Setting non-negotiables is the real key to personal growth. In fact, there are 5 daily non-negotiable tasks every individual should consider adding to their daily routine for a better, more productive life.
Below is a guest post by Outdoorsy, sharing with you 5 hacks for working on the road. As someone who is still learning how to navigate working on and off the road - this is helpful post for seasoned and new freelancers alike.
For most people, traveling is a time to get away from work and spend time relaxing. Yet for those who love extended travel or want to take their work with them, working on the road has many advantages. Once you overcome the initial struggles of a mobile office, a whole new world unfolds before you. Working from an RV while on the road poses many challenges but offers even more rewards. These challenges can include finding space to work, gaining the necessary connectivity to the outside world and find work to do. Here are 5 hacks to help deal with these issues so you work successfully while on the road.
Also check out my article: 10 Ways to Make Money Online in 2019
UNLIMITED MOBILE HOTSPOT
Getting reliable internet access while on the road is critical for most jobs. It is also one of the most challenging things a worker on the road will face. One of the best solutions is an unlimited mobile hotspot. These differ from your standard cell phone hot spot connections in that they are not throttled back to unusable speeds after a certain GB of used data is reached. Finding one can also be tricky because most cell carriers do not offer them directly, or they don't make them obvious choices in their product lines. The trick is to look for pre-paid plans, where you buy the equipment upfront, pay an activation fee and then pay monthly in advance for the service. Generally, there is no contract or plan length requirements. Verizon offers a MiFi hotspot that is unlimited, but only under their pre-paid program. Other providers to look at include unlimitedLTEdata which sells prepaid unlimited T-Mobile hotspots. Unlimitedville also offers prepaid unlimited plans on Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint or AT&T.
Check the coverage maps before deciding what you are going to buy to make sure they will offer service where you plan to travel. When you are living and traveling in different places you will want to have extended coverage. With these services you can have good, reliable, and unlimited internet access for your work while on the road.
Wireless networking is a great technology for an RV when working on the road. Many RV parks offer Wi-Fi which you can connect into for free, or a small fee. The long, narrow, sectional designs of most RV vehicles do not make them the best spaces for wireless networking. The outside walls can also weaken the park's Wi-fi signal enough to make it unusable inside. This is where a Wi-Fi hub and booster comes into play. These units have better antennas to pick up weaker signals. The hub can connect to the park's wireless connection through its superior antennas and then devices inside the RV can connect to the stronger signal sent out by the hub. This offers three advantages for those working from their RV. First, you get better signal strength and coverage throughout the RV for all your devices. Second, the Wi-Fi hub allows you to have a wireless LAN so you can connect multiple computers, printers and other devices and share data between them privately. Finally, a lot of parks limit the number of connections to their Wi-Fi from any given site. In many cases, you will only be able to connect one device. These devices will connect using that one connection provided by the park and allow multiple devices in your network to share that connection.
There are many suppliers of these devices including Alpha Networking, Linksys and Netgear.
FLEXJOBS FOR MORE WORK
If you are a freelancer or contract worker, you can add to your client base with services like FlexJobs and other online platforms. FlexJobs is unique in that it is a website-based job listing board which charges the job seeker a small fee. That fee is used to cover screening of the jobs listed on the service to ensure they are legit and available to remote workers. This is a great service that drastically reduces fraud and helps to ensure you are not applying for jobs where the job provider would never hire you because of your remote location status. Jobs listed can also be broken down into permanent hire, temporary hire, freelance and contract so you can match jobs specific to your needs. Working from the road is easier when you have a hub to search for jobs that fit the lifestyle.
USE YOUR TELEVISION AS A MONITOR
Most RVs have built in large screen TVs that work great as large screen computer monitors. This allows you to setup a larger workspace without having to dedicate extra space. Connecting your laptop or PC to a flatscreen TV is pretty easy assuming it is a newer TV with HDMI ports, or a USB port for a ChromeCast dongle. Add a wireless keyboard and mouse and you can set your Laptop off to the side (or even in another room) and work from the couch. This is one example of the mentality of everything having multiple uses, which is crucial for working on the road.
Keeping your devices powered while on the road can be an issue. This is the case while driving and when staying in locations that lack shore power. One solution is to buy a generator, but that can be excessive and expensive just to charge a laptop or briefly run a printer. You also can not use a generator while you are driving and pulling trailer. In these situations, look at a small 12 V compatible inverter. Inverters of up to 1000 watts can be often be run from 12V auto accessory ports and will give you enough power to charge a laptop or run a small printer. These can also be tied into your RVs electrical system so you can use those devices from the house batteries. You will want to get a pure sine wave model, these are more expensive but produce the clean power many electronic devices need.
Shelley Trupert works for Outdoorsy, an RV marketplace for consumers and pros. She has been camping for almost 20 years and is always looking to find the next hike, off the beaten path. While she used to enjoy tenting in the wilderness, she prefers to camp in an RV now—whether it is a Class C or a teardrop trailer—to enjoy a little comfort after a long day outdoors and the ease of travel it provides. Her goal is to hike in all of the national parks in North America.
Also check out:
One of the lowest days of my life left me sitting on my friend’s kitchen floor bawling my eyes out. I was tentatively out of a home, out of a boyfriend (he left to work in Alaska for 5 months), and completely out of money. I was miserable despite successfully graduating from the most difficult challenge of my life: college. I had no career plans, no marriage plans, and no money. I had nothing but childhood dreams that I had to make magically happen: with nothing.
My friend, seeing me in distress, let me stay at her apartment. She was my last standing hope of emotional sanity and a comfortable night’s sleep.
