132 – Working when there are other things to do

In this episode:

Interview – Working when there are other things to do

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Warning – this episode has hardly any content about WordPress at all – we just got carried away chatting!

So this episode is a little bit of a departure for us, in that it’s much more personal than usual, and has very little to do with WordPress, so forgive us! When we decided to cover this topic, I (Nathan) was thinking that we’d be talking about the things in life my non-work life that I have to do, sometimes in opposition to my work life.

What I mean by that is that there are so many parts to my non-work life that simply cannot be put off or delayed and they sometimes conflict with the work that I have to do. You know the kind of things that I mean… you’ve have a family, you have kids and a social setup that all need to be kept up and running at the same time.

David has a very different life to me and so we have very different experiences. I have got to be much more adaptable than I once was, largely to do with family commitments.

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Let me be very clear on this point, my family is going to come above work every single time, but that does not mean that it’s easy to down tools when I need to get on a family matter, sometimes it’s not so easy, especially when that family matter was not expected.

I find that I work better when I have an extended period of time to concentrate, so start at 9am, break for lunch and then work until 5pm. This would allow me to get all of the things that I need to do, done. But my life does not allow this. The fact that I chose to be a freelancer meant that I don’t have a ‘real’ reason not to address all of those matters that crop up. Sure, I could pretend that I’m an employee and say that during office hours I’m unavailable, but that’s not the set up that I wanted or have.

I don’t want you all to think that I’m moaning too! I’m just laying it out there for discussion. I’m very aware that having the ability to go and collect the kids from school is a luxury that many people would love to be able to have.

David has a different experience. He is master of his own time and can work (or not) at any point that suits him. Things that get in the way for David is more about getting distracted or not actually getting to the work that needs to be done.

David also has a habit of taking his work out with him too. He ruminates upon his work even when he’s no longer at a computer; get’s lost in thought and does not notice what’s going on around him.

This topic also covers work-life balance. Making decisions about when we need to work, not always finding an excuse for being at the computer doing work, being at the computer pretending to do work, being at the computer researching about work, reading for work, thinking about work etc. In this industry you could literally spend every waking minute just learning about the latest and greatest technologies, and still get nowhere near the level that other people are at. So how do we know when we need to stop and that we know enough?

This conversation also covers the social side of life. Are you able to find time in your life to go out and meet up with people socially? Do you like being alone and don’t really get distracted? Perhaps being alone though in the end means that you always end up working because you have no plans to do anything else?

I wonder if anyone has made time in their lives to ensure that there is no chance for work to push its way in. Do you switch off notifications during the evening and weekend? Do you leave your laptop at home when you go away on holiday? Can you honestly say that you put work in its rightful place when it have no business troubling you?

I guess the big message here is that it’s possible in this ‘always on’ society, to work all the time… because you can. WordPress is available anywhere that there’s an internet connection, and so it becomes your work and creeps into your non-work time too, and before you know it, it’s all that you’re doing. Perhaps we need to make time to get a hobby, put the computer down and get out into the real world.

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Transcript (if available)

These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.

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Nathan Wrigley: 00:00 Welcome to the WP Builds podcast, bringing you the latest news from the WordPress community. Welcome your host, David Waumsley, Nathan Wrigley.

Nathan Wrigley: 00:21 Hello there and welcome to the WP Builds podcast once more. Thanks for joining us. This is episode 132 which is entitled working when there's other things to do. My name's Nathan Wrigley from picture and word.co. Dot. UK, a small web development agency based in the north of England and I will be joined a little bit later by David Waumsley from David Waumsley Dotcom. As we have our discussion today, this episode was published on Thursday the 13th of June, 2019 just a couple of things before we get to the podcast content itself. If you head over to WP build.com you'll see a menu at the top of the page and if I could draw your attention to a few of those menu items. The first one is the subscribe link over WP Builds.com forward slash subscribe, and if you click on that, it's basically a whole bunch of ways that you can keep up to date with what we're doing over here.

Nathan Wrigley: 01:13 You can subscribe to one of two newsletters, one which tells you all about the podcast and the other which alerts you if I find any product deals going on on the internet to do with WP related products. You can also join us on apple podcasts, Google podcasts, join our 2000 plus strong Facebook group where we're joined everyday by lots of experienced WordPress people and we discuss all the problems that we have found in the solutions that we found as well. You can also find our youtube channel and various other things as well, so that's the first link. The next one is WP Builds.com forward slash deals if you're in the market for some plugins or themes, head over to that page because we've got significant amounts off lots and lots of different WordPress products. Another one to mention is WP Builds.com. Forward slash when we've got a competition going on at the moment for a couple of weeks.

Nathan Wrigley: 02:01 This is your chance to win one of four licenses for the split hero split testing plugin. Uh, Adam Lacey, who was on the podcast several weeks ago. He's launched a product split hero and it will enable you to carry out Ab tests and decide which of your different pages is optimizing best. And we've got to a chance for you to win four licenses he's giving away. Um, for the first one there's two annual licenses and then there's a six month license on a three month license. Head over to the page and fill in the form and you might have a chance of winning those. And the last one I suppose is WP Builds.com forward slash advertise. If you'd like to advertise and get your product or service and noticed more, we'll put an ad out for you and hopefully you'll get some recognition for it. One person has done that is David Vongries from the page builder framework.

