:27   in some crappy chair at some weird height desk

00:27:30   using a laptop keyboard full-time

00:27:32   instead of my nice big ergonomic keyboard.

00:27:34   Like, that I think would get to me

00:27:36   sooner than anything else would.

00:27:38   - Yeah, and I think that was honestly

00:27:39   something that, like, I worried about.

00:27:40   Like, you kind of, like, you'd start looking at the pictures

00:27:43   of, like, you know, the hotel picture of, like,

00:27:45   well, what, like, how kind of a desk is that?

00:27:47   What kind of a chair is that?

00:27:49   Like, is it, you know, how much could you adjust and do it?

00:27:52   And, like, I mean, honestly, there was a point of me

00:27:53   that was always like, I wonder how crazy it would be

00:27:56   to, like, bring my nice fancy chair with me.

00:27:58   (laughing)

00:27:59   And, like--

00:28:00   - I feel like the iMac you could pull off,

00:28:01   the chair, that might be too far.

00:28:04   - I don't know, like, but the thing is,

00:28:05   like, if I was gonna go for a week, like, say, like,

00:28:08   say a scenario like this happened in the future,

00:28:09   and I was like, I'm gonna go for a week somewhere

00:28:11   and do something.

00:28:12   Like, is it crazy?

00:28:13   I don't know.

00:28:14   Like, it would be a little bit crazy,

00:28:15   but, like, the whole point is to surround yourself

00:28:18   with everything that's gonna make you, like,

00:28:20   the most productive per version of yourself.

00:28:23   And, you know, I think for me, like, you know,

00:28:24   I really love the chair that I have.

00:28:26   It's a Herman Miller Embody chair, in case you're wondering.

00:28:30   I love that chair.

00:28:31   Maybe I should, maybe I would bring it.

00:28:31   And, like, it gets a little bit silly,

00:28:33   but in some ways, it's almost like what I kind of

00:28:35   am starting to lean towards in my mind is, like,

00:28:38   the staycation version works for, like, two days.

00:28:42   And then I think if you're gonna go somewhere,

00:28:44   you should, like, go for a week, really go all in on it,

00:28:47   and, like, make yourself, like, the perfect environment.

00:28:50   And it's probably, it may not be a hotel.

00:28:52   Maybe it's gonna be, like, an Airbnb or something

00:28:53   that's gonna be a bit more, like, you know,

00:28:56   sort of homey that you can really adjust

00:28:58   and make fit exactly what you want.

00:29:01   But, you know, like, it's really intriguing for me

00:29:04   the thought of going somewhere and having that kind of,

00:29:06   like, just essentially just recreating my entire setup there

00:29:09   but just being somewhere separate.

00:29:11   - You can also think about, like, you know,

00:29:12   a coworking space or, like, you know,

00:29:13   renting an office in a different city.

00:29:15   So, like, you're at the hotel room to sleep,

00:29:17   but you actually, like, have a desk

00:29:19   in a real office somewhere during the day, I don't know.

00:29:21   Or you could do the other thing, which is

00:29:23   you stay in your nice home office

00:29:25   and you send your family on a vacation without you.

00:29:27   - That is actually a very genius idea.

00:29:29   (laughing)

00:29:31   - All right, well, these are lots of good ideas.

00:29:33   Thanks for listening, everybody,

00:29:34   and we'll talk to you next week.

00:29:36   Bye.

00:29:36   [BLANK_AUDIO]