5 Tips for Working on the Go
Working on the go: some folks love it; some folks hate it. But what we can all agree on is that it can certainly be a hassle. Spotty Wi-Fi connections, loud commuters, awkward work stations, and uncomfortable seating can all make working on the go a serious headache.
But what if we told you it didn’t have to be? Here at Mod Girl Marketing, we’ve pretty much perfected the art of working while traveling. In our line of work, it’s pretty much a necessity. So, how do we do it? Check out these 5 surprisingly simple ways that you can make working during your commute work for you, not against you.
Invest in quality headphones – seriously, quality headphones
First, this one cannot be stressed enough. You need a pair of high-quality headphones to get you through your work on the go without losing your mind.
Have you ever been sitting at an airport, listening to a mom desperately trying to wrangle her kids while they scream, shout, and run all around, all while trying to look over the next quarter’s budget? Have you ever been trying to finalize the details on a new marketing campaign while trains roll in and out of the station and the conductor keeps incessantly yelling “all aboard!”?
Yeah, not fun. Quality headphones can help. And not just the earbuds that came with your phone – save those for a backup. Invest in noise canceling headphones that can help you get authentically focused on your work by shutting out distractions. Find the right classical or lo-fi playlist, plug in, and get to your day’s tasks.
Bring your work station on the go
On the topic of gear, don’t just stop with headphones. It takes more than focus to feel comfortable doing work. One of the hardest things about working on the go can be using your laptop’s clunky keyboard and practically useless trackpad.
Instead of screaming in anguish the next time you accidentally delete half the cells in your spreadsheet, double your dexterity by opting for a wireless keyboard and mouse. Not exactly easy to use on the train or the plane, but definitely perfect when sitting at a café or airport terminal.
Plus, because they’re wireless, you can easily pack up and get going when your boarding group is called.
Choose tasks that you know you can accomplish
Now it’s time to think beyond your on-the-go work gear and start strategizing your work flow. Realistically, you probably can’t get to everything on your schedule while on the go. If you’ve got some seriously sticky coding work that needs to get done, or in-depth technical writing that needs your total focus, even the best possible noise canceling headphones might not be able to grant you the serenity you need.
Here’s what you can do instead: budget your time wisely, so you get the little things out of the way during your commute, then have ample time to get to your bigger tasks once you’re sitting comfortably at your work desk. Here are a few examples:
- Reviewing documents for approval
- Lightly copyediting webpages and blog posts
- Reviewing employee hours
- Replying to your unread emails (finally!)
- Brainstorming topics for the next team meeting
Getting the easy stuff out of the way on your commute will give you total focus once you arrive at work: that’s efficient.
Find the commuting option that works for you
You probably can’t write up an expense report while driving – and you definitely shouldn’t, even if you can. So, if you find that you need the time you spend commuting to finish extra work, it’s important to find a commuting option that suits your schedule.
- Example: Let’s say it’s a half-hour drive to work, or a 45-minute train ride. Sure, the drive is shorter, but if you can knock out 45 minutes’ worth of work before you even show up to your desk, that gives you an edge. Train it is.
That’s a little something we like to call a productivity hack.
Know your limits
Here’s the last tip to keep in mind: know your limits! You do not have to crush your month’s schedule before even showing up at work in the morning. For some, the commute is the calm before the storm, a time when they can relax and listen to a podcast without stressing just yet. If that’s what works for you, then get after it!