Nathan Wrigley: 02:55 Do you use a page builder to create your websites? The page builder framework is a mobile responsive and lightening fast WordPress theme that works with beaver builder, Elementor breezy, and other page builders with its endless customization options in the WordPress customizer. It's the perfect fit for you or your agency. So head over to WP dash page, build a framework.com today and we do thank the page builder framework for helping us put on the WP Builds podcast. Once again, just a couple of things to say before we actually begin this discussion that I've got with David today entitled working when there's other things to do. Normally David and I are pretty on message. We do tend to ramble a little bit, but today we go, really, we take that to the next level. It is very rambley. There's not a great deal of WordPress content in there in all honesty, but I listened back to it and I really enjoyed what we'd said, having a second listen through. So it's all about what it is that we do, procrastinating, finding other things that are far less important, but somehow we get distracted by them. So like I say, not a lot of WordPress content, but it's fun nevertheless, and it gives you a bit of an insight into into what David and I can end up doing when we're not supposed to be doing it. I hope you enjoy it.

David Waumsley: 04:13 Hello, today's discussion, where calling working when there are other things to do. They didn't really, this was your topic that you brought up. So we've, I've ended up making a few notes review with an entirely different topic of kind of work life balance stuff, but you are going to talk about the minutia, the little things in, in life that distractors,

Nathan Wrigley: 04:33 well it was really talking about having a normal life at the same time as having a work life. And I know this topic gets bandied around a bit, but usually it's a private thing between, I don't know, your very close confidence or something. So I thought it might be quite nice to sort of share that. Just the realities of trying to be a busy work person at the same time as having a busy healthy life and a, so that's where I was going to go.

Nathan Wrigley: 05:01 So for me it's about the, the, the difficulty in juggling or managing things that I have to do outside of work. So in my situation I have, I have a family, I've got kids and a wife and you know, a social, social situation where I try to go out when I can. And the family in particular does, there's certain things that happen with the family that are kind of unavoidable, you know, on postpone Hubble. Most things in life can be, can be delayed. Um, but because there's so much routine in my week, there's a lot of things that cannot be delayed. And also as us, those people who've got family, as the children grow up, you'll know that they, they, they have more things going on and they, they make things up for themselves. So some suddenly you realize, oh, I've got to take you there. Have I, nobody told me about that. That kind thing crops up quite a lot. So I was hoping to kind of like have a chat around that and maybe talk around what I do to a avoid going cranky.

David Waumsley: 06:06 Yeah. Well I mean my life's so different to yours. I mean you were telling me earlier about the kind of little jobs that you have to do, which to be honest would, would really defeat while I am trying to do in any day because there little bits of work and well I think we both had the same issue. It's hard to focus on this one task you want to do. If you know that and maybe an hour's time, you've got to go and do this, this thing where you transport a child to somewhere else.

Nathan Wrigley: 06:33 Yes, I have lots of that. My day is now broken up into multiple small parts. Whereas if I was to go back 10 or 15 well actually 15 or more years, the the day is open to me. You know the calendar if you like, can begin at let's say nine o'clock or whenever and it can be, that calendar is open for business until let's say five o'clock and I can do that Monday to Friday. Now. There's all sorts of little impediments to that workflow. And if you're anything like me and I know that you are David, the the flow and the ability to concentrate for long periods of time can be quite important. And the, the opposite can be quite detrimental. So if my, if I, if I'm concentrating on something and suddenly I have to go off and do something all be it only for 15 minutes or 20 minutes or whatever, I find it very hard to get back into the swing of what I'm doing.

Nathan Wrigley: 07:28 So a classic example is just things like the school wrong or clubs that the children attend, those kinds of things. You know, suddenly at three o'clock you have to stop and go and collect your children from school. Now it may be on a given day there for three o'clock for me or two 30 or whatever it might be. That's kind of the end of my day because from that moment on, that starts me. I'm now, I'm now on child care looking after children or what have you. Some days I can come back because, um, my wife will be here and that's great, but some days the day ends at three o'clock, and that means that I can't do anything past those. Now I do want to preface the whole of this thing with there's no resentment or that, you know, or ill feeling about this. This is just the way it is. I'm just presenting it as a, this is how my life is. And sometimes that can be hard. Um, I'll have to, you know, pick up the work, but on, again, when everybody's gone to bed and those kinds of things can be, can be difficult.

David Waumsley: 08:35 Yeah, no, I can appreciate it makes me feel really lucky because I have got my own space and um, there's no real, uh, there's no calls on my time, particularly other than ones I set for myself. So I'm, I'm my worst enemy when it comes to these things. Um, but you know, I do know it when I, you know, when I, and stay with my sister in law, my official home in London on that, that house, it's, you know, Indian family. So all the more extended family will just turn up at any point and it becomes social and people don't recognize when you're in, you know, at home that you're actually doing work. Uh, yeah. So I, you know, I can, those kinds of districtions. At least you can set your times though, can't you?

Nathan Wrigley: 09:20 Yeah, very much can. In fact, we, the way that our family cope with this is that my wife and I, we'll have a chat usually on a Sunday evening and we'll map out what the calendar looks like. We can't really go beyond then. It just is, it's proven to be on realistic and we're not religious about it. You know, we don't get it right all the time. And very often we'll miss something and there'll be an emergency phone call. Oh, you've got to go and, or, you know, go and collect or move or repositioned or whatever it might be. Yeah. So, but yeah, my calendar looks like I've actually got a calendar in my calendar just called timeouts. Um, and basically anything that's kind of a quick little five minute, 10 minute, half an hour job, I just put it into that time out calendar and it automatically creates that as a busy event.

