Want To Challenge How Much Work Can Be Done Remotely?
When I decided to travel the world this year with We Roam I had very specific goals in mind. I knew launching three new products in a single year would be challenging. I also knew how much more fun it would be to be challenged while traveling to 12 countries in 12 months.
Those who knew me well never questioned my goals, motives, or if I would accomplish what I set out to do. Casual acquaintances laughed and joked. They thought it was a clever way to disguise taking a year off. When I asked why they assumed I would be taking the year off most replied that working from home is one thing, but you can’t do it and travel the world at the same time.
I’m writing this article for them and those who still challenge the productivity levels of remote workers (whether or not they are traveling). It’s not a subject I write about often because it seems boring and sometimes comical. Boring because working remotely is part of the daily minutia of my life. I can do it from anywhere. This is easy. Comical because I don’t always know how to respond when people ask how I can work while traveling the world. There is not much difference in the way I worked from home and remotely in the States.
One of the biggest topics when talking about remote working is productivity. Who is more or less productive? Who collaborates more? How can someone work without someone else looking over his or her shoulder? For myself and those whom it does work for it’s because we don’t need anyone looking over shoulder. We are disciplined. We know how to set goals and meet them. We are dedicated to not only our craft but also our personal and professional development.
In the last six months, while traveling the world, I’ve already completed two of my three goals for the year. If anyone wants to challenge productivity I welcome it. Below is a glimpse of my last six months working remotely while traveling the world.
2 – The number of launches I’ve created this year. My Admin to VA Summit launched in April and the Essential Business Model For VAs online course launched in May.
6 – The number of virtual assistants I’ve used in the last six months. I have two virtual assistants who work with me regularly.
8 – The number of online classes I’ve taught in four different countries.
8 – The number of countries I’ve been to in the last six months.
9 – The number of flights I’ve been on to travel from country to country.
11 – The number of vacation days I’ve taken. Vacation days are extremely important to a person’s productivity.
15 – The number of books I’ve read. I couldn’t possibly add up the number of magazines, articles, and blog posts.
25 – The number of networking events I’ve attended both virtually and in person.
52 – The number of articles I’ve written for my blog and LinkedIn.
67 – The number of volunteer hours I’ve spent helping others in any way I can. While the majority has been online I do my best to volunteer in each country we visit.
71 – The number of professional development hours I’ve logged. These have been in the form of mastermind classes, coaching calls, and online courses.
1600 – The number of followers I gained in the last six months on my personal blog. (I started with zero).
205,022 – The number of words I’ve written for my personal daily blog in the last six months.
Here’s the clincher, these things have directly related to having the best year of my business to date and are in complete alignment with the three goals I set at the end of last year. I could’ve have spent my time doing a lot of things, but if they didn’t contribute to goals I set in some way shape or form it wouldn’t have been productive.
This brings up another a point. What does productivity look like? It’s different for everyone. To lump productivity into a cookie cutter shape would be absurd. All the things I listed are productive for me. Which means the hours I spent writing and reading even though they aren’t directly related to business are.
Writing every single day helps me practice my craft and next month I’ll begin writing my second book. So yes, it has all been very productive. The books I read often directly relate to business, but the fiction gives me a different perspective and helps me with storytelling. I see words, sentences, and phrases in new ways to grab the reader’s attention.
Volunteer hours are part of being productive as well. How can I expect to get if I never give? It’s also my way of paying a kindness forward and doing the right thing. Vacation increases productivity the same way taking rest days in your exercise routine helps your body to recover and become stronger.
The point is productivity is not an accident and yes, you can be productive working remotely and from anywhere in the world. A person is productive on purpose and through planning. I could have easily spent the last six months logging hours and keeping myself busy with all kinds of activities. It wouldn’t have meant I was productive. Productivity shows itself in the achievement of goals, finished products, completed projects, and collaborative wins. I have been productive.
Because you can’t do it all yourself….Melissa Smith, The PVA is the bestselling author of Hire the Right Virtual Assistant and host of the Admin to VA Summit. To learn more about working with a Virtual Assistant contact Melissa here.