How To Be Productive When You Can Work From Anywhere
With below freezing temperatures sweeping most of the U.S., now might be a good time to take your freelance work to a more tropical climate. One of the most sought after reasons people choose to give up the comforts of their nine-to-five is to have a work from anywhere (WFA) lifestyle.
Some go full digital nomad, abandoning a full-time residence for life and work on the ever-changing road.
Others, like me, just want to have the option to pick up and go when and where they feel like it. Because in all reality, as long as I have access to fast internet and a full laptop battery,
I can work from anywhere.
As I write this post,
I’m sitting underneath an umbrella that’s protecting me from the Miami sun; trading in the desk inside our South Beach hotel room for a pool view and sea breeze.
I grew up in Florida and we’ve spent the last week visiting family in my hometown about four hours north of here. And as anyone who takes vacation time to visit family can tell you, there’s really no vacation involved. So my husband and I decided to add on an extra couple of days by the beach to unwind and catch up before returning to Los Angeles.
Throughout my freelance career I’ve had the opportunity to work with clients all over the world. Some of these projects have taken me to countries like Austria, Canada and even Australia. But most of the time, the work I do is done from my home office - but I’ve never let that confine me.
I’ve taken video interviews from the Dominican Republic, pitched media from a bungalow in the Costa Rican jungle and taken client calls from the Iceberg Pool in Sydney. While I don’t think my life will ever take me “full nomad,” I do love to travel. I also know that in order to travel the way I like to, I’ve got to put in the work.
Here are five things I always make sure to have to ensure I can be just as productive when I work from anywhere as I am when I work from home.
If the WIFI is less than exceptional, I can’t do my best work. When picking a place to travel to, I always call and confirm that the WIFI is fast and easily accessible; and ideally, free. This is especially important when looking into an Airbnb over a hotel. Check the reviews to make sure there haven’t been any complaints about Internet before booking the place.
Even if you tell yourself that you’ll go to a local coffee shop or co-working space, you’ll want to have access to fast WIFI wherever it is you’re staying so you’ll feel more in control and be available for when the unpredictable happens. Trust me: the unpredictable always seems to happen when you’re out of your typical element.
Starting my career in the newsroom, I am very familiar with having to write and deliver in the middle of what can feel like chaos. Noise and the hustle and bustle of people frantically working to meet their deadlines is like peaceful white noise to me. But when a woman in the beach chair directly next to me decides to take a phone call to talk about the RHOBH, I can’t focus on anything but her conversation.
So I always pack headphones and typically listen to a nature sounds playlist on Spotify or even go to Coffitivity to recreate the sounds that help me zone out the housewives chatter and focus on what’s in front of me.
When you’re traveling and working, it’s very easy to be distracted by all of the things besides work you’d like to do. Instead of allowing myself to be distracted, I use my excitement for adventure to motivate me to get work done. I set office hours for myself and make a check list of everything that needs to be accomplished before I can get to the fun part.
Even now, my battery started to die down by the pool
and I moved my work back up to the hotel room to complete this post and share it with all of you before I get back to enjoying the sunshine and order my first frozen margarita.
Put your work first so you can get back to enjoying your destination even more - and not run the risk of disappointing your clients.
Access To Quiet
Always have access to a quiet place when you’re enjoying WFA life.
If I ever feel like there are just too many distractions, I know I always have a place I can go to and hunker down to get what I need to accomplish. It’s also vital for taking client calls without having the distraction of people in the background or making your client think that you’re not taking your work for them seriously.
Can I see myself living here?
This is always a question I ask myself when I’m researching a WFA destination. I love the idea of living in different places all over the world and while I typically can only enjoy these trips for a couple of days to, at most, a couple of weeks, I like to think of what life would be like if I actually lived and worked freelance here full time.
Since freelance life on the road means I’m never really on vacation, it’s always nice to think of it as though this is where I live and work. It allows me to think locally and venture to places I typically wouldn’t. It gives me a different perspective and encourages me to open up to more people and conversation. It’s even led to a few freelance opportunities and reasons to come back.