Nathan Wrigley: 10:11 So, you know, no other calendars can kind of inhibit against that time. And so if, I don't know, clients are wanting to book a care plan meeting or something, if they, if they get in before I fill up that time out event, I'll, I have to, sadly, I have to phone them up and tell them I can't do it or if I'm lucky and all the stars aligned, those little timeout events mean that nobody can book through my calendar's, uh, when I've got important things going on. And often with, with, uh, with a family, you can foresee a lot of these things. So, you know, the school as an example, we'll send out letters illustrating what's going on for the following term. So that gives me two months worth of appointments that I can immediately put into the calendar. And that's great. That blocks those off. But very often it's, it's things that you didn't expect, you know, it's southern trips to the dentist or what have you that kind of get in the way.

David Waumsley: 11:05 Do you know, I mean obviously this topic I guess cause we all have, we have got two chats going on cause I'm always thinking about the other side of the things that I do wrong. When the I, the things I neglect is what I was thinking about doing its work. So which is sometimes my wife and I realized that I leave are very isolated. So you know about, I made some notes anyway that on how a shared document that was talking about just this, I get into this trap of thinking that I'm doing some work when I'm not. So that sort of, that, that feeling that you know what it is, you know when you work feels self, uh, such you feel they should be doing something or improve in our skills and you get into this illusion all the time of sort of going to push and you're online. So there's that whole addictive world where you can appear to be working.

David Waumsley: 11:59 Yes, we are really not Facebook groups, courses, deals. Yeah.

Nathan Wrigley: 12:04 Now you're probably not going to want to admit this on a podcast, but um, do you sometimes literally say, I've got to go and work and then spend a bit of time in a Facebook group? Uh Huh. Yeah, yeah, yeah,

David Waumsley: 12:19 yeah, absolutely. I have to job on yesterday and um, you know, it's nice little job to do for client and you know, I was about, that's what exactly what I did to my wife I had to go work, shut the door on her, leaving her alone and then five minutes into doing that job, I wandered into Facebook and came out probably about an hour later to finish off the job. So yeah, doing it all the time.

Nathan Wrigley: 12:43 Yeah. So, so this is, uh, an interesting and different part of our conversation. So this is, this is when you've got other things to do, which get in the way of work of which just lost on the Internet is one of them. Uh, yes, we should be getting on with work, but other stuff gets in the way. Yeah. I, I think, I think every person, if they're being honest, does this to some extent. You know, you can, you can find ways of mitigating it, but I'm sure that we all get a little bit lost in sidetracked. That's part of human nature though, isn't it? And I think, I think the best way to approach this for me is to embrace those times when I get lost. I think I've spoken about this before, you know, if I'm going to waste time, then I'm going to make sure that I enjoy the time that I'm wasting.

Nathan Wrigley: 13:27 Um, so for example, for me in the summer, that might be the, I notice that I'm not really being all that efficient. So why not? Rather than pottering about on Facebook, why not go down to the beach for an hour? And kind of like I say, embrace that dead time because we all know ourselves. Then we, I know that if I'm in that mood, that restless mood and the work hasn't somehow taken a grip of me, I know roughly that that's going to take a period of time, let's say an hour to fix. So I'd be better off doing something enjoyable than just mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. But I am guilty of that as well.

David Waumsley: 14:09 Yes, I definitely, I mean I thought I kind of had things sorted in to some degree I do because you know, I packed in my job and I do the web development as a way of just funding my travels. So it's all fun and games and I'm pleased with what I've done, but I still fall into those traps and I, I, I bet there's more people who do this who were doing this the me in the sense that you feel you should always be on the, on tasks that you always should be focusing on learning more about the business that we do. And I think even I do that, even though I've put aside time, I get to the beach pretty much every day with my, but even so, I've noticed something that I do is I take, some conversation may be from Facebook with me during that walk. So I'm not talking to her for the whole of the walk. I'm actually mentally distracted. So I noticed that even I do that when, you know, I, I think I've got it sussed. Yeah.

Nathan Wrigley: 15:09 I think it's easy to sort of slip into those things. The idea of constantly learning that is the sad reality of, of this industry. I'm nowhere near, I suppose this is a product of being a little bit older. I'm nowhere near as, um, I don't berate myself quite as much for not keeping up. I've kind of figured I've got a certain level that I'm at now. It's okay, I'm happy I can, I can do what I need to do. But um, you know, going back 15, 20 years, I'd be buying books and reading all the time and trying to, trying to figure out exactly what, what I, what I was best at. And then I kind of realized that's a bit of a dead end because that means I'm never going to be much good at anything. So now I just concentrate on the things that I know fulfill my business needs and that's where I stay and I research around those things only.

David Waumsley: 15:59 Yeah. I think when I say it's just this is the balance for everyone, isn't it? Knowing when to push us cause you didn't need to push yourself to get any kind of work done, but also knowing when to get that kind of balance where you need to pull back. And I've been really thinking about that again. You know, with this, I don't know about you, you said that you, you find time to see friends. So this is one of my problems. I'm, I'm easily a loner. I can be quite happily with my wife and just doing work that you good at that or you could let me

Nathan Wrigley: 16:30 Yeah, I'm very good at being alone as I'm, I'm more than happy to be alone. You know, I spent the day alone and um, I could probably spend weeks alone and it would not, it would not bother me. However, I would seriously miss my family. That's not, you know, when I say I could be alone, I could do it, but I would miss my family a lot. Um, but the, the social side of life, I think probably this will ring true for most people who've got children and have a family is it kinda gets hijacked a little bit by, by the family. And so a lot of the social events are based around people that you meet via the children. So a lot of my friends now are based around parents of children and you know, we get the kids together and then those parents hang out.

