I like travelling. Travelling for work and pleasure is of course two very different experience, but it’s still enjoyable. The short span of time on the plane is like the breather that you need to break away from work.
Being on the plane breaks you from all distractions of work, you can relax and catch up on sleep, watch a movie that you never had time to otherwise, read a book or just listening to music.
Even though you know very well that the minute you step off the plane and plugged in to the world, you’ll likely be flooded with emails that you missed, those plane rides gives you perfect excuses to switch off totally.
In this time and day, switching off is no longer an ability but a discipline. Smartphones constantly reminds us how many things we need to do, work hours are no longer clear cut 9-6, bosses and teams might not even be in the same country as you. As the world shrinks, it gets increasingly important to know when to let go and that switching off does not mean you are incapable.
Unfortunately, it’s all easier said than done. As Asians, we continuously try to show those ‘Westerners’ we are as, if not more, capable than them and the way we think we can do it is by taking on more responsibilities, working later hours and giving ourselves higher expectations.
I suppose at the end of the day it’s the Asian culture. The population is dense, competition high and culture cut-throat. Maybe it’s a good thing. Afterall, such work styles have propelled many Asian countries to great economic growth.
Or maybe, just maybe, after so many years, we still feel we have something to prove.