How To Be Productive While Staying Mobile

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(Cross Posted at and the Vocus Blog) In the end, one might say it all comes down to mobility.

Think about it – If we have the power to be mobile, we have freedom. We don’t need to be in our offices, or at a desk. We can create, explore, produce, engage, and yes, make money, from wherever we are. That, my friends, is true freedom. The freedom to be anywhere and everywhere at the same time.

The problem is, we don’t allow ourselves this freedom. For some reason, we spend almost all our time locked into our desk chairs, staring at a computer screen, when in fact, we don’t need to.

I’ve written several posts about how to jailbreak your life – I encourage you to read them – and today, I’ll add this.

Vocus, the company for which I’m Small Business Evangelist, has released a new tool designed to help you do everything you need to do to run your business, all while staying mobile.

And don’t worry – I’m not going to sit here and pitch it. I am, however, going to give you examples of ways to work while being mobile. If you choose to use the Vocus Mobile Marketing Suite to do it, awesome. If not, the tips still help, and I hope you find value in them.

Understand this first: There are two types of downtime – Long-Burst Downtime and Short-Burst Downtime. I coined the phrase “short burst downtime” a few years ago. It’s the opposite of long-burst downtime. What are they?

Well, long-burst downtime is the downtime you have on a plane (like where I am now, headed from Chicago to LAX.) It’s several hours in a row, that you plan for, knowing you’ll be able to get a certain amount of work done in a finite amount of time. Long-Burst downtime is planned for. It’s how we write blog posts, work out spreadsheets, and get the majority of our “busy-work” done.

But Short-burst downtime – That’s a lot more fun. That’s the kind of downtime that we don’t plan for. It comes in… you guessed it – short bursts. Six minutes on line at the bank. Four minutes waiting for your Mochachino. 19 minutes waiting for your significant other to finish getting dressed because they only need “one more minute.” Short-burst downtime, when used wisely, lets you take care of ove 90% of marketing your business, during times you’d otherwise be wasting because you only see them as wasting time, not as opportunity.

What type of device do you have? Android? iPhone? iPad? They’re called “smart phones” for a reason. Guess what you can do while waiting on line at the bank or as you’re waiting to check out of Lowe’s: You can tweet. You can post to Facebook. Get this – You can answer HARO queries! See who’s talking about you. Respond to pissed off customers. Thank happy customers! Retweet those happy customers! These are all the things you should be doing over the course of your day, but you just “never have the time.”

This morning, while waiting for a 45 minute ground delay, I was able to, from my Droid Incredible II, answer six emails, retweet three messages, post on my status, wish six people on Facebook happy birthdays, give away a back massager, and even update the invite list for my upcoming wedding. (Hint: We’re inviting WAY too many people.)

Plane took off, and that’s when my long-burst downtime kicked in. I’m writing this post on the plane, as well as a bunch of other blog posts. I’m working on my next book (stay tuned, it’s gonna be pretty good, I think) as well as playing the occasional game of Bejewled. OK, and maybe watching the last episode of Season One of Dexter. I know, I’m five years behind, but OMG how good is this show?!

Anyhow, as the plane lands and rolls to the gate, I’ll be on my Droid again, checking to see what happened as I was in the air. Who mentioned me? Who talked about HARO? What queries came in that I may be able to answer?

The key is to be able to use those short-burst downtime moments in the ways that benefit you (and your business) the most. Like I said, the new Vocus mobile app can help you do that. But even if you don’t use it, focus on making your life more productive by doing one simple thing: Not wasting any second of your day.

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