Nathan Wrigley: 17:19 Um, but I, I'd still maintain quite good relationships with people. Oh, I saw, you know, the I grew up with as a kid cause I stayed in the same place for the first 18 years of my life and I still see those people from time to time. So yeah, I'm, I'm okay with that. I'm no where near as social as I was, but I just, I put this down to, um, growing up and having a family and I don't, I don't look at it and sort of feel any sense of shame on, I'm happy with it.

David Waumsley: 17:47 Yeah, you sound really balanced. Actually. I have to keep a check on myself because I, I can be very easily on my own with a single focus and get quite lonely and I've done that. Okay before. Yeah. So I have to go and always kind of flip this around for my own sake and made a few notes actually about the things that I kinda had to have done. I've had to realize as well, and my wife's good at getting us to go out with people is that if you don't go and see those people, then you've got nothing new perspective coming in. No fresh eyes is yeah. Particularly, yeah. For, for business and stuff like that. I mean if you don't go meet people outside of the people we see, you know, online and you've only got this one perspective, you haven't, they go, if you like our friends, I've probably got a better idea of how clients might think and more able to see the bigger picture on our own businesses and everything.

Nathan Wrigley: 18:43 Yeah. I think there's a lot of truth in that and just talking over what you're doing, you know, some fresh ideas. I think it's important to step away from the computer, but I, I suppose in your case, because it's you and your wife, um, and you are not forced to stop by the school run or whatever, you could in theory, just keep going for hours, weeks, months, just keep locking yourself away and doing the work. And I think you've got to, I think obviously I'm no medic, I don't really know. But I think that's in ultimately it's not a particularly constructive thing to do. So getting out for me, I have no choice. I'm forced out on a daily basis. I've, I've just been out to put the Guinea pigs out about him this morning and that, that gave me a 10 minute break that I wasn't expecting, but it had to happen. And then there'll be, like I said earlier, you know, the school run and things like that and, and I have no choice in those things. But looking back, that's a benefits because it means that I'm not tied to the computer and worried all the time about work. I can't, I can't do that all day because it just isn't part of my routine. Yeah.

David Waumsley: 19:58 Do you know I've been doing a really good thing and I shared this in the WP Builds good, but it was a kind of lie, you know you asked the question about chairs I think and everybody was showing that office space. Yeah, I know. Finally I got this nice picture. We'd gone away and we've started doing this for weekends and I showed a picture actually with my computer out. Well I didn't mention is that we get no internet there at all a post photo. But generally this is a really good thing thing. We've just done three weekends, so every other weekend we've gone away to this place for a couple of days where we cannot get a signal unless we go in trouble out there. You know the house and make an effort for it. So how do you know it's brilliant.

Nathan Wrigley: 20:41 Yeah, I can completely identify with that. I think the, the first digital detox, well obviously maybe the first time you went there you had no expectation that you were going to be cut off. But the fact that you're going back repeatedly to a place that you now cannot provide you with Internet. That's, that's really interesting. I just went on holiday and I switched on airplane mode, um, soon as I got anywhere near the airport and I switch it off again periodically. I think it came on like two or three times, but I didn't, I didn't interact. It was simply just to ascertain that there'd been no, um, no emergency message from let's say my parents or something. And then I tucked it away again and my phone became a camera essentially. And I was really pleased by that time away. I mean, it didn't lead to kind of, uh, an epiphany of efficiency or fruitful thoughts or anything but what it, but it led to a period of relaxation and calm and getting away from it all. And that was nice.

David Waumsley: 21:42 Yeah, no, I actually, I think just over my weekends is maybe really rethink what I'm doing. I needed to think, but it wasn't intentional. I think if I'd gone on purpose to say I'm going to have some time out to think about life and my business, it wouldn't have worked. It's just we would just literally staring out the sea in your mind just wanders off and has a different perspective. Yeah.

Nathan Wrigley: 22:06 So good. So good. Having those moments of just dis, well, complete and utter, I was going to say distraction, but it's exactly the opposite. It's mentally on distracted I think. I think we need more of that in our lives, but we need to force it upon ourselves in most cases because if we're not being busy with work, I expect a lot of us are being busy, being distracted by things that probably don't add up to a great deal. Um, you know, checking out what your mates are doing on Facebook and so on.

David Waumsley: 22:37 Yeah, that's it. I mean, living in the moment, that's the thing, isn't it? I guess that's what that is.

Nathan Wrigley: 22:42 Can you think a lot about the future? Do you, do you have great big plans? I mean, I know you've got aspirations, excuse me. I know you've got aspirations for what your business is going to be, but do you, do you spend a lot of time planning things out and thinking about what's, what's coming down the line and what you're going to do or does it, is it more kind of reactionary and making it up weeks or possibly months in advance?

David Waumsley: 23:06 Yeah. Yeah. I think I just react to be honest. I can't play, I plan it. I'm always planning in some way. I know roughly where I'm going also. Otherwise I don't think I can think but, but I've come to realize that my plans never go the way that I think they go in. So for the purpose of feeling like I have a purpose that I plan. Yes. It, yeah. Yeah.

