How to Stay Productive When Working Away From Home
As we rely more on technology and the internet to complete work tasks, it becomes easier to do work on-the-go. Free wi-fi is available in virtually every public building you step foot in. Cell phones, laptops, even wearable technology such as smartwatches are getting faster and better, making work extremely portable. And virtual collaboration has never been smoother, thanks to apps and video calling. As nice as all that flexibility sounds, traveling and working isn’t ideal. Traveling makes it difficult to work uninterrupted, without distractions. Our work suffers when we stop and start projects repeatedly.
Pros and cons to working on-the-go
While some people thrive in an ever-shifting work environment, others have a hard time getting in-the-zone. But sometimes you can’t change your circumstances and you have to work while you’re traveling. Here’s how to be productive when you’re away from your official workspace.
Work during high productivity hours
First of all, consider the time of day you get the most work done. This will automatically narrow down where you set up a quick “temp” office. If the only time you are able to work is in the evenings (after most businesses are closed), turn on all the lights in your hotel room and work at a desk or table, if possible. Try to avoid working in bed or in an overly comfortable environment, as comfort leads to sleep or laziness.
If you’re able to work during the daytime, check out the local library or get a table at a restaurant during off-peak hours. If some background noise helps you work, a coffee shop, a mall food court, or a hotel lobby may be a better environment for you.
Secondly, try to keep distractions to a minimum. Unless you’re using your phone for work, silence your phone so that the “ping” of notifications doesn’t interrupt you. Keeping an email tab open is okay, keeping social media tabs open is asking for distractions. Sign out of your social media accounts and anytime you get distracted by something unrelated to work, bookmark the page. These simple steps will help you stay focused and on-task.
Become a planner
Lastly, create a game plan and set goals. Break your tasks up into reasonable size chunks, attacking them one at a time. Once a task is completed, grab a coffee or make personal calls to give your brain a break. You’ll be surprised how refreshed you’ll be when you sit down to tackle the next item on your to do list.