One of the most amazing things that the advent of information technology and the Internet have made possible is the fact that you're no longer tied to a boring office for any of your regular work.
Depending on your profession, of course, it's often possible to work with only a laptop and perhaps a decent pair of headphones to keep the noise out, which means that you can get your work done anywhere as long as you're able to concentrate sufficiently.
Because of this, a lot of people have realised that they can simply travel around the world and keep up with their work at the same time.
It's certainly tempting if you've got a case of wanderlust - always on the move, never in the same place for more than a few days. Sounds perfect, right?
It can get pretty hectic, though - functioning in an unfamiliar environment where you don't speak the language, aren't familiar with how public transportation works etc. is sometimes more of a challenge than you'd like it to be, and that can definitely affect your workflow.
Fortunately, a lot of people have already been doing this for a while, and most of them are willing to share their experience with new digital nomads like you, in order to increase your productivity and make your work-while-traveling adventure as easy as possible...
How To Increase Your Productivity When Traveling
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Finish What You Can Early
Any kind of travel, whether for work or leisure, comes with a certain unpredictability; you never know exactly when you’re going to arrive or depart, and the reality is that sometimes you’ll have to wait around in a place without WiFi or run to catch your nearest flight.
Doing your work ahead of time can help you out a lot in case something like this happens (and it will).
By doing that, not only will you potentially open up some free time for yourself later on (if your trip goes smoothly), it will also prevent major stress-out situations where you have to meet a deadline and not being able to due to your battery dying, oversleeping due to jet lag, not having access to an internet connection, etc.
There’s absolutely no reason not to do as much as you can as long as you have the time.
Have A Backup For WiFi
If you’re working while traveling, chances are that having an active Internet connection while you work is a necessity.
If this is the case, you’ll have to accept the fact that you won’t always be able to get your hands on free WiFi, and for situations like this you need some sort of backup plan for connecting to the Internet.
Put in some time to research this before you go off on your trip, and you’ll save yourself a lot of grief later.
Utilise Waiting Times
Remember that time when you got to the gate early and had to wait for another hour and a half? Of course you do.
The next time that happens, don’t be afraid to pull out your laptop and get to work. Same thing if you’re on a train ride in the middle of the night, and there’s no noise because everyone else is asleep.
Realistically you do waste a lot of time when traveling abroad, and you can use this free time to increase your productivity and get a lot of work done.
Work hours will be unpredictable, though, as various distractions can always happen when trying to work in a public place.
Always Think Of Time Differences
A lot of people trying to work abroad have fallen for this one...
If you’re scheduling a meeting or trying to meet a deadline, always be sure that you and the other party are talking about the same time zone.
There are a lot of alarm apps out there that can help you set alarms or reminders in different time zones, so you don’t get confused about this.
It’s pretty embarrassing not showing up for a meeting just because you didn’t set your alarm clock correctly, and it can be equally annoying (for you, anyway) if you arrive a few hours earlier than you should have.
Smartphones are becoming more powerful and more useful every day, and thousands of new apps are worked on and released daily.
Therefore, there are a lot of very useful apps out there designed specifically to increase your productivity and make your international working experience as hassle-free as possible.
Some that you should definitely consider installing are TripIt (a travel itinerary organisation app), Onavo (a mobile data usage tracker) and BestParking (a location-based parking finder).
Also, it’s pretty smart to set your phone up with a good VPN, in case you need to remotely access any files on your home computer, or your boss’s PC.
But seriously, whatever potential problem you think can come up on your business trip, just ask yourself “is there an app for that?”
More often than not, there is, and most of them are really helpful.
Hopefully, we’ve now armed you with enough information to increase your productivity and make your next business trip a lot less stressful.
Working while traveling is really a great way of “mixing things up” in your life, if you’re the kind of person who hates routine...
And the best part is that you'll never have to take time off to go on vacation again!
Now it's over to you! Leave your thoughts in the comments section below...
- How do you increase your productivity while traveling? Any little tips to share? Leave them below!