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Balancing Work and Adventure: Time Management Tips for Remote Workers

This post was updated on March 15th, 2024

Balancing work and adventure in your RV life is important. You went on the road to see our beautiful country, enjoy the great outdoors, and get out of the grind of a 9-5. You might need to work, but work shouldn’t keep you from enjoying your traveling life. If you plan to work on the road, time management is critical. Not having a plan might be the way you like to work but a little time management can give you a better, less stressed work/life balance.

If your dream of hitting the road in your RV is soon to become a reality, your choice of work will also dictate your time. Do you have a customer service job that requires you to sit at your computer for certain times and hours during the day? Are you a freelancer like me who has deadlines but can work whenever you want? These two scenarios require different types of time management, and there are many other ways to work on the road.

Check out our time management tips to keep your RV/adventure/work life in a healthy balance.

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Tip 1: Establish a Routine

Freelancers, like me, need to establish a routine that will help enhance productivity. Depending on your personal preferences, you might want to work in the morning and take time to play and have adventures in the afternoon. I’m a morning person and get my best work done then.

I admire those people who work at night and into the wee hours of the morning. You won’t find me up past 10 o’clock I need my 8 hours of sleep every night.

Tip 2: Plan for the Unexpected

Always plan your work deadlines to allow buffer time for unforeseen tasks or delays. I rarely miss deadlines but sometimes I must work in the evening or on a weekend to get projects done. An unexpected delay in my life could involve a spontaneous trip or a call from my seasonal work camping job to put in a few extra hours I had not planned. A glitchy computer or problem internet could also cause delays.

In my life, I am more organized when I have more balls to juggle. I’ve lived with deadlines all my working career and even though an unexpected assignment or a roadblock in my day can seriously put me off kilter, I’m the type of person who can buckle down and “get ‘er done.”

Tip 3: Improve Time Management with Clear Goals

When you define daily, weekly, and monthly objectives to prioritize tasks, you are also more effective at time management. Setting clear goals also helps you to prioritize tasks and gives you time to play. It also gives you time when you experience delays such as computer or connectivity issues.

Tip 4: Time Blocking

Using time blocking, or dedicating blocks of time to different activities, can narrow down your task list for an even more focused effort. Use technology such as Trello, Asana, and Google Calendar to help you get organized.

Tip 5: Prioritize Connectivity

For RVers, staying connected can sometimes feel like navigating a maze, but with a little foresight and the right tools, it doesn’t have to. Before hitting the road, tapping into online RV trip planning tools such as RV LIFE Campground Reviews can be a game-changer. These platforms help you scout out your next stop, revealing whether your chosen campground or RV park offers Wi-Fi and detailing the quality of services from big names like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile.

When you’re out boondocking, the charm of the wild can quickly lose its luster if work calls. That’s when planning your journey around spots known for reliable Wi-Fi becomes crucial, ensuring you’re never caught off guard when deadlines loom. The nature of your work dictates your connectivity needs; Zoom meetings and video uploads demand a hefty data plan.

A mobile hotspot from your phone service can be a lifeline, yet it’s only as good as the cell signal it catches. For those inevitable dead zones, Starlink, cell boosters, or a selection of service options might just save the day, keeping you plugged into the digital world. Check out MobileMustHave for complete mobile internet setups. And when all else fails, remember the humble local café or even McDonald’s can offer a welcome (and caffeinated) port in a storm, ensuring you stay connected, come what may.

Tip 6: Improve Time Management By Limiting Distractions

dog looking up at laptop user
Photo Provided by Author Terri Nighswonger

Limiting distractions while living in an RV can be difficult. My dogs never fail to have to go out and potty the minute I sit down to work. The husband hollers from outside or the other end of the RV and claims he can’t hear you unless you get up and walk to him. The phone rings. You get a text, Facebook, or Instagram, notification. My solution is to settle the dogs and the husband before I sit down to work. Ignore the phone for a while, or shut it off, and know that those messages can wait.

If you identify common distractions during work hours, you will have a better chance of ignoring those things that can take you off task.

Tip 7: Embrace Flexibility

Flexibility is likely what we longed for before we became RVers and digital nomads. Embrace the opportunity to be able to quickly adjust your plans based on work demands or travel opportunities.

I don’t want to miss the chance to take a hike or take in a beautiful view.

We work camped in Northern California last summer and between an almost 40-hour-a-week job, and freelance projects, it seemed like seeing the area, part of the reason we went there, might not be very practical. We made sure to plan our time away, even taking some time off, to have a fun summer. Crater Lake and a trip to the Oregon coast were a few of the highlights.

Tip 8: Improve Time Management By Utilizing Off-Peak Hours

Working during early mornings or late evenings might provide fewer distractions for you. As I said earlier, some people thrive when working into the wee hours of the morning. Nope. Nada. Not me.

Off-peak could also mean that while others are sleeping you have more bandwidth on the campground’s Wi-Fi. Large uploads are good to do during off-peak hours.

Tip 9: Incorporate Downtime

When I mention incorporating downtime, I mean downtime. That should include something relaxing that doesn’t involve work. For some that could mean hiking or visiting a nearby attraction.

For me, I need time to sit, unwind, and veg out with a little TV. I enjoy counted crossstitch, reading, and creative writing. Walking my dogs, finding new recipes to cook, or chatting with family and friends are also on my list. Lately, I have been learning line dance at the 55-plus resort we live at in the winter.

Scheduling time for relaxation prevents burnout.

Tip 10: Reflect and Adjust

It’s always a good idea to regularly evaluate and adjust your time management strategies. Feelings of stress and burnout are not good. If you have those feelings, take a step back and look at where there might need to be some give and take in your life.

I don’t like to do this but there are times when you need to call that client and ask for a few days more. I’ve never found it to be a problem if they have a heads-up. I also let them know when I will be on the road so they can expect some downtime in communication.

Consider Your Work Expectations

As you work on the road, there are many different jobs you can do. Work camping might only involve following a daily schedule and the rest of the time is your own. As I do, you might work camp at allocation like a campground and freelance which means you must get work and play done on your off hours. A remote job would likely require a designated time at your computer.

Zoom calls and large uploads or downloads mean you need to have a reliable internet connection. Customer service jobs are plentiful but might require phone time and a quiet place to take calls. Is your RV set up so you can have a designated office space?

How Will You Utilize Time Management to Balance Work and Adventure?

Balancing work and adventure isn’t just possible; it’s a pathway to a fulfilling life on the road. Time management stands as the cornerstone of maintaining sanity while juggling earning an income, indulging in fun, and continuing your travels.

This equilibrium often demands a bit of reflection, a dash of cooperation from your partner, and even a long walk for the dog, but with thoughtful planning, it’s entirely achievable. The key lies in finding what works best for you.

Yet, the journey to perfect balance is both personal and ever-evolving. That’s why we invite you to share your time management tips and tricks in the comments below. How do you balance work and adventure on the road? Your insights could pave the way for fellow RVers to streamline their lives, ensuring the journey is as rewarding as the destinations.

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