As an entrepreneur, it’s normal to travel. It is however not always productive. At the start of my career my average kilometrage was around 60.000, dropped to 40.000 and later to 30.000 without losing productivity, but suddenly it went up to 250.000 kilometers per year. Why?
It’s now exactly 2 years ago that I emigrated to Israel. After our decision, I told my closest friends and just a handful more people about this challenging step. I agreed with my family that I would be commuting to the Netherlands for work for no more than 10 working days a month. So here we go.
The second year my excitement grew. Everything worked out fine so I told some more people whenever I felt like it. There were no Linkedin posts or Twitter posts about my emigration. I think nobody ever noticed I was living 3.500 kilometers away from the core of my daily business in the Netherlands. There is an obvious reason… nobody cares.
And they are right. It’s not about how much time you work, travel, look busy, are busy or whatsoever. It’s about one thing only. Stay productive and connected!
Now 24 months later I can say with confidence that I passed my own exam. Let me share some reasons how I can stay productive.
One bonus hour every day
It’s just one hour later in Israel and that’s a great advantage. After I bring my son to school, it’s only 7 a.m in The Netherlands and this means I am in control of my day. I can make coffee, check my email, view my activities and set my priorities and all before business hours. Great. It’s just an example, but the biggest productivity loss is when you start your day without a plan. When this happens you will become part of somebody else’s plan.
No traffic ‘jungle’
In the Netherlands, it was about 1,5 hours a day in the car from home to the office and back, but in general, no stress driving. Great roads, patient people, no driving competition and you can park your car almost everywhere. In Israel, uhm… little bit different or should I say the opposite. Welcome to the road jungle. So I decided to work from home as much as I can.
Secondly, it’s only a four-hour flight going home and half an hour more going back. Flying on Sunday evening to the Netherlands is close to perfect. It’s not the weekend in Israel so I will not lose precious time with my family with this particular flight schedule. In general, I fly back on Saturday early morning and will be in Israel around noon. From door to door, my best time is 6 hours and 15 minutes. Did you ever drive from Rotterdam to Delfzijl and back? That’s what I mean. If you thinking about living abroad.. it’s not the commuting that should stop you.
Productivity! Your mission matters.
Productivity was always important to me, but now it became crucial. I also felt more responsible for being productive as our mission at Silverside is to help knowledge workers to be more productive on a personal, team and organizational level. An increased responsibility gives more focus in a natural way.
Slow down, setting the PACE.
Yes everything around us goes faster, but it doesn’t mean you have to follow. You have a choice. At Silverside we say “set your own pace because to adopt the speed of technology is next to impossible”. Build in routines first and then use collaboration technology. That can be Office 365, SharePoint, IBM Connections, Jive, Salesforce it doesn’t really matter. Use your technology with prudence or it will become your executioner.
Try this one.
What would be your preference if you had to choose? Zero technology but a disciplined working method or great technology and no working method. I believe most people would say the latter, but the reality is that probably 80% of all people have more tools than discipline.
Bye, bye productivity.
It’s like giving your child a room full of unpacked toys and asking him to play with whatever he wants. The result will be that your child is not able to choose, will probably touch every toy and will be upset because his net playtime will be close to zero. That’s us by the way.
Only 2 months after we emigrated, Easyjet announces to fly to Tel-Aviv (Check my blog about their loyalty program). Now I had another affordable option besides Transavia. And if you think it’s expensive, let me help you. Flying to Tel-Aviv from Amsterdam is as expensive as taking a cab from Rotterdam to Amsterdam (80 kilometers ). It’s also not long after that one of our most appreciated customers acquires an Israeli company. What a great timing. I rediscover the train, Uber, Skype for Business and the great possibilities, in general, we have for travel nowadays. So why not travel 250.000 kilometers per year?!