Nathan Wrigley: 23:28 This feels like the antithesis to a WordPress episode in a way. Cause we're, we're trying to not talk about technology, not to talk about being, yes. It seems like, it seems like something that needs to be said though. Um, you know, I hope that those people are listing on kind of, well, there's got nothing to do with WordPress, but it's an important part. You know, keeping your, keeping your mental health and physical health uptodate is, is every bit is important because without those you've got nothing.

David Waumsley: 23:58 Well, I like that. I think, you know, we talked before about going to our first WordCamps and w I mean I think we're both fans of the idea that you meet up with other people who share these same passions of view, but I think that's the other side of it. You also need to have do something that's entirely different as well, don't you? Mm. Um, because I think it's so easy with what we do and I think, I don't know, maybe I'm just misjudged. I think there's a lot of people who do the work we do are introverts who work on their own quite luck and enjoy it and there's a real danger. I've been in that danger zone before being on my own and, and working there. But I don't think necessarily something like a WordPress community is, it's where the salvation is in that it helps to be with other people. But again, you're just talking about the same kind of work, which it second question is what you mean.

Nathan Wrigley: 24:48 Yeah. So you're talking about having, well, for want of a better word, let's call it a hobby, which is nothing to do with WordPress. Yeah, that's interesting. I mean, I kind of, I would lump my family into the, into that category in a way because they are my, my hobby. They are the thing that I do when I'm not doing WordPress. I used to do all sorts of different things, but most of them have been cold along the way. You know, I used to be in bands and played guitars and all these kinds of things, but there's time pressures really. Um, in those moments where I'm not working, I'm with the family. And in the moments when I'm not with the family and not working, I'm probably asleep. It's a kind of, that's pretty much it. I mean, it used to be that, um, I mean, forgive me, there's going out to the pub and seeing my friends and all of that kind of stuff. I'd forgotten about that, but I don't really have a have a hobbyist such, I am part of a, this is gonna sound really tragic. I'm part of a local history group and go well once a weekend as the summer, sorry, once a month in the summer months and we talk about history and archeology and it's really interesting.

David Waumsley: 25:57 I didn't know. I think that's brilliant. I admire you for that. I wish I did stuff like that. You see I, I've got into this trap. I bet there's a lot in our audience who fall into the same trap I've been in a still conformed into it. Is that wanting to really throw yourself into the, the new passion, you know, learning about web development stuff. So you only read stuff on efficiency, how to be better at what you're doing, how to learn more stuff. And I, I is such a danger I think in that well and all of, sorry you carry on. Yeah, no, no. I was just going to say, and also the, the fear of wasting time is one of the biggest problems I think as well, when that actually, when you start to relax, this does actually lots and lots of time. We really have.

Nathan Wrigley: 26:42 Yeah. The, the thing about that one is I would say that it's, for me, it's about looking at the long game, the big picture and those people who bang the drum of being amazingly efficient all the time and concentrating solely, you know, really focusing on what it is that you want to do. And to some extent, I think they promote excluding all of the things, you know, make your life about this. I can see that. I can totally see why that would have massive benefits down the road. You know, in the future when, when things come back and your business has grown because you've been been like that. It just, it just isn't my personality type. And I've, I've, I've kind of decided, I don't know when I decided, but I decided that life is a bit rounder than that. And I want there to be moments of inefficiency and I want it to be moments of comedy and I want it to be moments of, um, futility. And I want it to be moments of enjoyment and all of these things. And so that's the way I approach it. And, and so that prevents me from being and has always prevented me from being this all like super focused niche down a character who just it I think it's not, not my personality.

David Waumsley: 27:56 Yeah. I think it's a good thing. Um, the thing is if we're not rounded as people, we still have to serve people primarily in the business that we do. And if we're not good rounded people, then we're not going to be very good at that. So it didn't really matter if we've just moved to the most efficient page builder or something for some clients really care about. They really just care about dealing with good people. Now, I think

Nathan Wrigley: 28:21 your life where you, you have gone into something to the exclusion of all others and, and then a period of time later, let's say a month or two months or six months or a year later, you've looked up and you've thought by though what's happened, where, where did the world go? Wherever my friends gone. Whereas whereas my life gone, I've, I've neglected at all.

David Waumsley: 28:43 Yeah, definitely. Uh, yeah, it's, it's so easy for me to do that. Um, I don't, it wouldn't be so much now, but yeah, really you've got a habit to go into there and just concentrate on something until I couldn't help them, but no more. No, definitely not.

Nathan Wrigley: 29:00 No. Well, I mean you made some very clever decisions, I think, I don't know exactly when those decisions were made, but the idea of kind of shunning the, the normal work life in the UK, which, which is 99 point whatever percentage of the population they do that, you know, they get up in the morning and they go to work and they come home and it was a bold decision is a decision that you ever regret. So are there any moments in your life where you look back and you think, I wish I'd been more normal rather than moving to India and being a bit of a digital nomad?

David Waumsley: 29:35 No, no, absolutely not. And do you know what, it just keeps giving actually this bit of a journey because we've moved, um, for our kind of semi permanent place in Goa and we've just moved from I guess where the tourists go to sort of beach road to the village, the proper village here. So we're looking out on our apartment on these little small kind of shacks. In fact, the cons. Some people are just sort of build in them together and you just see how these very happy families kind of work together and cook together and how little they need, you know, and it's just, it really, I guess something I didn't appreciate until I left work. I was fearful of money and that, that really forced everything that I did. It was fear that I wouldn't have enough staff, but as time keeps going on, I realized that just is actually more time and money all the time. These people sort of go a lifestyle is like that is Susi Gar, they have a word for it, which is it can be done tomorrow. And they kind of live life like that. And I've noticed my time span, it's almost feels like over the last six years of thing or possibly seven since I first jacked in the work is it feels like twice as long as the last 15 years. Wow. You know, the time has slowed down just because it's kind of mine.

