Kristen Pope reports:
"If you have work to get done, make sure you have a comfortable chair that will get you in a productive mood — and not tempt you to take a midday nap when you’re on deadline. Some freelancers prefer working at an outdoor desk, small table, or even...lap desk. Experiment with a few options until you find a set-up that works for you...From an unexpected sprinkler mishap to a gust of wind throwing leaves (or maybe even your coffee) all over your laptop, working outside is not the most hazard-free environment for electronics. For this reason, I don’t bring my regular work computer outside. Instead, I have a small, inexpensive laptop that I use for travel and outdoor work. I got the machine for a steal, and I’d be pretty bummed if something happened to it — but not nearly as upset as if a cloudburst destroyed my main work machine. In case you need another reminder[,] back up your work frequently...Everyone finds different ways to work, [but] I prefer my outdoor time to be free of the distractions of email[.] Having a travel laptop actually helps with this: [T]he small screen isn’t great for toggling between open windows and other online tasks...Glare is the arch-nemesis of the outdoor-loving freelancer...One option is to face towards the sun and reduce glare on your screen. Another option is just moving to the shade, whether it’s under a tree or umbrella or even in the shade of a building. Be sure to tinker with your screen settings and the brightness and contrast levels. Increasing these will likely make it easier to see the screen. Or consider buying a laptop hood or sunscreen — or make your own out of an Ikea storage box...You don’t need to haul your laptop outside to get work done. Spending time outdoors can boost your creativity and inspiration, and that’s why it’s a great time for brainstorming, outlining, and other tasks that don’t require being glued to a monitor...[T]he beach is not a great place to get work done. Never mind the distractions of surf, sand, sun, and swimsuits. While those are a fun combination, they’re the enemy of your electronics. No matter how careful you are, it seems like sand and water have their way of getting everywhere. And what happens when you’re getting too hot on the beach and want to jump in the water for a quick dip? Or if you need a bathroom break? Unless you have someone there with you to watch over your things, it’s a huge hassle to safeguard your business-essential valuables when you step away for a minute...In some neighborhoods, if you plop yourself on your porch, people will soon come over to chat. While friendly neighborhoods are great for socializing, they’re not the best spots to get work done outside. When you’re selecting your spot to work outdoors, be sure to keep the distraction factor in mind. If your sweet next door neighbor just can’t leave you alone (even after you kindly ask them to come back after working hours), consider bringing your outdoor office to a local park or other place where you can work uninterrupted...Internet and electricity are two of the most important things to freelancers. Select your work spot with these needs in mind. If you’re outside your own home, you may be able to have easy access to both by moving your router closer to where you’re working and running an extension cord. But if those aren’t options, consider turning your phone into a WiFi hotspot or bringing a spare battery for your laptop...Just because you’re outside working doesn’t mean you’re immune to the inconveniences of being outside. Be sure to slather on the sunscreen, don a hat, and grab the bug spray if the critters are biting. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, [and] be sure to take breaks and follow other healthy freelancer habits."
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