Saturday, 20 April 2013

Barefoot Guidelines for Delivering Successful Work While Away on a Mission


In the last years the work scenario has changed beyond recognition. Away are the days of back office support, exotic incentive trips or Out of the Office AutoReply. The enterprise of 2013 has a freelance spirit; it's small, works around the world and around the clock, and has challenging missions away from the office, most of them in environments, harsh or less so, that could knock you off within seconds. But you can't afford this - you need a steady mindset to keep delivering your good work. Here is how to do it while hedging the most common setbacks... 

1 Practise gratitude
This will help you getting over the frustration of things not working as you had imagined. Welcome your new environment. This will create a bond with locals who are from now on your new team.

2 Meditate
You will need plenty of insight and soon you'll notice that your intuition can be more effective than the indications that you are given. Try to tap in to it on a daily basis.

3 Ditch your smart phone and use an old one instead
Your funky smart phone will require to be charged as much as twice daily if you overuse it. This is a hassle; sockets are a rarity on missions and you have other more important things to do than try and look for them. Remember when your old Blackberry could last up to three days unplugged? That's what you want. Use your laptop and a wi-fi point for the regular work. It's much better and faster than your phone.

4 Look for a comfortable seat... in your rented car!
If you have to work for long hours, you'll soon find that the seating in cafes hasn't been conceived for that purpose. Luckily the one in your car has! Park your car in front of an internet cafe (this is possible in a mission location) and work from there. But please apply rule #1 and purchase goods from the internet cafe. This is not about free internet but about working comfortably.

5 Stay away from working on the beach
It sounds alluring especially if done horizontally while sipping a mojito, but truth is that working on the beach isn't really effective. It's too bright to see your computer screen and the sand is for real: it goes everywhere including in your laptop.

6 Be mindful of the resources around you
Cashpoints, bus lines, petrol stations, water availability, electricity cut off times and even curfew times. Don't assume anything. A back-up generator is useless unless it's filled with diesel.

7 Be discreet in sharing your location
Your location would impossibly keep everyone happy. If your mission is in a conflict zone, your investors will worry. If it is on a beach, your clients will resent. Location is a detail. Keep it for yourself.

8 Never let facts interfere with your story
I've heard this from a journalist friend and it actually makes sense. Imagine you travel half the world to survey a place that gets washed away while you are on your way there. This is so upsetting that it can't possibly be reported. In fact, your way to make up for this to everyone would be to imagine a brilliant alternative reality and make it your story. Remember that "everything that is thought of, can be".

9 Cherish silence
Unavoidably you'll be confronted with it. Don't panic. Apply rule #1 and #2.

10 Do as the Romans do, when in Rome
This rule has been around since the beginning of the Christian church. Don't ignore it now. If no one around you works on a Friday, neither do you.


Happy mission and successful deliveries!