Nathan Wrigley: 30:58 Interesting. Amazing. What a lovely thought. Do you, when you returned to well for want of a better country, let's say the UK, although for the UK read any Western country, I suppose. Do you do other things that you look at and you just think, why do, why do we all, why does everybody do that?

David Waumsley: 31:16 Um, I can't, to be honest, I kind of switched back in the mode, but I feel uncomfortable now so it doesn't feel like home. I think I've, I've taken on board the spirit of these places, so, yeah. No, not too much actually. Um, but I, I cannot imagine any longer doing, uh, it was difficult for me to imagine I work from home anyway. But the idea of, you know, a few hours going out on a commute and the idea of do we kind of nine to five in one particular building just can't face the idea.

Nathan Wrigley: 31:48 Um, so your working day, if we, if we just think about the, the title of this, you know, working when there's other things to do, what, what gets into your, what gets in your way? Because if from the outside it sounds like, you know, you've got, you've got a, you don't have kids, there's one thing, you're in a country where everything's moving in your description, you know, time has slowed down for you a little bit. What kinds of things prevent you from getting things done?

David Waumsley: 32:17 Yeah, just me to be honest. That silly. Yeah. Yeah. And the danger is just doing useless stuff cause I don't have that much work to do to be honest. You know? So that's how I can waste my days away. And that's, that's, that's only might, that's my difficulty is the opposite of yours. Um, mine is to just make sure that I used the freedom I've got. Well and don't squander it where yours is, you've got commitments. I need to make sure that you sort of honor those without them getting in the way of your work. So polar opposites, aren't we on this? Well, in that sense we are, do you have any sort of like responsibilities? I don't know, like centered around like your property or anything? Gee, you have to repair things from time to time or use of time in that way. Yeah. The things come up all the time in, in, you know, in fact, we've just been trying to sort out a longterm let on this and that's, you know, that's always, there's always jobs to be done and there are still people that we meet. It's not like it's just me and my wife only. We, we have some regular people who we see have now become friends where we are.

David Waumsley: 33:20 So we have to find time for those. So, yeah, but they're not, you know, I am lucky because these just slotted in. Rarely I just work around what comes up.

Nathan Wrigley: 33:31 Oh, okay. That was going to be another question I was going to ask because although I was saying earlier that Mike, my calendar is punctuated with little things, which, which mean I can't continue to work. I still try to do office hours. You know, I still try to sit here by nine o'clock in the morning and I still try to get, stay here too, to be working during the, during the day. Um, obviously leaving for the essential things that I've got to do. Do you do that or have you, you know, as your body thought completely changed and you just randomly start when you like and randomly finished when you're like.

David Waumsley: 34:06 it's being random, but you know, there's some, I don't know, it's really odd. I think over certain periods there will be different things. I've started to wake up earlier than I used to do and go to bed earlier and we've started, this is going to be so embarrassing. We found this youtube video because I've been trying to do some weight recently, so me and my wife in the morning have now got a new routine where we turn on this woman from Essex who tells us how these seven minute exercises, the trim our stomach.

Nathan Wrigley: 34:35 Uh, this sounds like a youtube channel in the making. David obviously exercise videos come on David we get is the routines that are going to do find time for the TV. So I never watch TV. I haven't bought a TV for years, like 15 years. I mean, wow. I just don't watch it. I have that, that is actually a lie because I have watched game of Thrones, but I don't watch it on the telly. I watch it on my computer. Um, I don't know how I got suckered into that, but I saw an episode, I think it was at a friend's house and we sat down and I really enjoyed it, but I never watched telly. I just don't really get a lot out of it. Um, I don't, don't know why that is, but I know, I do know that a lot of people can lose whole evenings to that. Um, I probably wasted an equal amount of time looking at, you know, Facebook. So my, it's, you know, I'm not trying to proclaim that that's, that's me being all angelic. I wasted it in other equally futile Telly's enjoyable, but I just don't, just don't get into it.

David Waumsley: 35:50 Eh, well, technically speaking, I, I haven't for the least the same length of time. What is Teddy? Because it is only, it's a new thing that we picked on because there's now all these great series of programs that you can get and we just, we just watch all of those. We just binge watch something. Yeah. So that's a habit now, the evening and

Nathan Wrigley: 36:09 yeah, I think it's very easy to get into that habit. A really good friend of mine, um, they don't have a Telly and, and he's, he's really productive, but not in a, not in the conventional sense of the word. He is productive. It really peculiar times of day. You know, he'll sort of get up in the middle of the night and do things cause he's not sleeping and uh, and he won't go back to bed or else stay awake till four in the morning just doing things. But the, I think not having a telly for him is probably a bit of a prime mover in that he doesn't get sucked into four hours and then sleep, sleep, you know, sort of slinks off to bed. But I, I'm really, I'm, I liked the fact that I don't watch telly. I think about some things that, for want of a better word, I'm, I'm proud of. I don't know why that is, but it, it, it appeals to me that I'm not, I'm not watching telly. I used to enjoy a lot of it, but I found that, I don't know, I just got fed up and kind of regretted sometimes the amount of time that I'd spent in front of it. Um, yeah, they, yeah.

