Right after the officer at the border control stamps my passport, I run through the corridors of the airport to find my gate. I break between open bottles of perfumes and huge, discounted, chocolates in the duty-free area towards gates F, while other people are pulling their luggage slowly or are having different phone calls notifying their presence at the airport to various contacts. As I keep running while fixing my falling bag on my shoulders, I think to myself that those people are probably saying that my flight is about to take off. I finally arrive at the gate F26 and I quickly sit in there, open my bag, take out the laptop, switch it on while plugging in the headphones and, after a few more commands and buttons are pressed in the next longest 20 seconds of my career, I finally say the right words on the right time:
This is pretty much what a lot of people do since the pandemic has started. But even before that, working remotely has always been an option for some professions or people. In my case, as a writer, it has always been like this.
There were times that I had to write while I staying in completely remote areas among the alps, after a long hike and before a quick turnaround time. In these cases, the trouble would not be to write the text, but to send it. Next time you’ll see someone holding a laptop with both hands, overhead, while standing in a 6500 high mountain cliff, conjuring images of Mufasa holding Simba when he was born, though a site to be sure, might be someone giving their last ditch effort to get that PDF, CSV or DOC to earn their pay. Why is he up there in the mountains? Well, because they can be.
I must admit that it is not always like this. There are mornings – a lot of them! – when I just lay in a director-kind-of chair by the sea, with a nice espresso next to my laptop, while listening to the waves and writing.
How to Start The Remote Work Day
When working remotely, it is not hard to arrange an environment for the lonely process of writing. The hardest part is to get yourself together for a meeting.
“Working Remote” Starter Pack
Your working bag should always contain your laptop and its charger, its backup charger, another battery pack, you get the idea, headphones, always a pen and notepad of some form for quick notes when the laptop is off and you receive a call requiring some follow up. I strongly recommend some kind of small snack for when the blood sugar is low (but maybe this is personal).
2. Organize Your Day
When you know your schedule and that has meetings, don’t venture into different activities that you might not finish before the meeting starts. For example, if it’s 8 am and you want to drive somewhere for the next two hours while knowing that you have a meeting at 10:30 am, it is highly recommended to build in a buffer or a place you know you can stop for a break and take that call. Keeping an eye on traffic conditions for road trips, or making sure to navigate those layovers giving some time between calls. Keep in mind Murphy’s Law.
3. Prioritize What You Want to Get Done
Always start your first drafts as soon as possible. I think we all struggle with procrastination but if you are running up against those deadlines make sure to get that project over the line. Some employers are still warming up to the idea of their employees not being bound to their walls, so missing deadlines or being consistently unavailable will only fuel their desire to bring you back to the office, or in the case of freelance maybe not getting that next contract.
Time prioritization is key in all facets of travel. Having the freedom to hike around free and clear because assignments are done, projects are right on time makes all the difference in making the most of your travel experience.
Imagine you’re out but you end up with some friends of some friends that you just met. It turns out you like to talk about the same things with them and suddenly you’re all on your fourth round. Do you still see yourself going back to the hotel, opening your laptop, and finishing your task? Trust me, at that moment you won’t even see that the last tequila shot was actually water.
As one once said “I didn’t want a 9 to 5, now I have a 24/7” – this is our life and I would choose this a hundred times.