9 Ways to Optimize your Work Hours and Enjoy Summer as a Web Professional
1. Scope out cool local spots with great Wi-Fi
In most cities, you’ll find that café, hotel or restaurant terrace with a pleasant view and the possibility to work under leafy shade. Hotels usually have a guest only policy for their pool but will let the laptop-laden hang out once they order a drink.
Perhaps you live nowhere near a city but have a picturesque port town nearby where baristas will happily serve you 6 consecutive cups of coffee while you code away for hours.
A refreshing mocktail (or cocktail for the brave) overlooking a beautiful spot beats spending August locked away in your home office, knocking back the cans of Red Bull. Do some online research or ask around to find comfortable, work-friendly areas. You might be surprised at the hidden gems near you.
2. Invest in a mobile hotspot
Ok if you’re going on a hike through the Appalachian Mountains, these pocket-sized gadgets might not serve you as needed. But with rapidly expanding 4G LTE networks and 5G only around the corner, more and more web professionals are relying on 4G modems to work from sun-filled destinations. Our experience reveals that depending on the speed and carrier you choose, costs can skyrocket. So weigh out the options available to you. Read more here.
3. Work from an outdoor location
The summer months go by too quickly for most of us. Weekend escapades provide a sublime break from the Monday to Friday routine. Then why not organize your work week so that some hours can be done remotely and preferably, near a body of water? Find a location you can work from while enjoying the cool breeze for say, two out of five days. Flowers smell oh so sweet while you’re making money so anywhere that inspires you to design, code and deliver your project will do. Just aim for a place that’s relatively mosquito-free!
4. Get a house somewhere awesome with other web pro friends
Rent a log cabin by a lake, or maybe a sick apartment in a city you’ve always wanted to see. Beautiful spaces work out cheaper than you think when expenses are shared. You’ll be able to code or design to your heart’s content while taking breaks with your friends in gorgeous surroundings.
If this goes over your current budget, organize a coding barbecue where each of you takes turns on the grill.
Working solo frees you of certain constraints but can often result in tunnel-vision. What better way to re-invest your freedom than with people you like to bounce ideas off?
5. Sign up for a conference that’s happening at a must-see destination
This will help you network while treating yourself to a vacation of sorts. Todd Motto, designer and developer, says “The biggest mistake I made when I started freelancing at 17 was thinking putting a site online would be all I needed,” he recalls. “What I really needed to do was establish relationships, learn from people, ask them to pass my details on and utilize existing contacts.” Today, Motto spends plenty of time talking to people, and recommends marketing yourself “as if you’ve never had a website and never will”.
So pack your shades and swimwear because networking has never been more exotic.
6. Work in sprints
This could vary from 50-minute sessions to 25-minute sprints inspired by the Pomodoro Technique that so many people swear on. If you want to enjoy the sunshine for longer, schedule evening time sprints. You’ll soon grasp what system works best for you. The key is to take full advantage of this time to get as much done as possible.
7. Optimize your breaks with doses of fresh air
Utilize those short breaks in between to stand up and move around. Get a longer break in twice a day to go outside and breathe some fresh summer air into your lungs.
Short, scheduled breaks help eliminate burn-out risk. Bursts of sunshine boost your vitamin D production and can offset potential health risks caused by overexposure to technology. Remember to stay within reasonable time limits. Cycling is a great way to take a break and be back at your workstation in less than 30 minutes.
8. Set times to read your email
Or any other inputs bombarding you through social media or messaging apps. To maximize sprint times mentioned above, make sure you block out all distractions–including cellphone, landline, Viber, dog, laundry and just focus on your set task. Every 2 hours is a healthy time to check your inbox and will save you valuable minutes in the long run.
9. Eat smart
No better climate than when it’s hot to really feel the benefits of fruit and salads. Walks in nature or skating through the park just aren’t as invigorating after a bag of Doritos. Forget so-called energy drinks and treat yourself to our favorite geek booster liquid – fresh pressed juice.
Yeah, cleaning the juicer can be a pain so take a few minutes to watch best practices. You’ll feel more energized and may even experience increased focus power.
Consider fibre-rich, high-quality foods. Cutting down on processed products is one huge recommendation. Just don’t buy them. It’s tough at first but you’ll see and feel the progress. Replace with nuts and organic, wholemeal baked goods if possible.
The main point we want to drive across to our beloved web developers and web designers is to become aware of your sugar intake. Don’t fall for what the labels say. Many ‘low-fat’ foods have high sugar content. The drinks you think are helping you stay alert and make that deadline are just adding sugar to your system and may pose other health issues.
No need to be extreme though. Start changing the way you shop for food and arrange your time week by week and you’ll be more likely to stick to your new healthy summer habits.