Staying motivated when working on the road has it's challenges. Recently, I flew down to Amelia Island to house-sit for my grandparents while they were away. I couldn’t pass it up; they live in a magnificent house on a quiet island. It was a writer’s paradise.
Quickly after landing, I realized I was all wrong: It was a procrastinator’s paradise. The island had so much to do and see, and being there alone meant no accountability. Although I was physically prepared to work, I wasn’t anticipating the total lack of motivation. I needed to put in a little extra effort to stay on task. In my experience, working on the road is either hurtful or helpful for productivity and focus. Without the distractions from an office or home, efficiency can find new heights…or it can simply drift away.
Want to keep a hand on your motivation while traveling? Here are a few things I've learned so that you can be prepared to successfully travel for work and play.
Arrange Accountability In Advance
Even if you’re confident in your organization, motivation, and discipline, don’t expect these traits surface on the road. Do yourself a favor and secure some accountability before you hit the road. Set deadlines that fall on dates you’re gone to deliver work to people anticipating it and you don't want to disappointed. The sheer expectation will make working a necessity, not a choice. As a back up, ask friends or mentors to check in on your progress. Discipline is a learned trait; don’t hesitate to admit that you need help staying focused.
Set a routine
Routine may dull the spontaneity of travel, but if you intend to work on the road, adhering to a schedule will help you focus. Simply setting aside a few hours each weekday morning will not only skyrocket your productivity but will also keep your communication with clients and coworkers consistent.
When you’re out sightseeing, trying new foods, and spending time with loved ones, you don’t want to be worrying about unfinished work. A schedule allows you to remain fully present in your professional and personal life. Find motivation for sticking to your schedule in the fact you don’t want to think about working later.
Capitalize on your change of scenery
Outside of your pre-set routine and typical workflow, allow your change of scenery to stimulate new work. Set aside time to work on personal projects that may not have a place at home or in the office. Don’t close yourself off to new opportunity or ideas; you never know what time on the road may inspire. Speaking of new opportunity, don’t forget to pack extra business cards and a nice outfit or two. While you may not intend to meet a new client or contact on the road, it’s smart to be prepared for such circumstances.
Work in other ways
If your productivity has plateaued on the road, set your sights on learning and “working” in different ways. Read a new book, visit a museum, attend a relevant speaking event, or finally learn how to meditate. You don’t have to be grinding all the time to grow professionally — and personally.
Having the ability to work while traveling is a gift, and it’s becoming more and more prevalent among companies. If you intend to work on the road, take a few moments to plan an effective trip. Both you and your productivity will thank you.