Working remotely has many perks, but when you find yourself traveling and facing down a deadline, the pressure is on. Between the hustle and bustle of fellow travelers, the disruption to your schedule, and the loss of your comfortable workspace, you might find it difficult to get work done.
With a little planning, though, you can find a great balance between work and travel and still get everything done while you’re jet setting.
Identify travel-friendly tasks
Not all work is created equal. If you know that travel is on your horizon, take the time to make a list of all of your upcoming tasks. Notice that this is a list of your tasks, not the jobs themselves. Break it down. Maybe a single project requires two conference calls, writing content, and editing images. Those are discrete tasks, so put them on your list as separate items.
Now it’s time to think about which ones you’d be able to do well while on the road. Conference calls are notorious for going awry even in the best of circumstances, so it’s best to save these for when your location (and WiFi connection) is more stable. Get those done before you leave and save the other tasks for the road.
When you have a day of travel ahead of you, start earlier than you normally would even if your flight isn’t until the evening. Give yourself time to get your most important work finished before you start your journey. Then, plan to arrive at the airport early, too. If something goes wrong (like you forget to pack your charger), you’ll have time to take care of it, and if everything goes right, you’ll have time to sit down and get some work done before you board.
Find balance while traveling and working remotely
If you are traveling for pleasure, don’t forget your purpose. It may be tempting to cram as much work as you can into your trip, but that defeats the whole purpose of taking the trip in the first place! If you are visiting family and friends, make it clear what tasks you need to accomplish, but be sure to be completely present during the times you’ve dedicated to the purpose of your trip. Don’t try to take phone calls with clients while sightseeing with your niece and nephew. Don’t make final edits to that presentation over dinner. Set boundaries for yourself and your time and stick to them.
Get the tools you need to travel and work
Traveling takes you away from your typical work environment, and it can be difficult to make sure that you have the tools necessary to handle every possibility on the road.
However, you can plan ahead and make sure that you have a travel kit that’s sure to boost your productivity. Have a plan for WiFi access and a file storage solution that doesn’t rely on the Internet in case you find yourself working without it. Get some noise-canceling headphones so that you can turn even the busiest airport into your own private oasis of calm. Make sure you have luggage with multiple compartments so you don’t waste precious time scrambling to find your work.
Traveling is a mix of fun, excitement, stress, and headaches for just about everyone, but for those who work remotely, it can be even more of a challenge. Deadlines don’t disappear just because you’re on the move, so it’s essential to plan ahead, get prepared, and make that time away work for you.