Getting Your Schedule Under Control As a Freelancer
If you remember working in a cubicle, or if you work in one now, you might have dreamed about what it would be like to work
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Full disclosure: I’m writing this list from a busy airport terminal in Baltimore. I’m exhausted, sore, and well into a multi-day sore throat. So, my spirits are…not high.
I’m usually better prepared than this. I have gotten my pre-trip routine down to a science, including a comprehensive packing list. But for this trip, a multi-day conference, I wildly underestimated what I would need to stay happy, healthy, and comfortable through long days and social nights. With South by Southwest on the horizon, I want better for myself—and I want better for you, Dear Reader.
So, inspired by my own “coulda packed, shoulda packed, woulda packed” laments, I present to you my list of must-haves for the long haul in Austin.
It is a well-known architectural fact that there are never enough power outlets for all who need to charge their devices. And traveling with a phone, tablet, and computer often feels like making an impossible choice: who gets to live, and who gets to die?
My solution: BYOPS (that is, bring your own power strip). This solves two problems for me: I get to make sure all my electronic children feel equally loved, and it makes me very popular in session rooms! As someone who sometimes struggles to get conversations started with new people, being able to offer their device a little bit of juice gets the job done with efficiency and a bit of altruism. IKEA’s KOPPLA 6-outlet strip is my favorite, for their inexpensive nature and no-frills portability.
Hotels and convention centers have two things in common: hideous taste in carpets, and dry, recycled air. The latter is undoubtedly the culprit for my raw and swollen throat today, and I refuse to suffer like this ever again. After consulting with several friends far smarter than me, I decided to add a travel humidifier to my arsenal. These devices, designed to add moisture to the air, will provide respite from the dryness that plagues not just Texas, but also the convention center halls and hotels we’ll be frequenting day in and day out. As a bonus, many are able to operate with a standard 16.9 oz water bottle, making spills or water transfer unnecessary. The crowd favorite? Air Innovations’ Compact Cool Mist model.
Fitbit users rejoice: you will do ALL the walking during your time in Austin. Though the blocks are tightly packed, it might surprise you how those step numbers creep up over the course of each day. With that said, make sure you do it comfortably. Even with no preexisting foot issues, you’ll benefit from a little extra cushion under your feet. Your best bet? Before you leave, find a Dr. Scholls Custom Fit kiosk near you and see which set will best fit your foot. While it won’t combat all the fatigue you’ll feel from pacing the streets of Austin, it’s a step (I know, I know) in the right direction.
Finally, a few tips on pharmacy essentials to arm yourself with, just in case.
What other items are on your must pack list? Anything I should add to mine? And who loves their travel bag? I’m in the market for a new one…
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