It can be challenging to not sit behind a desk or work in the same building for a full 40 hour week. I am a behavioral therapist which means I make trips to client’s homes, school, and our clinic center - sometimes all of those in one day! This is how I survive having such a hectic schedule!
10 Tips For Not Working That Typical 9 to 5
1. Check that gas tank! My #1 rule is to start my day with at least a quarter tank. If I end up with time in the morning or I get to my destination quickly I will always try to fill my tank. I've had to drive up to 50 miles in a day and having your gas light come on while driving to a session is the last thing I need to be worrying about!
2. Check your schedule! When you're dependent on others to follow through with a set schedule, always be aware of changes that could occur last minute! It may be a simple 10-minute time change or driving to a whole different city!
3. Pack your lunch! I can't tell you how many times my schedule has changed during the day and I had planned to grab food at a specific place only to find myself with not enough time or not in the same city anymore.
4. BYOE - Bring Your Own Entertainment. One thing I've learned is never to expect to get breaks when they are scheduled and not to be surprised when you have one that wasn't scheduled. A perfect solution is to always have a book on hand in case of a last minute break! Last spring I splurged and got myself a Nintendo Switch because I love gaming and it's portability makes it so easy to haul around during my day and keep me entertained.
5. Update your playlists. Nothing sucks more than sitting in traffic with the same music playing over and over and over again when you don't want to be hearing it. I always take a quick look through my playlists in the morning and have one or two lined up for my drive. I can sit in traffic for up to an hour and Starbucks may not always be enough to keep me going. I recently got Spotify and it has been amazing in getting me through the day!
6. Consistent Wake-up Time. With each day holding different start times and schedules throughout the day, it can be extremely tempting to give yourself another hour or so to sleep in. I don’t. Instead, I set the same time to wake up and I either get ready slowly in the morning, use that time to put things away or even get a general layout of my day to help me feel more organized.
7. Know your location! Always be aware of what city you are going to be in. I have made sure to familiarize myself with googling where I am going and seeing what is around me for safety and personal reasons. I’ve been out in a city all day and was able to find a great park to sit at on a sunny day and read while on a break. My job can be stressful and to be able to find a place to relax can make all the difference!
8. Homework Shmomework. Being in grad school is hard. Being in grad school full-time while working full-time is damn hard. While there may be a larger desire to bring something fun along, I do my best to find two days during the week where I can bring my homework and get some work done during the day. This helps to relieve what I have to do after work when I get home after a long and tiring day.
9. Have a Go-Bag. First and foremost, you forget when running around after kids in the cold and the heat that you sweat or your hair gets tangled and knotted. Working on the go and spending majority of my working day in my car, I have made a few discoveries. I recently bought a small travel brush, travel deodorant, and extra hair ties to keep in a small bag in my center console of my car. It’s only been about a month or so but it has saved my ass when out in the field.
10. Remember Your Expectations. I’m an hourly employee and that means I only get paid when I’m scheduled to work. One of my hardest struggles has been not trying to get things done while I am out in the field on a break because some days it feels like I am so behind. I work with confidential information and cannot display or work on any documents with identifying information. Understanding this helps me be okay with waiting until I am in the office to get my work done and keep my stress at bay.
Do you have any tips for working on the go? Share them with me in the comments below!