Digital technology has allowed all of us to work a lot more flexibly than ever before and we’re seeing a lot of business owners and freelancers move to new kinds of working norms. Working on the road isn’t anything new but what is new is staying connected and using all of the tools you would usually find in an office while on the road. With new trends come new challenges, however, and a lot of people find that when you’re always on the go it can be difficult to get the time and resources you need for mobile productivity. Here are a few tips and tools that can help you manage it.
Maintain Morning Consistency
It can be difficult to keep your mornings consistent when traveling – especially if you’re traveling from one time zone to another and are dealing with jet-lag.
However, it is worth making the effort. You can do things like setting alarms for a consistent time when possible and scheduling your travel so that you don’t have to do it when you would normally be getting up and ready for work. The simple fact is that inconsistency, especially with how you wake up in the morning, can pile the stress onto the body. Managing your stress and staying in good health will be crucial when it comes to maintaining mobile productivity. It might feel like you’re on an adrenaline high for some time if you’re always working while on the move but it will slow you down massively if you let it go unchecked.
(You should also aim to keep your evenings consistent as well. In fact, I’d say that an evening routine is even more important than a morning routine.)
Eat Well and Hydrate
Don’t underestimate how important good physical health is when it comes to your mobile productivity. Being on the move is physically taxing and you need to make sure that you’re eating as nutritiously as possible to give your body the fuel that it needs. It’s also quite easy to lose track of how much water you’ve had throughout the day. Thankfully, there are apps like WaterMinder that make it a lot easier track your water intake.
If your diet is poor, your body will be fatigued. You’ll have trouble focusing, and you’ll be more likely to get sick wherever (and whenever) you go. You really can’t take any chances when it comes to your health. So pay attention to your food and water intake so that your mobile productivity – and productivity in general – doesn’t suffer.
Stay Organized Using the Cloud
One of the biggest advantages that modern technology has offered the flexible worker is just how many different ways you have to backup all the files, notes, and other resources you need to get your work done.
Let’s use notes as an example. It’s always simplest to keep your notes in one place, where you can quite easily find them regardless of location. But now you can take that one place wherever you go with you and keep your mobile productivity game strong. Cloud-based software like Evernote has local storage so you can see your notes if you’re offline – as long as you’re using the device with it installed. However, if you’re not able to use that device because it’s not convenient in the moment, you can just as easily sign in to your profile online with another device (like your tablet or smartphone) and see your notes that way, too.
Embrace Your Energy Levels
Travel can mess with your daily schedule. If you’re going to meetings or you work while traveling the globe, then there are all kinds of hiccups that can completely shatter your routine. As such, it’s important to know and embrace what your energy levels are, and what kind of work you’re able to do with those levels.
If you’re at the airport, then you might have high energy levels after you get checked in, allowing you to do your most demanding work. But after a flight and when you arrive at your hotel, you may not have the same kind of energy. That’s when you should do your low energy tasks. Prepare your day by estimating when your energy levels rise and fall. Then choose the tasks that suit them at different points in the day to aid you with your mobile productivity.
Don’t Forget to Delegate
Running any business requires a lot and if you keep growing you will no longer be able to handle all of the duties that you once could. (I’ve had my fair share of experience with this over the years.) When this happens, you will find optimal mobile productivity to be a challenge without delegating tasks to others.
If you have personnel that’s situated back in the office, then you need to talk to them about duties they should be ready to pick up for you when you’re not able to take them on yourself. However, if you’re self-employed or running a solo business, then you might also want to look into virtual assistants. They can take tasks off your plate, allowing you to make the best use of your time. What’s more, many virtual assistants are small business owners, meaning that they can bring a shared perspective that allows them to handle those delegate duties with the nuance that they might just need.
Be Easy to Reach
If your business and your work demand communication (and most do), then you need to have your contact details available should your team, your partners, or your clients need to reach you. For internal communications team communication software like Flock, for example, can be a great solution. It helps you centralize all of your conversations and track topics you’re discussing with other groups.
For clients, you might need to consider having a work phone number that they can reach when you might not be available online. However, this should be done with the express understanding that you will only be reachable at certain hours of the day. With so much demand on your time due to travel already, you have to set some hard and fast boundaries on your schedule where clients are concerned if you want to maintain high levels of mobile productivity.
Isolate Your Work Environment
If you’re traveling a lot, then you can expect that at least some of your work is going to be done in airports, on planes, on trains, in hotels, and more. Many of these are not going to be the optimal work environment.
But that doesn’t mean that you have to give into the surrounding distractions. One approach to combat this is to invest in some noise-canceling headphones. They can help you get rid of most of the noise around you, which tends to be the main source of distraction – and the toughest to ignore. If you’re staying in a new city for a while and you find it difficult to concentrate in your hotel room then you can find a café with a wi-fi connection or even a local co-working space. When you’re on the go, you have to be able to create or find your work environment on the fly.
Make Sure You Always Have a Connection
Okay… “always” might not be entirely possible. But you should do what is in your power to make sure you can maintain connectivity most of the time.
It might take a little bit of an investment if, for instance, you have to constantly work off a dongle that acts as a wi-fi hotspot. However, with SMARTY SIM only deals that offer a lot of data usage, you can at least make sure your smartphone is almost always connected. If you’re unable to connect to any wi-fi signals but you have a generous data plan then you can also tether your smartphone to your desktop PC, allowing it to connect to any local data source that your phone can connect to and keep your mobile productivity flowing.
Protect Your Data
This might appear not as directly relevant to your productivity, but the fact is that any data breaches (or even attempted breaches) are a major interruption to your working day. And they will also affect your peace of mind.
To that end, make sure that any device you use on the road is secured. Use premium anti-malware software and firewalls. Only use apps that you can be relatively well-assured are trustworthy. It can be difficult to avoid signing into public networks (or semi-public networks) when traveling. When you do, try to limit how much sensitive data you access.
Furthermore, make sure you’re using a secure virtual private network like NordVPN for business that can encrypt all data you send and receive so that even if someone is peering in on what you’re doing they can’t see anything that would put you at risk.
It’s a matter of experience, necessity, and trial and error before you find a way to work on the go that suits you so that you can make mobile productivity something you can make happen anytime and anywhere. That said, you can follows any or all of the steps above to speed that process up. Actively look for the habits that work for you and you will find them sooner… and start ramping up your mobile productivity sooner as well.