Technology is an integral part of our day to day lives. It has made it easy to get things done from anywhere, allowing employees to work while on the go. One of the biggest challenges of working remotely or whilst travelling is keeping focused. Unlike sitting in the office where your environment is tailored around working, travelling puts you in busy airports, coffee shops, or even poolside at a hotel. Here are my six tips to help you focus better on important tasks while you’re on the road.
Six tips for staying focused whilst on the go:
1. Personal Wifi
Plenty of public places offer free or cheap Wifi. Unfortunately, sometimes you get what you pay (or don’t pay) for. Busy hotels are notorious for this – you can get on the Wifi for free or for a daily fee, but once you are on the connection is slow and spotty at best.
If you plan on doing a decent amount of travel, you’ll want to have a way to access the internet from anywhere. You can do this by purchasing a Mifi device or tethering your smartphone. Both options are available through your cellular carrier, and will give you access to your own bandwidth so you don’t need to rely on someone else’s. Just be aware of your data limits.
2. Pomodoro Technique
Essentially, the Pomodoro Technique lets you manage the time you work with a kitchen timer. It’s simple; work for 25 minutes where you focus only at the tasks at hand and then break for 5 minutes. It can help you focus, and also assist you with planning how long tasks are going to take you.
3. Have access to everything you need
Before you travel, make sure you have easy access to the files and applications you need. Have your laptop loaded up with the applications you need and make sure they are all working properly. Make sure you have copies of vital files with you just in case you can’t get connected back to the office.
4. Set up an auto responder
Even though you plan on working from the road, set up an email auto responder to let everybody know that you are on the road and might not be able to get back to emails immediately. This will lighten your load and align client expectations. Travelling will give you less time to get things done, so an email auto responder will allow you to push back some of the not-so-urgent communications that can wait a little.
5. Dedicate time to networking
If you are going to a trade show or event, don’t get too wrapped up with your day-to-day work. Be sure to give yourself time to take advantage of communicating and networking with others at the event.
6. Take a step back
This might not seem productive, but if your travelling puts you on a nice resort or an ocean-side view, take advantage of it. Play a round of golf or spend an hour by the pool. Unwind when you get the chance, and you’ll be more refreshed to get more done. It can be pretty distracting and unproductive to sit in a hotel room working knowing there’s sand, surf, and all you can eat shrimp just around the corner.