How to Stay Organized and Productive While Working from Different Locations
Remote or hybrid work is the new norm for many, and while there are numerous benefits to this model, it can be difficult to stay focused while working from many different locations. It could be the case that you work at home, in the office, in a coffee shop and at a coworking space all in one week. Or maybe you're a digital nomad, traveling the country (or world) while keeping a remote job.
Although the freedom that this lifestyle provides can't be denied, each new place has its own set of distractions, and settling in and getting started each morning can feel like a challenge. Creating consistency in your routine is important, especially when working from new locations each day, as it helps ease the transitions from place to place.
Here are a few tips to help you make the most of the benefits remote or hybrid work has to offer while staying organized and productive.
1. Always have a to-do list
Regardless of the location you're working from, you probably know the tasks you need to accomplish that day. Making a to-do list ensures you keep track of what things you need to complete each day and helps you stay on track overall. Whether this list is on a piece of paper, on your phone or a sophisticated app, to-do lists help you stay organized, no matter where you're physically located.
Lists are also extremely useful in helping you prioritize the most important tasks you need to complete. They also help you plan out your day. With to-do lists, you get the added satisfaction of crossing off items once you've finished them, which can help keep you motivated throughout.
To facilitate a seamless transition from one day to the next, and the end of each workday, carve out a few minutes to jot down a to-do list for the upcoming day before you go to bed. That way when you start your day in a new location, you'll have a plan in place.
2. Use a planner
Planners are another useful tool for setting out your daily schedule and help provide consistency even when your workspace is changing from day to day. Many find calendar apps to be useful so you can have your schedule in the palm of your hand. Perhaps you have a physical daily planner in book form that you write in and take with you. No matter how you do it, make sure to set reminders on your calendar to keep track of your appointments, meetings and deadlines.
3. Create a designated workspace
Having a comfortable workspace with all of the supplies you need will allow you to maximize productivity. Wherever you might be working on a given day, make sure to identify somewhere with good light, a comfortable chair and a desk where you can set up.
Bring anything that will help you zone in and focus, such as a mouse, mouse pad, laptop stand, headphones or blue light glasses. Having a good physical setup will get you in the right mental space to be productive for the rest of the day.
4. Have a backup plan
One of the major drawbacks of not working from the same office consistently is that some of the necessities of modern work, like outlets and WiFi, might not be guaranteed. Luckily you can mitigate these challenges with a bit of preplanning.
Make sure to bring a fully charged portable charger with you, along with any of the charging cables that you might need. You should also have a backup pair of headphones with you at all times in case your primary ones die unexpectedly.
Finally, it is a good idea to have a phone plan that has personal hotspot capabilities in case you find yourself in a location with spotty or non-existent wifi. Even if none of these challenges pop up, it will provide peace of mind to know that all of your bases are covered and free up your mental capacity to focus on the work at hand.
5. Plan what you eat and drink
The necessity of staying hydrated, caffeinated and well-nourished doesn't change, even if your work location does. If you find yourself hungry, thirsty or tired throughout the day your productivity will certainly suffer.
It requires a bit of extra planning to make sure that your basic needs will be met throughout the workday if you are constantly changing up your work setting. It's a good idea to always carry a leakproof water bottle with you and some snacks wherever you go. Beyond that, plan out where and when you will get lunch and coffee the night before you start working from a brand-new location, so you don't spend time worrying about that when you are trying to stay productive.
6. Keep an organized work bag
Keeping a designated work bag is essential if you're always on the move. You should store everything you might need, including headphones, chargers, water, snacks and anything else you want to be organized and in the same place so you can easily access it all no matter where you find yourself the next day. This will save you tons of time. Also, if you skip this simple step, and for example, are missing your laptop charger, it could derail your entire day.
Set yourself up for success by neatly packing up all of your work materials at the end of each day. This helps cultivate a healthy work-life balance because it signals the end of the work day and allows you to unwind and start the next chapter of your day. You will thank yourself the next morning when everything you need is ready and you can easily pick up where you left off.
Reaping the benefits of remote work
The freedom you have when working remotely has its own set of challenges and requires a bit of extra planning to keep on top of your professional responsibilities. The ideas listed here will help you lead a healthy and productive work life while you take advantage of the benefits of remote or hybrid work.
Patty Block, President and Founder of The Block Group, established her company to advocate for women-owned businesses, helping them position their companies for strategic growth. From improving cash flow…. to increasing staff productivity…. to scaling for growth, these periods of transition — and so many more — provide both challenges and opportunities. Managed effectively, change can become a productive force for growth. The Block Group harnesses that potential, turning roadblocks into building blocks for women-owned businesses.