Friday, July 19, 2013

How to Thrive During a Workation (How to Work Remotely Successfully)

Working from home... or anywhere you choose sounds glamorous. Sometimes it even is. In the few months that I have formally started my business and been working from home, it has been rewarding. Best part of it (I thought) was that I would be travelling and can still take my work remotely while meeting or exceeding my obligations to my clients. I'm in Virginia in the USA now visiting family and it hasn't been so easy to work remotely on this workation. 

Here's why. 
  1. I cannot fully control my environment. Not everyone understands that you can't have the TV on while you work on this project which happens to be on deadline. Those around you may not understand that you need to work. 
  2. There are so many new things to see and do. Just knowing that there is something new outside is a distraction. I'm glancing at every leaf dropping on the deck and looking up at every sound of the dog moving. It sounds simple but just the pure difference in environment distracts me. 
  3. I don't always have my full connectivity to the internet or am not keeping track of my emails regularly when on the road and I am accustomed to always being accessible and always accessing my clients. I hate getting home to see that I've missed 5 emails and am behind in my work. I'll have more to say about this later.

Things don't have to be this bad, however. After struggling through the first few weeks of working from a different location, I have created several strategies for managing my workload in a new, foreign environment. 

Here is the remedy. 
  1. Plan your day and stick to the plan. Yes, even though I'm on workation, I still need to create a schedule where I work at certain times and going out to see everything this place has to offer is just not an option. I schedule play-time too. 
  2. Create an office space. Even if it means staying on the hotel room bed/floor or going to Starbucks for 2 hours, find a location where you will not be disturbed. I have finally set my work time and am working my butt off in order to get my set tasks complete on schedule.
  3. Check in frequently and use a scheduled action list. Set times to check your email. Follow up and create an action list of things that need to be done and when they should be done. This will allow you to keep on schedule and schedule your fun around your work. 
  4. Take breaks. Working non-stop when there is a wonderful world outside to explore can be frustrating. Set your fun between work times and utilise and alarm to let you know when to move from one phase to the next. 
  5. Stay focused. Avoid multitasking and stay on task. Be sure to complete a task before moving on to ensure that you are actually getting things done and achieving your tasks rather than just constantly doing stuff and getting nowhere.
  6. Communicate your needs. If you're travelling with friends or family, communicate your needs for quiet work time (I say as my mother requests that I turn on the television).
These tactics have made my last 24 hours be even more than even a regular day working from home. Try them if you're struggling to work remotely while away from home. 


  1. Girl.... let me tell youuuuuuu :) Working from home is not that great unless you stick to a plan. Great tips.

    1. So true Natalie! Thanks for commenting. I wish you increased success in your endeavours in 2016!