By Susan Payton
If you work from home, there’s beauty in the fact that, technically, you could do your work anywhere. Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy. I know when I travel (which I try to do regularly), I find it hard to not get distracted from the beach, the sights to see, and the food to consume in order to actually get any work done. And if you’re in another time zone? Forget it. Everything feels like you’re trudging uphill.
That’s why I’ve developed some strategies I’d like to share with you that can help you be effective at traveling (or living) elsewhere and still making money.
Tip 1: Clear Your Plate Ahead of Time
I am a writer for hire, so typically in any given month, I know approximately the scope of my work. I am able to write assignments ahead of time to clear my plate, so to speak, for the time I’ll be traveling. Yes, additional assignments come up, but with no other work in sight, it’s easier to focus on those few assignments.
If your work is something you can plan in advance, talk to your clients about completing it before your trip. They’ll appreciate you turning it in early!
Tip 2: Get a Plan
As soon as you hit 10,000 feet on that plane, your brain will turn to mush, so it’s important to figure out your work/travel strategy before that point of no return. You’ll want time to spend enjoying the local culture, but you’ll need to balance that with actually earning money to pay for that fun.
Create a rough schedule of what your days will look like. Factor in time zones if you want to be available to clients for a period each day. For example, in Europe, they’re 8-10 hours ahead of us, so you might decide to work for a few hours in the early morning so that you can connect with clients. Your work schedule won’t be as productive as you’d be at home, so cut yourself some slack and enjoy.
Tip 3: Look for Passive Income
If you’re moving overseas or planning a long vacation, brainstorm on other ways to bring in money that require less hands-on effort. You could, for example, sell ebooks or online courses that require no effort for you to fulfill once they’re set up. That way, you make money while you’re relaxing on the beach!
Tip 4: Rely on Your Technology
Where would we be without our technology? Not working from anywhere in the world, I’ll tell you that! With a laptop and an Internet connection, you can go far. Just take precautions to keep your equipment safe.
If chatting with clients via Skype or Hangouts is important, check first to make sure your Internet connection is up to the challenge. Not everywhere in the world has the super-slick speedy service that we’re accustomed to here. If you’re in a hotel, it should be fine, but an Internet cafe might not meet your requirements for a digital video chat.
Enjoy Your Time!
Now, relax a little. You’ve set up the infrastructure to successfully work while traveling, so it’s time to actually enjoy your vacation. Work will get done. For now, just enjoy where you are and the people you came with.