As I persevered through one of the lowest points of my life, she never once judged me, criticized my decision, or asked anything in return for her hospitality. Instead, she made me breakfast, packed me a lunch and promised me it was all going to work out. Guess what?
It all worked out.
WHERE I BEGAN
I’m the product of a loving family and farming lifestyle. My parents were solid partners, both as parents and in business.
They were loving, they were tough, and they made me work for everything throughout life. Ask me what the best quality anyone could have is and I’ll confidently tell you that it’s being able to work yourself from the bottom back up. This is a trait that I will always thank my parents for.
As a kid, I grew up attending school events, helping on the farm, hunting, fishing and that was about it. Then there was the weather. As a kid, I was obsessed with the weather.
I’d always loved storms and when I was 10 years old I PROMISED myself I’d get my degree in it.
So I did.
When I graduated high school, I attended college for Atmospheric Science (aka weather). This was an incredible opportunity that let me do things such as fly through thunderstorms, attend research conferences and be around people who truly believed in me even when I didn’t even believe in myself.
I ended up graduating early. This was an incredible feat for someone who barely crawled through physics-based calculus. However, the taller the wall, the higher I would climb (even if that climb was a crawl). It’s almost like I lived for the pursuit even if I didn’t actually love the final result. Tell me I couldn’t do it and I’ll show you all the reasons why I can.
A WOMAN DOING A MAN’S JOB
Growing up I always thought that after graduating college everything would magically come together. However, it didn’t work like that for me. As much as I wanted to feel excited about my newly earned degree, I couldn’t.
Meanwhile I was booted from my on-campus housing, had a temporary position that couldn’t pay the bills, and was spending my free time applying for jobs I never dreamed I’d actually get.
You see, we have now caught up to the beginning of my story - on my friends kitchen floor.
This is where my life truly started to begin.
After a couple months of despair it started to come together. I was eventually given a “real” job at a university as a research specialist. This was where I was able to continue my education while working full-time. In the blink of an eye, my entire world changed and I LOVED IT. I was given things such as
money, money, and more money…
For someone who learned to live with nothing, this was a real revelation. I was suddenly handed all of these things with a simple signing of paper. I could pay my bills, travel, and buy things. Oh how it felt so good to be able to buy things.
I had gone from incredibly broke and in debt (I paid for my own college this way) to what I had considered luxury living with a job I never dreamed I’d have.
You see, I always hated “girly” things. Therefore, having a career where I was able to make a living driving a pickup, working with my hands (and my mind) in overalls, cutoffs, and jeans was a dream come true.
For a young woman with too much ambition, I was on cloud nine. I was able to build a new sense of identity and self-worth from the labor I would put in.
I also loved the element of surprise my existence brought to the world I was entering. It’s amazing the people who struggled to comprehend a young woman working with tools, trucks, and electronics. What others may have found insulting, I found empowering.
SURROUNDING YOURSELF WITH BETTER MAKES YOU BETTER
I also continued to work with people twice my age (at one point three times my age) for which I credit my “growing up fast” to.
My greatest mentors and friends have almost always been older, wiser, and critical of me. Looking back, these things made me wiser as well. As a young adult, I had gone through a large evolution of character in a small period of time - and something I couldn’t be more thankful for now.
BUT… goals, dreams, and ambitions can’t stop when life gets comfortable, and for me, it started getting too comfortable.
After a couple years complacency sets in. Things become more of a grind than a pursuit. I figured this was the time (when you feel like you got what you always wanted) when people get bored with life, with each other, and with their career.. but really they are just bored with themselves. I was bored with myself.
At this point, all I could think about was “where does my story go from here?”
So I decided to rewrite it.
I told my husband and family I was quitting my career (and my nearly finished master’s degree) to create an opportunity for a “better home life for my future family”… but really I did it for me. I needed to do it for me. To be a better me.
I needed to feel a rush of the unknown, of goals, challenges, changes, and pursuing things I didn’t know I wanted yet. I wanted to build something from the ground up. I didn’t know exactly how, or what, or where it would lead: but I needed to do it anyways.
I wanted to take the most important things to me and see what I could do with them.
I knew that what I had was good but it didn’t stop me from wanting better.
So just like that, I quit. I told my boss that I needed a change, to pursue something that was exhilarating for me.
He never judged me, criticized me, or asked anything in return for his years of advice. He simply wished me the best and in his own way, reminded me it would all work out.
He was right… it worked all out.
WHEN IT’S WORTH THE RISK
As a human, comfort is our greatest sense of relief. However, it’s our discomfort that reminds us that we are alive and reminds us to keep pushing to be better.
In the span of my very short tenure as an adult, I’ve been able to educate myself, fly through airplanes, run a 3-state mesonet, travel the country, and leave a great life for an even better one.
Most importantly, I’ve learned that my own happiness is up to me. It isn’t up to my husband, my parents, my friends, or my job. Only me.
I make my own money, my own dreams, and I make my own happiness, with nothing buy hardwork and learning how to be comfortable with discomfort.
Perhaps most importantly however, I’ve learned to embrace the people who have always chosen to believe and drown the rest of the criticism out.
Hopefully someday I can invest my knowledge and support in someone I owe nothing to, too.
These 10 productivity apps will make your career, and your life, so much easier. Feeling overwhelmed?I have just the cure. It's a combination of technology and organization. I've collected my favorite productivity apps, and broke down every detail as to why you need them. So read this list, use this list, and enjoy being more productive (so you can get back to conquering your to-do list!)