As a working mum, it’s hard to take time out but I promised the Meatball I’d take him Pokemon hunting during the holidays. I came to a compromise and this became the office on Friday.
When I quit my job 6 years ago, I certainly didn’t envision that a half dozen years later, I’d have the ability to work from wherever I wanted, as long as I had my phone and laptop with me. I am always thankful for all the blessings I’ve been given.
So how do you get to this point? Lots and lots of time investment, research and making use of the technology that’s available. I thought I’d share with you all some of the things I do to maximise my time and productivity when I work out of the office:
Invest in a good laptop
This sounds really basic but I cannot praise my Asus Zenbook Pro enough (this is not a sponsored post btw), it wasn’t cheap, but the investment was absolutely worth it. For any solopreneur or small business owner, a laptop is the most important tool you will ever use. Buy the best one you can afford. The last thing you want is to be at a park and having to wait 10 minutes for your laptop to start up.
Plan your tasks
Working outdoors means you don’t have access to a power outlet, so you’ll be relying on your laptop and phone batteries. I try to maximise how long I can work outside by turning off the internet and wi-fi, as well as all background apps that tend to eat up battery life. I make a to-do list before I leave home and only turn on the internet when I’ve done as much as I can without it.
Cloud based file system
My team and I use Dropbox but there are other ones that are just as good such as Google Drive and SharePoint. It makes access and sharing work files easier. You don’t want to be emailing back and forth between you and your team to get files you need. It’s a waste of battery life.
Documented systems and processes
Don’t keep all your systems in your head. I’ve documented all my processes like how to onboard a client, or how to set up a client on Xero so that I can farm out simple tasks to junior staff. The steps are all clearly laid out so that I have minimal to no questions. This allows me to be at the park, developing strategies and growth targets.
I’m old-school. I’m also a stationery addict. I have a notebook for EVERYTHING. One for each client, one for my blog, marketing and social media, the list goes on. These are all in my office and I use them religiously. But when I’m working outside, I have an all-purpose journal to make notes in, write a to-do list, etc.
You can simplify even more by downloading an app to make notes in. However, I find this doesn’t work for me as my phone battery gets used up pretty quickly by these types of apps. I don’t want to have to leave and go home early because my phone/laptop battery died.
I’m ALWAYS HUNGRY. If I didn’t bring snacks and my lunch, all I’d be thinking about the whole time would be what I can eat. Make sure you bring plenty of water and fruit. And don’t forget to bring a plastic bag to dispose of your rubbish responsibly.
So there you go. I usually get 4 to 6 hours of working outdoors with these methods. My laptop dies around the 3/4hour mark depending on the work I’m doing but I usually continue on using my journal if I’m being super productive. I hope these tips help you out, even if you’re not a working mum. Take the time to get some sun. Our technology allows us to work anywhere in the world so it’s ok for you to go outside for a couple of hours.