28
Dec

How to stay productive while traveling

by Morgan deBoer

[Feature image: chichacha]

I have officially been living out of a suitcase – a small suitcase and a backpack if I’m being honest – for over a month. I have been visiting family and friends and, since July 28th, I haven’t spent more than four consecutive nights in any one place. I’m tired.

It has been really fun but all of this movement is not good for my work life since I work from home and I don’t really have a home right now. We are mostly staying in people’s houses, not hotels, so I have had to carve out time and a place to get work done. Some writers and editors are great at working in coffee shops but there are no coffee shops in my hometown and I don’t have a car here.

To stay sane, I’ve been working wherever I’m sleeping and practicing what I call, “going to work.”

Step 1. Know what you need in a writing spot. My ideal is either really quiet or so loud that all the noise blends into white noise. I am writing this from my in-laws’ backyard. There is loud road construction out front, my husband is playing music, acorns are falling all over the umbrella above me, and two big dogs are running around on the lawn. It’s perfect. I also like a flat surface and a hard chair or a spot on the floor. This is just an ideal, I know that I can be flexible. Get an idea of where you work best so if you have a limited time to work, you don’t waste your time sitting on a couch in a living room if it turns out you just can’t work without a table.

Step 2. Change out of your pajamas. Even if it just means changing into yoga pants instead. You should start to feel like you are getting ready to be productive.

Step 3. Tell the people around you that you are about to go to work. This is the toughest part for me. I don’t see my family that often, and I hate having to say, “Pretend like I’m not here,” to people I love, but if you are on a deadline you have to make that clear or else you might resent that they don’t understand your schedule.

Step 4. Go outside and then come back inside. I do this even when I’m home alone at my own house. It helps me clear my head, get organized for what Im about to do, and I really feel like I am going to work.

Do you have any tips to staying productive while traveling? Let us know in the comments below.

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