Working Abroad: 4 Secrets to Staying Productive While Exploring
4 Secrets to Staying Productive While Exploring
By Kelly Cronin
Staying on task is hard in the office, but it can be even harder when you are trying to work remotely or while you're traveling. When you're out and about, usually the last thing you want to do is sit inside and work. I've found a lot of things can get me to stay productive, regardless of where I am. Follow these four tips to staying productive when you're adventuring:
1. Manage Your Time Wisely
If you're working from another country, like I am, chances are there is a pretty significant time difference. Take advantage of this! I usually spend my days exploring the city or getting errands done, so when I have all my free time in the evenings, I'm excited to sit down and get some work done. I always know I am saving a lot of money by staying in and working on projects instead of meeting up with friends at bars and other spots. Save those nights for the weekends! When I get work done at night, it's also easier for my boss to answer my emails, so any questions I have I can save for evenings and then work on those projects immediately instead of waiting until the next day.
2. Don't forget to take in the views
When you're working abroad, scenic views are not hard to find. Finding a place to work with a scenic backdrop makes responding to emails seem less like work and more like a vacation. When it's warm out, I like to sit on my balcony and take in the views of the Calanques while I work. Instead of being sucked into my computer inside, I take breaks to enjoy the view and remember where I am.
3. Keep Track of Your Tasks and Projects
Using Office 365 apps like Planner can be a productivity lifesaver. When you're on different timezones, it can be confusing to keep track of emails and notes for things you have to get done - and when they need to be done by. Planner organizes your tasks so you see all the tasks you need to do. With Planner, you can also keep tasks in different categories and groups. For example, I have individual tasks I need to get done in my "Projects" folder, but I also have projects in the "Marketing" group. You can still view all your tasks at once, no matter what group or category they belong to. Set due dates and add comments to help you manage your time and priorities. Finished a task? Simply check off that you've completed it, and the entire group will get an email letting them know you've completed it. Plus there is nothing more satisfying than checking off something you needed to get done!
4. Never Stop Exploring
There are always a million things to get done, but the best way to increase your productivity is to stay inspired! What better way to find some inspiration then to spend time exploring new places? Take your lunch break at a restaurant in a different part of town you haven't seen yet. Be sure to walk around and explore the area. Follow France's lead and take a two-hour lunch break if you can. Getting out and exploring can lead to new business ideas, creative concepts to introduce, and overall better work performance. Plus with Office 365 mobile apps, you can always take your work on-the-go. No more boring bus rides into the city!
Working Abroad: OneNote Makes Working Without WiFi Do-able
OneNote Makes Working Without WiFi Do-able
By Kelly Cronin
I just started my next semester working remotely part-time while studying abroad in Marseille, France. Although my journey has just begun, I have already met many obstacles for working while abroad. Finding time, energy, and motivation to work when you first arrive in a new country is painfully difficult. Taking it slow the first few days is key, so after that you can pick rainy days or gloomy nights to cozy up in your apartment and buckle down for a few hours. Perhaps the biggest challenge so far has to be finding good WiFi. When traveling, reliable wi-fi is hard to find, and even harder to ask for if you don't speak the language. The good news is OneNote has come to my rescue!
Here's how to use OneNote without connecting to wifi:
If you know you are going to be without wifi for a while, but you still need to get some work done, make sure you set up your OneNote ahead of time. Download documents you need from Outlook or SharePoint and add them to your OneNote. There is nothing worse than trying to get some work done and then realizing you don't have everything you need. Think of what you can do without wifi, such as writing posts, preparing topics for presentations, and editing images.
Make a To-Do List of things you need to get done with OneNote's check boxes. You can even set certain tasks as priorities. As I sat on the plane from Boston to Paris, I came up with a quick list of everything I can get done while traveling to and from anywhere:
Work - from literally anywhere!
Working without wifi might not be ideal, but hey a seven hour train ride is not ideal either. So make the most of both of them by using OneNote to start on any projects available to you. Even when I am sitting on the bus from school to go downtown or grocery shopping, I can use my OneNote mobile app to access everything my desktop OneNote has to offer. So if I'm on-the-go (without any data of course), I can instantly jot down blog ideas. And sometimes people watching on the bus is where I get the best inspiration.
Now I must go catch my train to Nice - au revoir!