How often have you been told to be at the right place at the right time. It wasn’t until visiting Andy Warhol’s museum in New York, where on one of the walls there was a quote from him saying; “Be at the right time at the wrong place” that I realized that being at the right place at the right time is not what we should aim for.
It got me thinking that over the last three years I’ve worked from probably more than 200 work desks around the globe. I realized that I get the best work done, and meet the best people, when I’m where I wanna be at the time I want to be there.
Just going places for the sake of it, or because you’ve seen it on Instagram and everyone goes there, won't inspire you or bring new people in your life. Whereas going somewhere where you feel like you should go, to do things that make you happy and excited are where you’ll meet people that you’ll stay in touch with in the future, and get the work done that you never thought you would.
Working from anywhere is fun, but it’s also very tricky. Here are a few things that I learned which make it possible for me to actually get some work done while going to places I felt i should go to;
Always write down your to-do list.
Every Monday, I write down my main tasks for the week. Sometimes I write them in my notebook, other days I keep them in my Apple Notes. Then, I spread them through the days, and make sure that it’s possible to get all of them done on time. And whenever a colleague or boss says if I could do something extra, I always add that to the to-do list, otherwise I would most likely forget it.
Break up the day
Wherever I work from, I try to stick to two links. One is Tomato Timer and the other one is Bring Sally Up - Push Up Challenge. All the work that I have to do in one day, I spread into tomatoes. One tomato is 25min and then based on how much time I should spend on one task, that many tomatoes I add to it. So for example, this blog post is worth two tomatoes, which means that I have 50 minutes to write it and focus just on this. After that, I have one tomato to figure out what we will post on Instagram today, and so on. After every tomato (25min) I have a 5min break. Every second break I try to do the Bring Sally Up challenge, and I can’t say how much it actually helps to keep my brain creative and focused. Other breaks I use for catching up on Instagram with friends, or to have a quick snack.
Know what you need
Wherever I’m staying (Airbnb, friends' place, hostel,…) three things that I always try to have are:
- Good wifi
- Working desk
Those three things are crucial for me to get the work done and to show up at the meeting with a good quality camera. The kitchen just saves me a lot of money when it comes to food, and I always prefer to make my lunch than order Uber Eats. Those 20 minutes behind the kitchen help me to disconnect from work for a bit. And trying a different kind of food helps me stay creative as well (to not only cook pasta, but to try to make a fish with orange just to see how it turns out.)
Break away from the desk-shame
Working for more than 8 hours per day is becoming almost normal. While talking with friends, we all do it often. And I agree that there must be days, or even weeks, when you have to work for 10, 15, even 20 hours. And that’s fine. But seeing all these quotes and TikToks where people are saying that you should not go out to party, that you should work your ass off all the time, invest into everything possible, so that you can buy a Lambo in 10 years, I believe it’s the biggest trap. Yes, invest and learn how to earn more money, but going out for parties, going surfing when the waves are good, doing nothing for five days straight but laying on the beach with your friends, going skiing to Japan even if you have to sleep on the floor, those kind of things will bring you more people and memories than anything else. I like the phrase “Disciplined idiot”. It’s a good mix of fun and serious life and we should all be exactly that.