Working while Playing in NYC
This past weekend I really did take an educational journey (thus inspiring the name of my blog once more). I just returned from a 4 day trip to NYC and Hoboken, college shopping with my teenage son. Wow, what a whirlwind! We would go, go, go all day and then arrive back to the condo we stayed in at about 10:30 or 11 at night. We walked about 25k steps a day, and on our last day in Manhattan we rented bikes for three hours to tour Central Park, Columbia University, and the Lincoln Center.
From that point, I would turn on some Netflix editions of 30 Rock and watch as many episodes as it took to keep me awake while I finished my work. Not my ideal way of working , to be sure, but how often does one get to take a mom-son trip to the big apple? Not often.
Deciding What to Do, What to Postpone
The takeaway from this trip was that you have to decide what you’re going to let go of when you are actively traveling while working. In some cases, you might let go of needing to see it all. In other cases, you might let go of some of your workload – in whatever form that takes. In trips with my husband, we would sightsee less, rest more and work more. We did a LOT of traveling, so forgoing a château or a castle was okay.
On this trip, my son and I were there to see it all…or everything that we could. This meant that some work things, and some entrepreneurial projects had to be put aside. In addition, my trusty graphic design assistant – my 16-year-old – was also on hold from any “mom” projects, which meant that Kindle covers didn’t get done, Pinterest pins didn’t get made, etc. Yes, he does those things (he loves Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop) so let me know if you need him for a project. He’s not too expensive, either.
But it’s the sacrifice you make. The important thing is to plan for it. I managed to notify most of my clients that work was on hold for 5 days. My college teaching, of course, went on. This meant working about 4 hours a night (at least) after we got in. Papers to grade, discussions to participate in, and emails to answer. None of that could be put on hold. Working ahead helped some, too. So if you are traveling and working, try to organize your work load before you left. I did manage to get some dissertation editing/consulting done on the plane ride up and back, thus maximizing my time (and paying for my plane ticket!)
Living on Battery Power
Battery power was a main concern. I was using my phone’s GPS for getting around Manhattan, for driving on Long Island, and for navigating around Hoboken (although Hoboken is small enough that you barely need navigation). Google maps uses a ton of battery life. In our already-planned trip to the Apple Store near Central Park in Manhattan, I picked up a Mophie external charger. This enabled me to charge fast and on-the-go, while I was still navigating us around the big apple.
What are your strategies for managing your time and battery life while traveling?