The scoop on how to be a successful remote worker, from the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, TX.
Freelancers don’t typically get set vacation days, so finding the time to clock-out can be tricky. We know that working for different clients, keeping ad hoc hours, and creating your own weekly schedule can often mean going months without taking a break from your laptops! And even if you’re a nonstop worker, you need the occasional break.
So, shut down your iPad, take a deep breath and take the break you deserve! Here are a few tech-free breaks you can take, wherever you live:
Take A Hike!
Freelancers spend a great deal of their day in a 2 dimensional world of pixels and PowerPoints. We get it, it’s easy to get lost in your work when you do what you love every day, but we all need a break from the grindstone once in a while. Take a hike from Safari tabs, and get lost in the 3rd dimension. Literally. Take a hike. The fresh air, beautiful scenery, and physical exercise will leave you revitalized and refreshed. After all, computers aren’t the only things that need de-fragging once in a while. Go out into the wild and start clearing your cache!
Freelancers are the kings and queens of time-sheets! Juggling different clients and clocking your hours can get confusing and exhausting. We suggest you take a little vacation from clocking-in and volunteer some free time at a local charity. Unfortunately, you can’t right click and delete bullying, or copy/paste some love over neglected animals, but you can lend your time and love to help local charities make a real difference. Check out websites like Volunteer Match to find a great opportunity near you!
Listen To Music… LIVE
Everyone has that perfect Pandora channel or Spotify playlist that churns out hit after hit as you work on tedious projects and spreadsheets. We know you’ve spent a lot of time cultivating this fountain of musical gold but sometimes it’s good to unplug the Bose headphones and soak up some live beats. Technology might be able to give you a plethora of artists in one tiny metal box, but how annoying are those adverts and buffering pauses? With live music, you can sit back and enjoy those groovy tunes without having to login and hope your browser remembered your password. Check out Where Is Live Music to find some live jams in your area.
Go To A Cafe And Just Have A Coffee
Years ago, before Apple Macintoshes and Stylus pens, people used to go to coffee shops to just sit and drink coffee. Crazy, we know. They would sit and soak up the ambience, enjoy iced teas and watch the world go by (and a plug socket was not the biggest deciding factor on where they sat). We suggest you take a break from the norm and leap back in time. Leave your electronics at home, walk down to your local coffee shop, order a huge Frappacino and unplug yourself!
Read A Book
We read so many documents, emails, texts and Slack messages that we forget what it’s like to read something we can’t hit reply-all to. Kindles might have revolutionized how to read a book, but there is still something to be said for turning a page. In a world where everything is measured in MB, it’s understandable that hauling a 5lb copy of Ken Follett’s Winter of the World in your backpack might seem silly. But there’s something to be said for picking up a dog-eared copy of The Life of Pi, feel the weight of the story in your hands, and read like it’s 1954. This type of ‘manual reading’ might feel barbaric at first, but at least it won’t jump to page 256 because your little pinky hit the corner of the screen. So take a break from spell checking your emails and get lost in a story that doesn’t require battery life!