This article was written by freelancer Lauren McCrostie
Whether your job requires it, you work remotely or are a freelancer; many of us are now hunting for new ways of working on the go successfully. Here I’ll share how to successfully complete duties whilst still maintaining a degree of formality and sanity! Although not preferred, working ‘on-the-go’ is sometimes unavoidable. So I hope this piece will show my suggested solution for these occasions!
1. BE A SCHEDULING SUPERHERO
If you are a job juggler and hold an assortment of vocations OR are someone who manages a body of clients; a great way of being efficient and controlling multiple workloads is scheduling your weekly tasks effectively. Simply getting and using your own, physical planner one of the easiest ways of seeing your current assignments wherever you are. You can also note down appointments etc on your phone/computer calendar system – so you are reminded of your commitments on a selection of platforms! Not only does having a diary allow you access to your upcoming working requirements – but it also means you can look ahead at your working week and plan your time accordingly (ensuring to prioritise tasks due to their timeframes and workloads). Equally, to make our lives even easier – there are now apps available which let you schedule posts, emails and file transfers. Meaning you could write, edit and [preemptively] upload all of your businesses’ social media posts for the next month in one go. This deals with the task swiftly and with ease; saving you time and mental worry. Furthermore, using apps like Coconut gives you the peace of mind of creating, sending and tracking your invoices; so you are able to keep on top of your payments and all accounting needs.
2. USE THE Wifi
The advancement in technology and our phones has both permitted and called a demand for us to be able to work whenever and wherever we go. Now, although there is a need to stress the importance of gaining a healthy work-life balance, this development in the technological field can really be used to our advantage in helping us lighten our workloads. One of these helpful advancements is the abundance of free Wifi available to us. Have a long commute and train journey? Use the internet! Not to read dire political articles or trawling YouTube for cute cat videos. Use it to sift through small-medium based tasks of your job (e.g. research, admin or emails), as we all know there’s nothing worse than losing a massive word document because you forgot to pack a charger. Considering that the number of freelancers within our population is rapid rising, it is of no surprise people are searching all new, different, accessible ways of working on-the-go so to best fit it into their variant schedules. Freelancers are often found travelling, needing to get to and fro their different clients, this opens up a lot of ‘dead’ time in their days – time spent travelling and not spent working on work projects. But most of our cities’ public travel vehicles offer free, respectable Wifi feeds – meaning you can get all types of work done whilst out-and-about!
3. LEARN AND LISTEN
Following on from the previous suggestion, another way of using your ‘free’ time well is opting to pair your breaks when working (a trip to your local coffee shop or mid-afternoon park strolls) with educational and enlightening podcasts within your respective fields. Keeping yourself constantly open to learning and absorbing information will sustain your motivation, as well as also acting as great fertiliser for ideas! By capitalising the ‘dead’ time in-between chores or other daily activities, you can deepen your knowledge and understanding within your sector. In addition to clueing up on your career, search for interviews on inspirational, successful people within your chosen discipline to gain insight into their own journeys and collect any advice they may have to offer. (There are countless out there but other interview based podcast recommendations include; ‘How I Built This’ and ’Desert Island Discs’). This suggestion is more modest and less exhaustive one; it should be taken as a way of keeping yourself stimulated and invested in your field in a less severe fashion.
4. FIND ANOTHER BASE
Many freelancers vigilantly remove themselves from their home so to change their environments and in turn increase their productivity. Some of us need to be in a different environment in order to be able to focus on their work schedules. Being at home means they are more likely to be distracted with house chores like cleaning and laundry. But, regardless of this – if your job requires you to frequently work on-the-go, finding another, dependable base is crucial if you’re keen on getting the maximum result and ease from your working life. Maybe your home Wifi has gone hay-wire; your heating had broken in the midst of January; you have a distracting and persistent family member staying over – being able to know you can get your work done in another spot (preferably) relatively nearby, will gift you increased assurance and cool-headedness. There are a number of nifty, swank co-working venues being set up by the minute, but a simple coffee shop that does a good flat white is perfectly fine too, mind. You just need somewhere where you know you can concentrate and work effectively. Somewhere with good Wifi and numerous plug sockets if you work online, somewhere which is quiet, unimposing and with wide opening hours. Or perhaps pick a venue to use in town – which is a wonderful option if you’re often waiting long periods of time between meetings. Swap roaming round the high-street shops felling guilty that you could be using the time more productively and find a good spot you can use to blast work out in (theatres, hotel cafes, libraries and museums are all great options!) Plus, if your work requires you to meet new, potential clients, you can opt for an ultra snazzy cafe to impress and persuade them further!
5. LOOK INTO THE CLOUD
Fretting because you cannot see time in your upcoming week to spend time at your usual office/working space? HAVE NO FEAR and fall into the cloud. Google’s to be precise! The site and app offer amazing services – allowing you to upload, send, share and create all sorts of documents on to go, all the time! It updates and saves work constantly and automatically – so chances are you’ll never lose your most up-to-date efforts! The cloud lends itself well to also anyone who gets hit with a flurry of ideas and all unexpectedly by providing you an outlet to create a working draft of any kind (spreadsheet, PowerPoint, word doc etc.) It also permits accounts to easily share and comment on each other’s work, too – meaning that several people can be contributing to the same document simultaneously – gifting you much swifter and productive communication between one another! Having this cloud ‘space’ to work on projects without having to worry about your personal devices storage capacity is of great help – especially when you are working a few different jobs at once! Furthermore, – ‘Things’ is a handy app which can be installed to your computer and syncs your to-do lists; so you also always have access to them. This is perfect when you are caught for time or without a certain device and provides a much smoother and hassle-free working experience. These are both marvelous devices to rely on when doing number two (using Wifi whilst on the tube/tram/train etc) as you don’t need to worry about constantly saving and protecting any work you’ve done.
Hopefully, these few tips offer some new ways of getting on top of your workload whilst out and about?