Work stress that shouldn’t exist – Newcastle, Australia

Newcastle obelisk view - Australia, NSW


If I would be planning a torture chamber to a medieval castle I would contact Tiger Air company for sure.

So bad was my experience when I tried to sleep in their plane.

The flight from Darwin to Newcastle landed early on Tuesday morning – even though the weekdays didn’t matter as I didn’t have any duties. Well, I had some small tasks to take care of but nothing bigger.

Nevertheless I had a pervert desire to dig up my task list and connect to a proper internet network after two weeks of camping.

All posts can be found here for blog series Around the world trip.

Work stress without work

The post-flight fatigue started to fade away and quickly I learned the streets of Newcastle like my own pockets. Not a single sign about work stress.

I spent my days in gym or at the laptop writing new blog posts and learning new IT skills. Now and then we explored the neighbourhoods. This was how I planned my stay at Newcastle. At some point I even took care of a small business deal with a Finnish company.

At the beginning of the trip I had a habit to go to a bed around nine o’clock. Quickly it was more like 2 AM even though it wasn’t unusual compared to my earlier habits. Once I browsed my laptop until 6 AM which wasn’t unheard either.

But this time I had no duties.

While sleeping well enough hours per night I was often grumpy. The days started slowly and I had hard time deciding what to eat for breakfast and which clothes to wear. The situation was total opposite compared to the first couple of weeks of the journey.

The symptoms were exactly similar compared to my past year’s experiences as an entrepreneur. And now I wasn’t working!

Work stress and the illusion of endless time

The situation now – and earlier as an entrepreneur – wasn’t ideal for a creative person like me that has only a on-off-switch. I suffered from the illusion of endless time. When the inspiration comes it’s time for action.

Unfortunately brains are just like muscles that can become overstressed. If you don’t rest voluntarily the nature either decreases the efficiency or stops the work totally.

The brain work definitely increased my blood pressure but this was also a good chance for a real-life human experiment.

Asking the big questions – What causes the work stress?

During my trip I have excercised frequently and eaten healthy. Alcohol consumption is currently one bottle of special beer. I practically haven’t worked at all. So how come I’m suffering work stress symptoms?

One important reason has been being awake too long. Hours of sleep should have been enough but quality and regularity not so. Most often I have just been at my laptop too late. But a few micro chips in a black plastic cover won’t actually cause the stress. So, what does?

The cause cannot be found inside my laptop but inside my head.

I really paused for a moment and thought this question: What causes the work stress? Why am I mentally running somewhere like a hound chasing a rabbit. I had no external motivation for this. At least the dog has the rabbit.

Halloween sexy male costume.
Day 35: This is what happens after one beer in Halloween.

Ready. Perfect. Now.

The reason for work stress?

The desire to get things ready. To make them perfect. The sooner the better.

But nothing will ever be ready. Nothing is perfect. Everything can be developed forever.

No matter if me or you work until 3 AM, it won’t change anything – not for the better at least. Remember to mention it for your customer and boss too if they don’t understand it.

If you don’t check what’s behind, you don’t know how far you have become

The person who said that you shouldn’t live in the past wasn’t completely right.

I started thinking what concrete things I have accomplished during past five weeks in Newcastle. 37 blog posts in Finnish. At least 22 in English. Almost 60 minutes of video tutorials in Youtube scripted and subtitled. You can find the proofs from this site.

In the end, I have produced concrete results.

I wouldn’t run out of blog ideas even I would write 500 more articles. I often think to myself “Well, I again failed to make the world complete”. I only should realize it before it’s 3 AM. The world is not interested.

One day me and my girlfriend went for a coffee and came back a different path than usual. We were already quite close to our home when we spotted a monument on top of the hill. This was one of the days I failed to make the world complete but the scene was absolutely beautiful.

Newcastle obelisk view - Australia, NSW
Newcastle obelisk view – Australia, NSW

Attachment 1 – Photo gallery

Sydney Opera house at night. Crowd watching a show.
Day 21: The Sydney Opera house. Sydney might have legendary reputation but in the end it just a city among the others.
Bondi beach - Hot guy with six pack
Day 21: The hottest guy in the Bondi beach.
Blue mountains and three sisters lookout.
Day 40: Blue Mountains close to Sydney offered spectacular hike tracks.
Merewether, Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Beach and waves on November close to Memorial walk.
Day 42: Merewether beach in Newcastle. Water was still a bit cold but it was still possible to swim.
Small black dog waiting for cheese.
Day 47: Our landlord’s dog asking for cheese.

Attachment 2 – The traveling expenses until 11th November 2016

One of the goals of my journey was to proof that a breakaway from everyday life or around the world trip is possible with limited resources. After a month and a half my expenses have been less than 4000 euros already including the next two international flights. The total costs probably will be somewhere from 10000€ to 15000€ that I estimated in the beginning.

I’m not saying that traveling is cheap but we are still talking about an amount that is not completely utopistic. The money has gained by work, study grant and study loan.

Around the world costs and expense in bar chart categorized in main groups 11.11.2016
The expenses in main groups in a bar chart. The two upcoming flights makes the difference to the first bar even bigger.
Around the world costs and expense in bar chart categorized in sub groups 11.11.2016
Top 10 sub groups in a bar chart. The flights make 75% of the costs. Flights, car rent, gorcieries and the apartment rent in Newcastle totals to 90%. The ‘expenses’ on the right are the costs from my business. The ‘Furniture storage’ costs come from the warehouse where I store my stuff in Finland.
Around the world costs and expenses in a data table categorized in groups 11.11.2016
Grouping by main and sub categories in a data table. The first column represents the actual costs and the three columns on the right are averages for day, week and month. The expenses also include for example the share of student union fee during the journey.

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