Working When You're Mobile
With client projects and speaking engagements planned around the world, 2015 has brought some of the most exciting travel opportunities I've had yet. I'm actually in London right now for the remainder of the month, working and enjoying life.
I do get to travel to some pretty rad places for work, but I still have to work. That's why I'm there in the first place. Some of my friends think I'm on a permanent vacation. If that was the case, would money magically appear in my bank account? It's not quite that easy.
My greatest difficulty with running my own business has been drawing a line between on and off switches. With clients in many different timezones, I find that simple things like taking a personal day or shutting down my iPhone can become major stressors. And given that I'm usually traveling, enjoying a non-working moment usually becomes a test about self control.
I know many of my friends and followers also travel for work, so I've compiled a list of some of the most important lessons I've learned along the way.
Let them know you're out.
When I've got a busy trip ahead of me, I use the opportunity to craft an adorable out-of-office message with an emergency contact. Consider one for your next venture. Your clients will instantly know why your responses are slower than usual and, if there's a true issue at hand, they'll know who to alert. It's a lifesaver.
Airplanes are your friend.
Without fail, my most productive working moments are during air travel. Think about it. Your phone is unavailable. Talking is frowned upon (or at least it should be). There's limited wifi access. Instead of having your trip start when you leave for the airport, use that time to be creative. Embrace hours of uninterrupted focus and think about your business.
Create a work schedule and stick to it.
Your surroundings aren't familiar, so find comfort in daily practice that is. Take an hour in the morning to catch up on emails, but when it's done, so are you. Move on to more exciting things without letting work take over.
Find a way to network.
It's something I'm terrible at because I hate forced conversation. If you're in an environment where it comes with ease, however, I'm all for it. If I'm in one location for longer than a week, I will often rent a shared workspace at a co-op, which is a great way to mingle with local professionals. I've loved working from the Soho Collective in London this month, and met wonderful contacts working in all different creative industries.
Embrace the cloud.
Why? Well, that's a whole other blog post. Should I ever spill coffee on my laptop, I can rest easy knowing that all of my work files are safe and sound.
Book time off.
I've learned over the years that, even though my schedule is unconventional, it's important to book time off. No one can work 24 hours a day. It's not healthy and it certainly won't help your productivity. When you're on the road, reassure yourself that no one will die if you don't respond to an email immediately. Allow yourself to take two-day breaks and enjoy the world around you. As hard as it may be, disconnecting will make you the best worker you can be.
What are your tips for working on the road? Please share by commenting below.