The Ohio Streets team and most of our readers do work that require us to be on the road a lot more during this time of the year. Whether you’re a musician, photographer, etc. it can be easy to forget that we’re still on the clock while we’re on the road, because hitting the pavement typically equates to vacationing for most folks.
Although we may be able to easily say no to distractions at home, staying focused on the road is an entirely different animal. We find ourselves wanting to explore new cities, chase new experiences, link up with people that we’re finally close in distance to, enjoy nightlife, expose ourselves to unique cultures and just embrace as many new vibes as we can.
I have traveled to a few cities in the past month myself and all of the trips were meant to be productive. However, I found myself getting little work done and spending most of my time vacationing. But over the years I’ve come up with many tricks to keep myself focused and I recently took some time to adjust these methods so that they work while I’m on the go. If you get the urge to slack off with everyone else around you while you’re traveling, consider trying my 4 tips on staying productive in the midst of fun distractions.
1. Count Out Your 8 Hour Shifts
If whatever you’re doing on the road is your job, or you hope that it will be some day, then you need to treat it as such. Your competition is putting in overtime nearly everyday, so the least that you can do is put in your 40 hours a week. Whether you’re on your trip to network, record music, film, blog, perform, etc. you should be counting out your 8 hours of work each day. That’s not asking for too much, you’ll still be able to enjoy the city in your down time.
When you’re at a 9 to 5 you don’t have the freedom of walking out whenever you want, fixing food freely, answering your phone, or browsing the web. When you’re “clocked” in on the road you need create a similar structure for yourself. Let everyone around you know that you’re working until 5, or whatever other hours you set for yourself that day, and make sure that they respect that. Create a schedule each day, fitting in time for work and play. If you stick to the hours that you set for yourself, you’ll find that you get a lot more done than if you were to aimlessly work here and there.
2. Make Sure That Everyone’s on the Same Page
The biggest distractions can come from the people around you. If most of the people that you traveled with aren’t doing any work then you’ll constantly be tempted to go out and have fun with them. When you’re on a mission, make sure you’re traveling with people that are on a mission as well. This way you’re not tempted to slack off and even if you do, you’ll have someone there to hold you accountable for your actions and encourage to get focused.
3. Create Rewards For Yourself
To insure that you’re getting your work done during trips, tell yourself “I can only go here, hang out with them, shop there, or try that if I get such and such done beforehand”. If you really care about enjoying your free time on the road and you’re able to hold yourself accountable, then you’ll definitely make sure that you get whatever work you have done in a timely manner. Having a good time feels so much better when you know that you tackled your to-do list head on.
4. Take Care of Your Body
I know how hard it can be to catch up on sleep and eat well while you’re in an unfamiliar place, but making sure that you have enough energy to go around is essential to staying focused.
Pulling all-nighters and taking naps whenever you can is a must for many of us, especially during short trips. But on the trips that you know you have more work than usual you may just have to sacrifice that party, concert, or dinner with friends to catch up on some sleep before your next “shift”.
Many of us believe that we work better under pressure, but studies continuously show that this isn’t the case. When your body is well taken care of you’ll be able to get more, quality work done in shorter periods of time. Stay away from fast foods, drink more water, and nap when you can.