Six Ways to Work While Traveling
This year, we’re trying a few ways to work so that Brett gets as full of a day as he needs and I get to get my stuff done as needed and we can try to do some things during the week so the weekends don’t become insane pressure cookers of do-do-do.
The fact that the kid won’t nap forever is not lost on us, please sweetgods let it linger. So, this is what is working for work this year.
All of these schedules give Brett +/- 8-9 hours of work time. Because he is part machine, he will be focused and productive for approximately all of it. Dude is a beast. These give me 3+ hours of work per day, plus nights as needed.
Opt 1: The Long Haul
This has been our Mondays.
Brett gets up between 5 and 6. He works till 9ish when I might steal a few minutes to write an email, guzzle some coffee, or load up laundry. But for the most part I’m on duty and Lo and I keep ourselves busy with storytime followed by playgrounding at the Marina branch library.
Lunch together, kid goes down for a nap, I work for a few hours, Brett does too.
After nap, say between 3:30 and 4, we all go do something somewhere.
Post bedtime is a focused period of work for me and hopefully Brett relaxes and reads a book. Or works some more.
Opt 2: Break It Up
This is our plan for Tuesdays.
Brett works from 6ish-9ish.
We head out to do something as a family around 9:30, most stuff seems to open around 10.
Lunch is on the go, today we went to Yerba Buena Gardens so Lo chowed on peanut butter tortillas (they don’t get squished like bread) on the bus home.
Till dinner is work for him, nap and post-dinner is work for me.
You’d be surprised how much can be done in a few hours, even using public transportation. When traveling with a toddler it’s not like a 14 hour day is possible anyway. Breaking it up into a half day of doing is doing enough.
Opt 3: Not My Morning!
On Wednesdays, Brett & Lo are taking swim classes in the morning.
They are off by 9ish, home by noonish. He might or might not have gotten up earlier to work. Hopefully I am too asleep to notice.
In this scenario, I get a morning to work, perhaps a bit of a later snooze, too. Yahoo!
Brett then works from lunch till dinner, 12ish-6:30ish, or a bit later. We both clean up any remnants of our day post-bed.
Opt 4: Two Step
This day would have both of us following a schedule like mine in Oak Park on Tuesdays or Thursdays (read: no child care).
If we have a friend to see or something special to do in the morning or afternoon, we’d both work during nap and at night but be off duty work wise and on duty parent wise the rest of the day.
Opt 5: I’m Scared to Do This
We skip nap. We do it on travel days partially to help with jet lag and Lo has skipped a few here and there but for the most part we’re all happier if she’s slept.
A full day, likely on the weekend, out of the house would make it worth the risk of everything post-5 pm sucking. Golden Gate Park seems a reason.
And, this isn’t really about work at all. But I gotta own the fear.
Opt 6: Same Old, Same Old
This would see B working a regular 8-10 hour day in a row during more normal business hours. I don’t know when/where/why this would happen but it feels silly to pretend we’re never going to just rock a regular old day.
Who knows which we’ll do Thursdays and Fridays or if next Tuesday will be totally wild!!!
I like having systems in place to then push against rather than just wing it every day or realize we both scheduled a call or a trip is implausible with the time we’ve allotted. We’re hoping that by being intentional about our work/life we can keep assessing how these trips work or need to work better. That, then, makes these trips more possible and smoother.
It’s also just smart business. My clients know I’m available from 3-5 Chicago time for phone calls, which correlates to nap time and gives them a sense of consistency when our departure looms. I can always schedule one for another time but even just presenting that we’ve thought about it and we know what we’re doing builds confidence (and, really, I’ve never gotten anything but supportive support from folks I work with).
It isn’t exciting or exotic or romantic but part of doing a trip like this is Boy Scouting it up and being prepared.