Driving both directions of the carpool? Didn't get everything done at the office that you needed to?
This happens to me all the time. I bet every working mom faces the same challenges I do. My stress starts to build up — especially when there's a deadline to meet and I need to rush off to get to a game or practice on time.
Then once I scramble to get there, the kids get to be the busy ones and I'm left twiddling my thumbs and stressing about everything that need to get done. That's what made me realize I needed to create a mobile office.
Set up your own mobile office with these 4 things:
1. A Travel Chair
Bring a portable travel chair so you’re not stuck sitting on whatever bench you can find. If you’re at an ice arena, you can find somewhere warmer to work. Or the side of soccer field can be so sunny, you will get more done under the shade of a tree.
Travel chairs can be as little as $12 and usually come in a bag with a strap for easy toting across the field. I prefer the travel chairs with netted cup holders. They are perfect for holding your phone and water and free up your lap for a computer or tablet.
2. Extra Power Cords
There's nothing worse than realizing I'm just about to run out of juice when I still have a lot to do. I always leave a power cord in my car and have a second one in my purse that I can take inside to steal juice from an outlet.
Think about your laptop too. An extra MagSafe power adapter for a MacBook is about $79 on Apple.com and ensures I never have to worry about forgetting a cable again!
3. A Headset
I never leave home without a headset. I would be lost without my Apple earbuds. It plugs into my phone and leaves my hands free to take notes. I can watch my kids practice while I participate in a conference call at the same time
It’s so easy to operate and cuts the wind from the field or background noise from the field without giving away the true identity of my worksite.
Today it seems as if more and more facilities offer Wi-Fi. The indoor soccer facility where my son practices now has it — that's an hour of time gained when I find myself on both ends of the carpool.
If you don't have Wi-Fi available, a nearby coffee shop may throw a signal. I've been known to move my car to a parking lot just to grab a free signal. You can get a hotspot or throw a signal from your phone to your computer. Another good way to grab Wi-Fi is to connect to a hotspot provider such as Boingo directly through your laptop. If you are frequently on the road, this could be a good solution.
Your New Mobile Office
Now you're set to make the most of your carpool layover. Remember, all you need is a chair, power cords, a headset, mobile phone, laptop and an internet connection. These tools will provide you with a mobile office and will make you steal an hour of productivity.
Heck, you may even end up vying for that next carpool assignment just so you can finish up that project due next week.