David Waumsley: 37:05 Do you think it's because it controlled you? What you should think on that? Because when you watch TV, you just turned on at a certain time. You watch a bit of the news, you watch maybe some game show or whatever. My parents are like that, but I feel it's different. Cause I only watched, I had, I not had a TV for ages, so it's always on the computer. But I control it. There's no adverts and it's just the programs we decide that we're going to watch.

Nathan Wrigley: 37:28 Yeah, no I can, I think for me it obviously you go back 15 or so years, the, the telly, you had no capability to control what was pushed down the wire at you other than by turning over the channel. So in the UK, historically we've had fewer channels than elsewhere, but that's changed recently. Well within my lifetime should we say. Um, and now of course you've got Netflix and Amazon prime and all of these services, um, where you can pick and choose and it's free of adverts, which is great. But what I, what I disliked about it was that I would sit down and then I would, I would find myself like disgruntled by the choices of Telly. So I would say, oh, there's, there's nothing on the telly. Things like that would, I would speak, I would say crossley and angrily. There's nothing on the telly. And then I just suddenly thought to myself one day, yeah, but you haven't contributed anything to the telly. Why or nurse would that rile you? You've literally done nothing. They're expecting to sit down and be entertained and it for all to the built around you. And then once I've had that thought, it quickly led to the, wow, this is, this is silly. Why am I getting cross about the Telly? Just switch it off and go and do something else.

David Waumsley: 38:41 Well, you know what I mean? It keeps me in touch with what's going on in the UK. The, the kind of save is that we watch and um, yeah, what I've learned is that in the UK, pretty much half of the people have lost their children to tragic circumstances cause that's why, yeah, that's what all the dramas seem to be about. They're all about missing children.

Nathan Wrigley: 39:03 When I was, this is again sort of drifting off the subject, I hope our audience can cope with this. Where I remember I was a paper boy, which means that I used to deliver papers in the UK. Um, and in the winter in the UK it becomes dark by let's say four o'clock. So I would finish school, I would go home, get changed, go out and start to deliver papers. And by the time I'd put the first paper through the letter box, it was pitch black. And I remember walking on my round, I had like 40 papers to deliver or whatever and it would take me up and down these collection of streets. And I remember you looking in the windows one day as I delivered my papers and every single, every single household, there were people staring toward me. In other words, it kind of looked like they were looking out the window, but they were in fact looking at the telly and they have these blank expressions on it cause they were just consuming. They were just passively consuming some ordinary Tellyvision program, you know, which would go, sorry, I was bashing on microphone, which would be on at that time of night. I remember seeing household after household and thinking, Gosh, that's quite, that's quite powerful, isn't it? They're all, you know, nobody's really communicating with anybody else. They're all just passively sitting, watching as a, as the entertainment is thrust upon them. And I remember thinking, ah, no, this is, this is peculiar. I've got visions of the Wrigley family of the knees in sit in mango and what are we doing tonight? Bull calves. Again, that's the other thing. I can't, I can't force that opinion on them because they love it. And the, the, um, the things that they enjoy it so, so different to what I enjoy. Um, it's really, yeah, really, really not something that I've been able to do. So my, my kids love watching telly and I don't really stop them. I think that the content these days is so much better. Um, but yeah, we should probably get back to WordPress at some point. Yes. Next episode. Yeah, we'll do it in the next episode. No, but this is about that. This is, this whole episode is kind of like other things to do. It isn't about WordPress and it is just fascinating listening to the stuff that you do. I mean sometimes you post on Facebook, some of the, you know like your little pictures of going off to your retreat and you walking along the beach and you're doing other nice little things. And I think that, gosh that's really nice. It's nice that you have, you know, all these fascinating things to do that I've gotten not that are, that are about you and about you and your wife hanging out together and the fact that you make time to do that is wonderful. I'm kinda hoping that when when my children are a little bit older and there's more independence in them and they can drive themselves places or be in the house alone without me worrying about the burning everything down, that that will come back into my life. Because at the minute it does feel a little bit from time to time. Like, it's do the work, do the family sleep, do the work, do the family sleep. And I'm, I'm really pleased that you stepping out of the UK as enabled you to have that in your life.

David Waumsley: 42:10 Yeah, no, it's an amazing, I'm truly grateful for, you know, just making that change because, you know, things just fall into place. I still go back to this thing that it's just, I can't, I could not imagine the sort of time and money aspect of things as they've panned out. I was always fearful that I wouldn't have enough money, but these kinds of problems solve themselves out. When you've sort of free out, pun, I just can't put it into words. So I'm very grateful for how things have changed for me.

Nathan Wrigley: 42:41 Was it, is it a one way move? Um, what I mean by that is even if you wished to return to the UK, let's say that you have, have a sudden revelation that living in the UK was significantly better than where you're living now. And you thought, I must go back. Is that, is that now inconceivable because of, because of where you've got your work and all of that kind of stuff.

David Waumsley: 43:04 It would be tricky now because I would certainly have to scale up the amount of work I did to build to live in the UK permanently. So that would be a challenge at the moment. But yeah, I can't imagine doing it now. I mean I do love coming to the UK for a few months and that just to connect with all my family and you know, and other people as well in the UK, like yourself, um,

Nathan Wrigley: 43:26 what's the move to India? Did you, did you have in your mind that like one of the major reasons was I will be able to do less work because it has the financial implications of living in India are just different from living in the UK.

