Transcript—Timezone Sickness

by Derek Featherstone

Hey everybody, Derek Featherstone here. Really quick video and quick tip today for those of you that are speakers and/or travel a lot for business. As you can tell I've got a bit of a cold, I've been sick for about two weeks and it all goes back to a conference that I spoke at. It wasn't the conference itself, the conference was absolutely wonderful. It was called Fronteers, it was in Amsterdam. It was for front end web developers, people that design and build websites and I was really, really privileged to be able to speak at the conference. Lots of fantastic speakers, great content, great people. The conference was well organized, the venue was gorgeous. Everything about the conference was wonderful.

My biggest mistake is one that I've made before and that is that when I'm away, speaking at a conference, I try to live in two timezones. So, what I was doing is kind of leading my life there at the conference but also, living a life back here at home. So I'm at home here in Ottawa in the Eastern timezone and it's, I think Amsterdam is six hours difference. So, I was living my life in Amsterdam and enjoying the conference life but then also trying to live and maintain and continue to do everything here that I would already do just in a regular workday here. What that means is I turned a ten hour workday or eight hour workday into a sixteen or eighteen hour workday. And that's just not healthy for anybody. Particularly what I found was going there with the jet lag, I could never get my schedule adjusted so I was kind of living in two timezones and I really just needed to pick one. Either stay on home time or get adjusted to the conference timezone and that's really the best way forward is to adjust to the conference timezone and not feel so much pressure to maintain a life in two timezones at the same time.

We all do it. I think it's very natural for us. We need to feel like we're making progress in all the things that are supposed to be happening back home with our business or with our family lives or whatever it is. So I would say the easiest thing to do, even though it's probably the most difficult thing to do, is to limit yourself. Live in one time zone, not two. Particularly when you're separated by more than a couple hours. It makes it really difficult. You get run down, and my sickness has nothing to do with the conference, but my recovery time after the conference. As you can tell, just by my voice, my sinuses, everything's clogged, plugged up. Don't feel good at all. It's been almost two weeks now. So that's my tip for today. Please, please, please, if you're speaking at a conference, live in that timezone and just choose one timezone, not two. You're going to do yourself a disservice if you're trying to live in two timezones at once.

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