How to effectively manage your time while travelling and working

7 Hacks to Help You Manage Your Time While Travelling and Working

In Travel While Working by Phoebe Nicolas

Travelling and working is something that I love to do and plan to do for many years to come. My full time job is my bread and butter and I wouldn’t let go of it anytime soon. I love what I do and all the perks that come with it. I worked in an office base environment for 10 years before. But now that my new full time job is home base with flexibility of working anytime, I get to enjoy travelling and working that keep me in high spirits. The best thing about home base is it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be physically home all the time. It also gives you the freedom to work anywhere you want and reap the benefits of travelling and working lifestyle.

But how can you manage your time while travelling and working at the same time? This sounds like a hard thing to do for many if you have a full time job. But I believe the eager travellers should realize that there are other ways to keep up with the traveller life and maintain a nice paying job.

1. Follow a work schedule and be creative

Learn how formulate a good scheduling system and be creative

Learn how to formulate a good scheduling system and be creative

Although I have the license to work anytime I want, I still like to follow a work schedule. If you need to make up with 40 hours of work a week like me to get paid in full, you can do your work for about 5 to 6 hours every day and split these work hours throughout the day. You can work for about 3 hours in the morning; stroll around wherever you are for about 4 -5 hours and do more work in the afternoon for another 2-3 hours. That accumulates to 40 hours a week. It gives you more time to eat out or maybe enjoy a bottle of beer at night at the nearest bar (just don’t get drunk because you still have to work the next day!). Learn how formulate a good scheduling system and be creative.

2. Use your non-work hour

Instead of burying yourself in your hotel room, take a walk around the city and discover new restaurants or nightlife entertainment

Instead of burying yourself in your hotel room, take a walk around the city and discover new restaurants or nightlife entertainment (Hong  Kong at Night)

Why not explore your travel destination at night, say after your meetings or conference. This is an advice for those who travel for work. Instead of burying yourself in your hotel room, take a walk around the city and discover new restaurants or nightlife entertainment. While it can also be tiring to work all day, you can reward yourself with a nice massage in a spa or with a sumptuous delicacy of the destination where you’re in. If you’re only there for a day or two, get up early and see the sunrise or wander in a city before breakfast.

3. Finish your work in advance

Work for a couple of extra hours each day before your planned trip

Work for a couple of extra hours each day before your planned trip.

If you’re on a tight schedule for a project but have the opportunity to do more work, then always do it in advance. Try to get as much work done as possible before your trip. If I have an upcoming trip, especially to a place with slow or even no internet access, I always make sure that I don’t leave any urgent work unfinished. Not just that it is unprofessional; it also indicates that you don’t manage your time wisely. You don’t want your boss to think that of you right? Do your work for a couple of extra hours each day before your planned trip. Even if you think you’ll have time to work during your trip, try to meet your deadlines ahead of time, just in case something comes up. Be aware of deadlines and always prioritize those works that need immediate attention.

4. Inform your boss and co-workers that you’re travelling and working

Inform your boss and co-workers that you’re travelling and working

It is always a good idea to activate an auto responder email

Before all my trips, I always inform my boss of the number of days that I will be away, how long I will be away and where on earth I am heading. This opens the opportunity to lessen my workload as my boss will most likely ask someone else to do some of my work or just in case something urgent pops up.

If you know that you will have limited access to internet or might be sailing in the middle of a sea during business hours, it is always a good idea to activate an auto responder email. This will let people know that you’re travelling and it is a reminder for them that they won’t be getting a quick reply from you. On your auto responder, always indicate the hours when you’ll be available and how fast someone can expect a response. If you do this, you’ll have the peace of mind and you’ll get to enjoy your time more, while you’re away. But remember, don’t be abusive. Work when you can and always let everybody knows when you can’t!

5. Practice self discipline

Whenever you’re in a new place with lots of attractions to see and explore. It will always be very enticing to leave your work and just go and have fun. The beach looks inviting or the nature around you is tempting you to dig in. These are some of the struggles that you may encounter when you’re travelling and working. But when you know how to discipline yourself to follow your schedule, not only does this give you the time to work, but it simultaneously gives you the opportunity to enjoy your trip.

6. Be productive during downtime

Always anticipate unpredictable things can happen when you’re travelling. Your flight can be delayed or you may spend an hour or two getting back to your hotel because you’re stuck in a traffic jam. You can use these idle time like long layovers in airports or train stations on your trips.

It’s always possible to work anywhere else with good wi-fi! Try to allocate these possibilities to your schedule so that, you can still be productive and get things done. This downtime gives you the chance to catch up with where you left off. You can also use some of that extra downtime to catch up on some other things, such as answering emails, organizing your calendar or composing an article if you’re a writer. The more you can do during that downtime the better, even with the smallest things. It means that you will not have to allot time to do it later in the day.

7. Plan ahead

I always research about where I am going and staying, because location for me is always important. The last thing that you want to happen when you’re on a trip is to be lost. Consider a hotel or any accommodation that is close to the places you will visit. This will save you a lot of time as it means you will be spending lesser time travelling to and from each of these places you want to go.

Research about the area before you actually visit, ask your friends or read blogs and reviews. Get a basic understanding of what the destination is like, where you can eat, where to shop and what else you can do around the vicinity. Going around an unfamiliar place can be time consuming. Having the basic idea before you get to your destination will guarantee that you are not a square peg in round hole when you arrive.

 

Your plan of action for your travel and work goal will depend on the nature of your job and, as expected the nature of your employer. But if you are determined enough; you can find a way to achieve what you want! If you liked this post, please share it with your friends and family.

 

Phoebe Nicolas