Out of Office

Archive for the ‘Digital Nomad’ Category

Do You Need a Change of Scenery?

One of my clients, Garth Roberts, posted this picture to Facebook earlier this year:

Garth In Banff

He said it was so successful that he’s planning to do it again every quarter. And he’s inspired me to go away for a similar trip (not as far as Banff, though!) to do some solid writing on my next book.

What can you do to get into the right mindset for something important? This is one of the big benefits of the Out of Office work style. So create the opportunity if you can!

20 Best Free Apps For Mobile Entrepreneurs

Mobile appsMore and more work is done on the road, either on business trips or as part of the life of a Digital Nomad. Of course, the growth of mobile technology helps enormously in allowing you to be productive when you’re away from the office.

What apps do you use regularly to stay productive on the road? My favourites include Dropbox, Evernote, and the Google suite of products (Gmail, Calendar, Contacts, Drive and Maps).

Here are some more suggested by Mike Michalowicz.

On The Road (Warrior) Again

Mitch Joel, author of the Twist Image blog, has a number of tips for working on the road. These are useful for employees and digital nomads alike. Here’s a summary:

  • Always have an extra charger for everything.
  • Keep your devices as fully charged at all times as possible.
  • Ditch the briefcase, and get a nice looking knapsack or backpack.
  • Take all of your cables, chargers, headphones, adapters, USB memory sticks, dongles and more and store them in one bag.
  • Save it to the cloud.
  • Block out the world with a good pair of in-ear headphones
  • Being your own extension cord.

Smartphones use doubles in 2012

More than half of Australian adults use smartphones, and their use doubled in the year to May 2012, according to a report from the Australian Communications and Media Authority. The report, entitled “Smartphones and tablets: Take-up and use in Australia”, also found a dramatic increase in tablets.

The key infrastructure drivers for this growth include the continued rollout of mobile network upgrades, growth in 4G coverage and the increased use of WiFi hotspots.

This is particularly significant for many Out of Office workers. The obvious beneficiaries are Digital Nomads, who can now find it easier than ever before to work from anywhere. But it also applies to many other types of workers, particularly those who travel for work or commute to work.

8 Ways to Dramatically Boost Your Productivity While Traveling

Ryan O’Connell has written an interesting article, “8 Ways to Dramatically Boost Your Productivity While Traveling”. Here are his ideas (read the article for details):

  1. Queue up emails
  2. Invest in personal growth
  3. Network
  4. Take time to see the big picture
  5. Set up meetings and after-hours events
  6. Do busy work during free time
  7. Keep phone calls to a minimum
  8. Prioritize your events/meetings

Do you have any other ways to boost your productivity on the road? Share them here.

25 Tips in 25 Minutes

StopwatchesIn this episode, we share 25 simple but effective tips for improving your Out of Office work style – in the areas of productivity, e-mail, reducing interruptions, flexibility, and online meetings.

Listen to the episode here:

Download the MP3 file here

Buy the book here (available at a reduced price for a limited time).

Summary of the 25 tips:

Set up your workspace with productivity in mind:

  1. Have a dedicated office
  2. Make it easy to switch between workspaces
  3. Create good ergonomics
  4. Make it a place where you like to work

Reduce interruptions:

  1. Turn off alerts for non-urgent communication
  2. Conversely, allow important and urgent messages to get through
  3. Educate people about your work day
  4. Schedule work for quiet times

Manage your time:

  1. Use the Pomodoro Technique or Work Sprints
  2. Set priorities for the day
  3. Track your time
  4. Focus on outcomes and results, and keep promises you make to others

Handle email efficiently:

  1. Don’t use your inbox as your To Do list.
  2. Separate processing from responding
  3. Unsubscribe from irrelevant newsletters, notifications, and mailing lists
  4. Use sub-folders to organise incoming mail

Run better online meetings:

  1. Have a pre-meeting checklist
  2. Know what you want to get from the meeting
  3. “Arrive” early, and be ready to start on time
  4. Get comfortable with the technology

Be flexible, but in a smart way:

  1. Set aside dedicated time slots each week for certain things
  2. Establish a routine for the day
  3. Set weekly goals rather than daily goals
  4. Mix it up
  5. Try different things, and break all the rules!

5 Simple Steps to Taking Your Freelance Career on the Road as a Full-time Traveler

Not every Digital Nomad secretly harbours dreams of being a full-time traveller, working from wherever they lay their laptop. However, some do, and the Digital Nomad workstyle does make that more feasible than most other ways of working.

Freelance Web designer Nathan Swartz wrote about taking your career on the road as a full-time traveller, offering these five key steps:

  1. Organize Your Accomodations
  2. Rediscover the Internet
  3. Set Yourself Up for a Digital Lifestyle
  4. Inform Existing Clients of Your New Hours and Availability
  5. See the World!

Read the full article here.

MOOCs: E-Learning For Out of Office Workers

GraduatesWhereas office workers might be sent on courses or receive on-site training, Out of Office workers are often responsible for their own professional education. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are to education what OOO is to work; they allow you to time-shift and place-shift your learning. In this episode, Chris shares his experience with doing an online course using popular course provider Coursera.

Listen to the episode here:

Download the MP3 file here

Buy the book here (available at a reduced price for a limited time).

References:

7 essentials for presenting virtually while you’re traveling

If you travel for work – and this is common for Digital Nomads, as well as for many other workers who travel for business – you might find yourself in the position of having to collaborate or present remotely with colleagues and clients. This can be a challenge when you’re using different technology than what you normally use in your working day.

Webinar expert Roger Courville has 7 tips for webinar presenters who have to present while on the road. These are useful not only for webinar presenters, but for other online collaboration – such as Skype, video conferencing and teleconferences:

  1. Plan ahead for a hard-wired connection
  2. Take an extra computer
  3. Test your connectivity…well in advance
  4. Travel with a VoIP headset
  5. Dial in your mobile phone as a second line
  6. Stabilize the microphone on your mobile phone earbuds
  7. Send a copy of your slides to someone else

Read the full article here.

A Month on the Road

We both spent time away from home over the last couple of months, so in this episode we share some of our experiences, including principles to help you plan your own business trips.

Listen to the episode here:

Download the MP3 file here

Buy the book here (available at a reduced price for a limited time).

Resources:

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