It IS possible to be busy all day and actually get nothing done. When living in an RV, it’s easy to get caught up in that lifestyle. Whether you are having a relaxed, vacation-like experience or dealing with full-time travel and maintenance issues, it’s difficult to keep a schedule. This can be very frustrating, especially if you also work from your motorhome.
To satisfy all of your obligations without driving yourself and those around you crazy, it’s important to manage your workload, RV chores, and recreational activities to efficiently manage your time while remaining flexible. You’ll experience less stress, more job satisfaction, and more free time. It may take some time to get used to but it’ll be worth it in the long run.
Have a System
Have some sort—any sort—of system for keeping track of your commitments. This can be as sophisticated or casual as you prefer. Some use an electronic planner or virtual assistant. Others rely on hand written to-do lists. I use a series of individually labeled alarms on my phone for repeating obligations. Basically, the purpose is to instill order into your life. If you spend more time planning or organizing your system than it ultimately saves you, you should obviously rethink your system.
Determine Your Schedule
Communication is key. Before the week begins, you (along with anyone you share the residence with) should loosely plan out your week. This allows you to set aside time for activities that need to be done at certain times. Do you have any appointments that will tie up hours? Are you relocating? Jot these down so you can plan your other tasks around them.
For example, if you are boondocking or staying at a rustic campground, routine maintenance of the RV can take a big portion of the day. Filling your fresh water and emptying your gray/black water tanks, fueling up, and filling your propane tank takes priority. If you know when this will occur, you can plan other work around it.
*** Make sure to include plenty of buffer time. If you are traveling, assume that traffic will be worse than anticipated, or that there will be a line at a fueling-station. We recently had a two-hour appointment at the RV mechanic that lasted six!
Plan Your Day
Once you know what days and times you have available, determine when you are generally most productive. Schedule your work for then.
Personally, I have multiple streams of income and scheduling would be an issue if I didn’t plan ahead. I tackle my active tasks early in the day when I have more physical energy and don’t have to be mentally at my best. My more creative jobs are allocated to the afternoon and evening when I am most mentally alert.
Start Your Day Off Right
When working from home—whether it is a brick and mortar home or an RV—it’s important to treat the job as a job. Try to wake up at roughly the same time each day. Plan out your day over coffee or breakfast. Block in the most important items and add them to your schedule. Do you have any webinars or virtual meetings to attend? Are there any deadlines approaching? This is a great way to get motivated for the day.
Plan a certain time for meals and use those times for relaxation or to connect with friends and family, whether in person, via phone or video chat. Try to limit the time you spend checking emails or on social media sites. You can do this while still remaining informed by setting up instant message alerts so you can determine how important the incoming messages are. This allows you to respond if needed. Otherwise, address all of the messages—as well as browse social media—once or twice a day. This helps you stay in control of how you use your time.
Know Your Requirements
Once you know when you need to work, you should make sure you’ll have everything you require to facilitate that. Does your job depend upon fast Internet? Then you better make sure that the location you are staying has access, or at least doesn’t impede your Wi-Fi if you have your own. Research nearby cafes with free Internet in case you need to relocate for your work day.
Perhaps, your job calls for the focus that can only be achieved when you are totally alone, or necessitates a lot of space. This circles back to communication and planning, as well as flexibility. If you can work in an environment optimal for getting your job/jobs done efficiently 80-90% of the time, it makes it a lot easier to work with distractions or while your home is driving down the road the other 10-20% of the time.
Freedom—it’s likely why you chose an RV lifestyle and to work from home in the first place. Adding a bit of structure merely ensures you’re placing your efforts where they do the most. Communication, planning, developing a reasonable system with a flexible schedule helps you maintain a productive and enjoyable life with as little stress possible. In the end, you’ll improve your health, wealth, and your relationship.
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