Do you find it hard to focus when you have to take your work with you?
Are you looking for a better game plan to stay on task?
If you’re like me it’s not that uncommon for a freelancer to take their laptop with them for life’s situations. Sometimes it’s more convenient to do while coordinating your kid(s) appointments or activities. Other times we need to meet a client or team member at another location. Whatever the reason may be it’s just great to have a laptop with the ability to be at work wherever you are!
The challenge many of us remote workers face is finding the best wifi service along with a comfortable place to set down for an hour or two. When selections few and far between or you have to get online right away you may just have to park it and choose to use your cell phone as your Internet connection (I’ve done this many times).
If you’d like to keep up with a busy schedule and get your projects done at the same time then use these tips to be more organized and focused in your day:
Map out your schedule ahead of time
Getting outside your regular workspace and getting things done in between other activities works a lot better when you create a game plan before you leave the house. Decide where you’ll be working and what tasks are a priority to get done first. This may be a situation where you’re working for one hour at a coffee shop, heading to an appointment or meeting, then finishing up at a library. Organize the must-do items first and if you don’t get to the rest you can always finish those the next day when you’re back at home.
Bring your favorite headphones
Trust me on this one. It can get pretty loud in a public place and this is the best way to plug into your favorite music or teachings and relax so you can focus on what’s in front of you. Invest in some middle of the range noise cancelling headphones that you can also use as a microphone on calls.
For a good list of the best headphones that block out the most noise head over to Joel Runyon’s blog, Impossible. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to enjoy quality sound either.
Check the WiFi or use MiFi
Nothing is more frustrating than getting all set up only to discover that the connection is slow. You can run a WiFi speed test or bring your own MiFi device through your cell phone carrier, which of course will cost you data. I try to use free Wifi wherever possible in order to cut down on the cell phone bill. But if you don’t have Wifi you can always make a connection through your cell phone.
Take important power cords with you
I have actually run out of the house without these before and it can cut your day short very quickly. If you’ve got a laptop with a long battery life then you’re good to go — but most start losing their power after about the 2nd or 3rd hour depending on how old they are. Stay in the habit of charging your phone while on road or use a portable charger so that you won’t have to plug in multiple devices at once.
Make it into a little adventure
Working outside the home can be a great way to refresh your mind and see new people and places. Too much isolation can break down productivity, and so even if you seldom need to leave I highly recommend working outside your home office at least a couple times a month if you can. Take pictures, video, share your day with your social networks or document your day on your blog. It’s these little moments that can add so much to our week and mindset.
As the mobile office becomes more common there will be additional places available for freelance workers to set up a temporary space. You don’t have to go to just Starbuck’s any more — even though I still love hanging out there. As I mentioned earlier libraries are a good place to work as well as smaller cafes and even the local mall.
What about you? What places have you worked away from home?
I would love to read the different places you’ve been in and how this turned out for you!