David Waumsley: 43:44 Yeah, it was kind of that it was an accident really. I mean I just knew I'd had enough of the work that I did and I took a career break conditionally and we actually booked to go to the Philippines first six months. We got the visa sorted and we came to India first because we knew it because that's where my wife was from. We just found a place and then realize how much it costs. I can do lots of stuff we're not using up because this year off was uh, you know, I didn't have work then. And so I was taking a year out and I thought I was going to be really out of pocket. But so it grew from that sudden realization that actually we don't spend much here if we live in a place like this. So, but we didn't fix ourselves on India particularly. It's just that we found a nice place and, um, we thought, well let's go there. And we haven't really moved since we still keep for new and nice places.

Nathan Wrigley: 44:32 So you mentioned that if you move back to the UK you'd have to ramp things up again. So presumably then you are happier doing less work than you, than you are doing more work. In other words, you haven't ramped it up in India, you know, or you could have done. So that must tell you, I presume something about yourself, you know, you enjoy your free time and value that above your work time.

David Waumsley: 44:59 Yeah, that's, that's the thing. Yeah. And a lot of the time is just spent kind of learning stuff that I'm interested in, but it doesn't necessarily have a financial reward for me. So it's fake, indulgent. But do I think also because it's age as well. I mean, I wanted to do this before I hit 50 and that just did it before packed in my work. But now I just see it as that there's no, I don't believe there's retirement now in, in life that shouldn't be, there isn't appeared that you work hard up to this point and then suddenly stop and wait for death. You know, or just think, I think if you've, if you've been canny and squirreled away the money in the correct pot, uh, the correct pension scheme, you could, you could absolutely kind of like step away from your traditional work. But yeah, I think most people enjoy doing something. And that's the nice thing about this work as well because it's for many of us done on a computer, which you can take anywhere with you. You don't have to stop, do you? You can keep this going for as long as you wish. Yeah, I mean, I think that making it website, using WordPress to build sort of businesses online means that many people could just do exactly what I'm doing, which is really effectively have a kind of part time job as semi retirement really. I could call what I do.

Nathan Wrigley: 46:15 Do you, do you have, um, do you have the desire to retire or do you see yourself in your cell late 70? Say I'm still building websites. Yeah, I do. Yeah, I do. I mean maybe it will be more of the digital marketing and the building of the websites, but uh, yeah, I'm sure you and I still be talking when I'm in my mid seventies, while arch arch will be, um, you know, it'll be, I'll have to put my teeth in and uh, you know, mock up the dribble and third words. But yes, I can't see myself stopping doing something, you know, doing some kind of work. I like to be, to be busy. Um, like I was saying, you know, when the, when the kids are of a certain age where either they're no longer living at home or that, you know, they're utterly autonomous. I think my, I think I will pivot what my interests are. I think I'm gonna get back some interest in things that I had before. Like I would hope to pick up the guitar more. That's just a little, little dream that I've got. But at the moment it seems futile because it's such a short little things. I know that's, you know, anybody with half an ounce of common sense would tell me yeah, but five minutes here and five minutes there, it all adds up. But I just don't see it that way. But also just things like, I don't know, uh, carpentry, I've got a real interest in, um, and like cutting things off and building things, um, furniture and so on. Have I used to enjoy doing that a lot and it's completely gone. My Dad again, so off the subject, but it's interesting. My Dad always said that he would get into doing stained glass windows and he did not to some level, you know, he's not like, he's not like outfitting cathedrals or anything, but he uh, he plays with, with stained glass windows. So I am looking forward to those things in my life, having things that I can do simply because I want to do them on. I know that nobody's going to interrupt my time. That'll be really nice.

David Waumsley: 48:10 Yeah. Actually the stained glass windows, I mean there's uh, a friend of my sister in laws who does that and just gets a lot of money from it. It's it really big and then demands my soul wanted to do that. Yeah, I do know, I mean, I think this is the way works go in any way for all of us were going just know come at nine to five jobs for life. I need longer. They're not going to be around, although we're going to have to learn to make bits of money out of little tasks. You know, that we do little jobs. Yes. Well, the likes of you and me will, but you know, there's probably a few people out there who've made their millions and uh, can just, you know, use their time, squander their time, I'm going to say, but um, yeah, I, I think I'll be busy doing something or other and I hope, I hope that uh, you know, you and I still droning on about work.

Nathan Wrigley: 48:55 I wonder 25 years from now, do you think you'll still be a thing? Gosh, I'll try. Imagine, isn't it? Yeah. Maybe we should end it on that bombshell. I think we should stop.

Nathan Wrigley: 49:07 Well, hell, I did promise you there wasn't a lot of WordPress stuffing. I hope you managed to find something of interest. It was just really nice for once letting go and talking about something which isn't about WordPress and all of the things that we find ourselves getting distracted by. Perhaps it's something you can empathize with and something that you can, you know, understand the things that we do are probably not all that unique. The WP Builds podcast was brought to you today by WP and UP one in four of us will be directly affected by mental health related illness, WP and up supports and promotes positive mental health within the WordPress community. This is achieved through mentorship, events, training, and counseling. Please help enable WP and UP by visiting WP and UP.org forward slash give. Okay. I hope you can join us next week. We'll be back on Thursday with another podcast episode. If you can't do that, join us on Monday because on Monday, release our news bulletin. I released an audio version very early in the morning, but then also at 2:00 PM 2:00 PM UK time, I also do a live show with some special guests, and so you can join us for that in the WP Builds Facebook group. If I don't see you before then, I hope that you have a nice week and bye bye for now. Cheesy music coming in.

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Nathan Wrigley
Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds and WP Tavern. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group, and on Mastodon at wpbuilds.social. Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

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