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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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Meetings Don’t Have to Be An Eye Roll

doOne of my least favorite things is going to meetings.  Sometimes you have a good meeting and you’ll walk away with a much better understanding of the task at hand. However, I find that the majority of these structured get togethers are painfully unfocused and disorganized, especially if they’re on the phone. Even when there is a clear plan of action for a meeting, people will often go off on tangents discussing their vacation plans or the weather. I get it, it’s just human nature but it’s still not productive! Read more

Checklist for Overcoming Awkward Moments at Work

If You're Not Confused

(Photo credit: B Tal)

The average American spends 1,700 hours a year at work, and unfortunately for you and me that means it’s a statistical inevitability that something embarrassing or awkward will happen while you’re at work. I don’t know about you, but it always seems to happen to me at the most inconvenient time, like spilling coffee on yourself right before a big meeting.

Here’s a checklist of ways to deal:

Read more

Be Productive On Summer Fridays

Enjoy your summer Friday! (Photo Credit: blog.syracuse.com)

Enjoy your summer Friday! (Photo Credit: blog.syracuse.com)

If you are lucky enough to have summer Fridays at your workplace you know it’s where every Friday throughout the summer people get off of work at 1pm (or so.)

When I first heard about this, I tried to convince my boss to pick up on the trend. But unfortunately, the news business runs a little differently. But if you participate in shorter workdays on Fridays – you can enjoy your longer weekend by being as productive as possible up until the moment you leave work.

Here are a few tips on how to make your summer Fridays as productive as possible:

1.     Do more during the week: Plan your schedule appropriately, so a shorter workday on Friday is do-able. Rather than cramming everything in at the last minute, really make sure you’re on track with your work. Schedule busier tasks earlier on in the week and reserve Fridays for follow ups and smaller tasks only.

2.     Don’t open your e-mail until noon: It’s harder than it sounds. There’s many times when it’s easy to keep hitting refresh on your inbox to kill time, but resist the urge. Spend your mornings doing what’s important, rather than responding to e-mails that aren’t urgent. As important as you may think it is, usually e-mails can wait a few hours.

3.     Prepare the night before: Throughout the week, make a to-do list of the things you must get done each day. If you’re writing an article, outline it the night before– it’ll save you hours the next day. Don’t leave the office until everything you need to accomplish gets done. You’ll thank yourself when you get to start your weekend early.

4.     Keep your office cool: Working in a hot room tends to make us feel groggy and sluggish.

5.     Treat yourself: Get as much out of your day by working hard first and then enjoying a nice reward of your choice afterwards! Whether you plan to get a manicure or treat yourself to a nice meal, finish your task first and reward yourself afterwards. It’ll act as a motivator and you’ll be able to enjoy it at your own leisure without stressing about all of the things you have left to do.

6.     Meditate: In the morning, spend a few minutes to focus your mind and listen in. You will discover ideas inside of you that will help you find success throughout your workday. By relaxing, you’ll be able to align your goals and plan your day to be as productive as possible.

Enjoy your head start on your weekend!

Being Productive Outside

 

Studying outside Burrows

Studying outside Burrows (Photo credit: pennstatenews)

Being stuck in a stuffy office all day can totally kill your productivity. Sitting at your desk for eight hours (usually even longer) and only moving a few feet to get a another cup of coffee or hit the break room for lunch isn’t enough mental stimulation. A change of scenery and some fresh air is all you need to get the juices flowing again!

So here are some ways to get outside of the office yet still be productive:

1. Walking Meetings: A colleague of mine is always asking me to meet her for a “walking meeting.” I thought that this was a a really strange request but once I tried it I really loved it. It gets you out of your chair, offering a great break, but at the same time you are still getting things done. Note taking can be a challenge though so make sure to reserve this type of meeting for certain topics only.

2. Have Lunch Outdoors: Instead of sitting in the break room, take your lunch outside with you.  Or try something different and get to that little cafe you’ve always wanted to test out.  I love eating alone at restaurants — I know a lot of people don’t enjoy it but I love taking my time, ordering whatever I want and enjoying some peace and quiet.  If you’re using your lunch break to continue working — bring your laptop with you and enjoy the sunshine or if it’s rainy head to Starbucks or somewhere with free WiFi.  A new perspective could be all you need.

3. Talk A Lap Around the Block: If your eyes are starting to flutter mid-afternoon — get up!  If you get your body moving it will wake you up. You don’t need to take a long break, five minutes is all you need to get your blood moving and your brain working!

4. Bring the Outdoors to You: If your office isn’t really in an area equipped for a quick walk, you can bring the outdoors inside. Decorate your office space with some real plants and flowers.

Now hop out of your chairs and go get some fresh air!  Let me know how it felt to take a break and enjoy Mother Nature.