Hard-Hats in the Cloud: 5 Ways to Be Productive on the Road
Work doesn’t always turn up on your doorstep as a contractor, so you’ll find that a lot of your time is spent on the road, in the air, on the rails, or a grim combination of the three.
An unfortunate side effect of travelling, especially when you don't have your own vehicle? Lots of time to kill and scrolling-induced thumb ache. But before you drain the last of your data looking at what Sue had for her tea, consider this: what could you really get done in that time?
And we get it, sometimes we need to sacrifice a brain cell or 2 (or 3...or 4) to switch off from life’s pressures and stressors, but we think we have a few tips up our figurative sleeves to help you take back these time-voids for better productivity while still enjoying the blissful numbness of social media. Enjoy!
1 - It’s a plan, Stan!
“Well begun is half done”. Essentially, half the battle of productivity is looking at your schedule and planning where and when you’re able to squeeze some value into your time.
Setting an agenda in advance, no matter how rough, also makes it much easier to commit to and stick to.
Whether it’s brushing up on key field information, renewing your health & safety certificates or getting your expense receipts in order, even a mental note to get this done on that train journey or that done on your connection could be the difference between you turning up at the site and knowing what you’re doing and not.
Also, be realistic! There’s only so much you can do from the back of an Uber.
2 - Prepare to lose, fail to… what was it again?
The arch nemesis of productivity is losing your focus. Be it low battery, rowdy toddlers, no air-con or a raging hangover, travel distractions come easy.
But fear not, friends, there are also remedies.
Here’s a checklist of items you should consider taking along when planning a productive journey:
- Portable charger - needs no further explanation.
- Headphones - noise cancelling preferable so they double up as earplugs.
- Something to drink - hot, hungover, dehydrated: the trifecta of travel misery.
- A snack - or a Greggs/Maccies breakfast/sandwich made by your mum, whatever you need to keep you going pal.
- Notepad and pen - if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
3 - No WiFi? No problem!
It’s great that you’re so dedicated, but there are ways to get some work done and not rinse your personal mobile data in the process (unless you have a work phone, in which case, check you out). Besides, data is never guaranteed.
Put that dedication to better use by prepping your work in advance of your journey in something like the Microsoft or Google Suite. You can get easy access to your work documents, spreadsheets and presentations offline if you need to, and it also means your important documents aren’t tied to any one single device.
4 - Hard hats in the Cloud
Tips 1 and 3? There’s an app for that! You can use your in-built phone apps like your calendar or reminders, or something like Google Calendars or Trello, to set up notifications for tasks you’ve scheduled at different points on your journey.
The benefits of Google Suite and Trello though is that it’s all cloud based, so you can access them from any device wherever you are (providing you have internet access or made your docs available offline).
Google Suite in particular has some great mobile versions of their apps, such as Google Drive for all your documents in one place, Google Docs and Google Sheets. You’ll never forget a to-do again.
5 - Repeat after The Contractor: Take. A. Break.
The other unfortunate side effect of travelling is being bloody exhausted. Points 1 to 4 will only work if you honour this final tip, and that is to make sure you’re getting enough rest, a decent night’s sleep and somewhere close (ish) to a work/life balance.
You can only be your most productive self when you have steam left to run on.
So there you have it! 5 tips to increase your productivity whilst you travel.
The best tip we can give you though? Don’t waste loads of time hunting down suitable digs for your next contract. Get in touch with Per Person Per Night with your requirements, and they’ll do the rest. Now that’s productive.
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