Just because the summer months are here and the kids are out of school, it doesn’t mean you get a break. Summer vacations often mean more work for parents. After all, now you are parenting full-time, possibly traveling and working! So how can you keep it all together and remain productive on the go? Here are 7 tips to keep you productive and organized and to ensure nothing falls between the cracks…and you have the best summer possible.
- Determine how many hours a week you need to work. Will your boss allow you to work longer hours on a few days of the week to take more time off? You never know what opportunities are available until you ask. You may be able to telecommute for the summer months. The key to making this successful is to make sure that you maintain (or even increase) productivity.
- Make sure you have all the tools you need to work on the go on hand and organized. When I travel for business and I know I will be working I make sure I have what I need ready to go. I suggest using a large poly envelope with a zipper to collect and store your working items. Inside the envelope place pens and pencils as you need, a notebook, personal care items, stamps, envelopes or note cards, and business cards. Keeping everything in one spot allows you to grab and use it quickly when need be. My envelope is clear so I can easily see and grab quickly. It’s also easy to put the envelop of supplies into a laptop bag or next to you on the car seat as you travel.
- Go digital. Make sure you have a backup battery and charger with you at all times. It’s a great idea to refresh and update your address book on your digital devices. Doing this will mean you don’t have to carry a physical address book. Digitizing your calendar will also prevent you from having to carry an agenda. If there are documents you need to access while you are traveling, scan them into NeatDesk and you’ll be able to access them anywhere and you don’t have to worry about carrying them along for the ride.
- Our lives have become increasingly mobile. We are now on the go more than ever before. However, being away from your home internet and power doesn’t mean you can’t get things done. Invest in a mobile internet service that allows you to have access to the internet wherever you are. I use a service that tethers my phone to my computer and allows me to work as if I was sitting at my office desk. Pay attention to data restrictions of course. While one person is driving on a trip, another can be working and answering email. No one will ever know that you’re out of the office. Likewise, it’s a smart idea to invest in an external phone charger so you can charge on the go. If your car has a cigarette lighter you can even use a power inverter and charge your laptop as you could at home.
- Scheduling meetings and calls will help you “meet” up with co-workers easily. Instead of calling someone and then playing phone tag with them, schedule a time that you are both available. This could be in the more before you leave a hotel room or in the evening after dinner. Keep in mind time zone changes that you may be going through on your trip.
- Most hotels have business centers. These business centers have printers, fax machines, office supplies and even computers. Instead of bringing everything with you, use what the hotel provides to save space and time. Working in a designated quiet space may also be helpful for times you need complete concentration.
- Use a portable scanner like NeatReceipts. This scanner is made to travel. It’s about the size of a curling iron and can digitize paper, business cards and receipts for you while you’re away from home. This is a great way to minimize the STUFF you need to carry (just scan and then toss the papers!) and stay organized on the go!
What are your keys to success for traveling on the go? Let us know!