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Checklist to Take Your Remote Office on the Go

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BONUS FREEBIE: Want even more ways to stay organized, productive and less stressed? Click here to get access to my List-Making Starter Kit. It will boost your efficiency and get you back to doing more of the things you love.

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If you’ve been working remotely because of the pandemic, by now you’ve probably got some of the basics down — where in your home you work, what your hours are, and what you wear. (Although I have my opinions about the Zoom shirt…)

If you want some guidance on putting together a great home office, you can check out my LinkedIn Learning course Organizing Your Remote Office For Maximum Productivity

But what happens when you need to take your remote office on the go?

It’s important to do some planning so that you can be productive wherever you are.

2) Take a look at your tasks.

The first list you need to make is a list of everything you need to get done while you’re away from home. 

Go day-by-day and figure out what your tasks are. I like to make a daily to-do list for every day, including while I’m traveling. Be reasonable about what you can actually get done each day. 

And remember, it’s okay if your list has “watch a movie” or “read a chapter of a book” on the list — you need to plan for relaxation time too! 

These daily to-do lists are key because from here you can decide what needs to come with you on the trip.

2) Make a list of what equipment you need.

These are the items you can’t work without having. For me, that’s my laptop, my phone, a tripod, and a microphone. I’ll need these every day to get my work done. 

See what you reach for in your home office and add it to the list. 

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NEW COURSE: Want to learn more about how to adjust to working remotely? You can check out my new LinkedIn Learning course, Organizing Your Remote Office for Maximum Productivity. Click here for access!

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3) Test that list!

Once you’ve identified what you need, try working a day with just those items. Is there anything you thought you’d need that you don’t use? Or things you didn’t think you would need that are essential? 

If there are specific tools or items that you only need sometimes, take a look at your calendar and make sure you’re aware of what’s in store for the time you’ll be away from home. Then you can tailor your essential items list to what you’ll be doing each day. 

4) Plan for connectivity.

Most of us need WiFi to get work done, so you need to do some research before you leave to make sure you’ll be connecting to the internet.

Remember that funny scene from the movie RV when Robin Williams is wandering around a campground trying to connect to the internet so he can send a presentation while he’s on vacation? You want to avoid that situation.

Call ahead to where you’re staying to see what the WiFi situation is there. You should try to bring a backup internet source if you can — connecting to a hotspot using your phone is one option. 

5) Go with the flow!

It’s inevitable that something will happen that you can’t predict. And that’s okay!

It’ll help you feel more relaxed if you accept that you can’t control every single detail when it comes to taking your work on the road.

Whether you’re going on the road for a business trip or a working vacation, planning is key to staying productive when you’re away from home.

You can check out my LinkedIn Learning course for even more ideas on how to take your remote office on the go.

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BRAND NEW: Want to learn more about how to adjust your office setup to working remotely? Check out my new LinkedIn Learning course, Organizing Your Remote Office for Maximum Productivity. Click here for access!

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How to Have a Mindful Vacation

BONUS FREEBIE: Want even more ways to stay organized, productive and less stressed? Click here to get access to my List-Making Starter Kit. It will boost your efficiency and get you back to doing more of the things you love.

When I was on vacation in Cancun, Mexico recently, I took lots of pictures of my friends, my husband, and the beautiful landscape.

Whenever one of us took a great picture, we shared it with the group. 

Read more

Wouldn’t it be nice to make some money off delayed flights?

I belong to a mastermind group for entrepreneurs and business owners and they meet twice a year in a great locations. This time it was in Tucson, Arizona.

Of course the day I was leaving NYC there was a snowstorm and I was connecting through Atlanta. Because of a tiny bit of ice…the whole city of Atlanta closed down 🙂

I was stuck in O’Hare airport for 5 hours. It wasn’t fun but since I’ve started meditating I found that I was a little less upset than I’d normally be.  Plus I went directly to the Delta Sky Lounge. I have a Delta Amex card and you can get in for $30. Well worth it!  I recommend getting a day pass if you ever get stuck! It’s a much more civilized way of hanging around an airport. Read more

A Trick to Make Traveling So Much Simpler

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Jay and I at the Colosseum.

I’m feeling refreshed and reinvigorated after returning from Italy and Switzerland last week with Jay and a few of our friends. Jay and I went to Rome on our own — taking a tour inside the Colosseum and the Roman Forum plus having our favorite pizza in the world at Baffetto.

We also ate our way through through the Testaccio neighborhood. If you go to Rome definitely take a food tour with Eating Italy Tours — it was a highlight. And I’ve recently had to follow a gluten free diet as a complication of my appendix rupture and they were so sweet and accommodating about it! Don’t worry if you go somewhere like Tuscany instead of Rome, they still have Tuscany Tours that show off all the food that Italy has to offer. You won’t miss out on the amazing food of Italy!

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Eating my favorite pizza at Baffetto.

Then we were off for Geneva to meet up with our traveling friends Peter & Nicole and Nancy. We hopped in an SUV and drove an hour to Montreaux for the 50th annual Jazz Festival there.

The jazz festival was lots of fun with wonderful gourmet food, wine and lots of cool music. The town of Montreaux itself is really adorable with lots of shops and restaurants. Plus it’s right on a lake so the views are amazing. A note if you’re ever in Switzerland – it’s super expensive. Think 35 dollar cheeseburgers and 15 glasses of wine (and the pours are miniscule.)

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In the adorable town of Montreaux, Switzerland.

Off to Lake Como from there with a 4 hour drive through the Swiss Alps. Such a cool experience to drive through nearly untouched mountainsides. We saw snow capped mountains and lots of animals on our twisty travel. Those roads are all over the place and obviously very high up. It was a bit unnerving at times but we made it through with good music and snacks!

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The beautiful Lake Como!

We stayed in a small town called Varenna and absolutely loved it. It was so charming and picturesque. We were in love. We stayed at a villa called Casa Stacy and I highly recommend it. Not only did Stacy make sure we had everything we needed but she also hooked us up with some fun excursions. We went on a boat tour of the entire lake and had a private wine tasting that was amazing.

On a boat with our friends Peter and Nicole

On a boat with our friends Peter and Nicole.

Then it was off to finish the trip in Milan where we got a full tour of the city and got to see The Last Supper thanks to Milan Day Tours. It’s so interesting to see ancient art up close. When I saw the Mona Lisa I was a bit underwhelmed because it’s so tiny. Not like you’d expect. But this piece by Leonardo di vinci is huge. It takes up an entire wall and I thought it was in very good shape. We learned all about the restoration and history. I’m glad we did that tour.

My vacation was full of amazing food.

My vacation was full of amazing food.

Trick to Make Air Travel More Bearable

Our travels throughout Italy and Switzerland went off without a hitch. Air travel is usually the biggest headache for me when I’m on vacation. But here’s the trick I promised — get Global Entry. It’s amazing how much time you save.

Global Entry gives you several benefits for 5 years and a $100 price tag. First you are eligible for TSA Precheck within the United States. That means you get to basically skip the line at security, keep your laptop in it’s bad and forego taking off your shoes and sweaters.

Then when you travel internationally there’s another perk – you get VIP treatment when you return home and go through customs.

We just had to scan our passports and fingerprints. We got a printed pass and brought it to the customs officer. It took us about 7 minutes to do this. So from the time we landed to the time we were in a taxi at JFK heading home — just 37 minutes went by. That is a far cry from the usual experience we have when coming home internationally.

Other than the cost — the other catch is that you have to go for an in person interview to get access to Global Entry. It’s a pain to carve out the time in your calendar – I totally get that. But I have to tell you – not having to wait in line and prolong an already long trip was key for me. I’ve been trying to mitigate stress in my life and this is definitely one way to do it while traveling.
If you go for Global Entry let me know how your experience is. I’m giving mine two thumbs up!

Productivity Tidbits I Picked Up on Vacation

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Paula & Jay in Puerto Rico

I have a tendency to always feel like I should be doing something…at all times.

“Isn’t there an email I can write back to?”

“I must have an article I’ve been meaning to read around here somewhere.”  

“Oh I’ll just straighten up my desk a bit — I have a few minutes.”  

This is the ongoing dialogue in my head most days.

Even on vacation.

I recently went to Puerto Rico with my hubby for some much-needed rest and relaxation.  I’d been having a bit of an overload beforehand and feeling like I needed to cut myself off from networking and being a social butterfly.  So it came at the perfect time.  We visited the resort where we got married almost 7 years ago so it was nice to be back in a place we hold so close to our hearts.

Typically I’d be in a bit of an anxious mode thinking I’m wasting time laying on the beach (I know, it’s kind of crazy) and not writing blog posts, guest posts for websites or brainstorming something!   Read more