Being a digital nomad has many advantages and it’s no surprise that more professionals around the world are increasingly hoping to mix work with travel. However, the digital nomad lifestyle can be challenging at times; most digital nomads move around fairly often, they live out of a suitcase, they’re away from family and loved ones for extended periods of time, and they have to work a lot even while in the most beautiful, adventurous destinations.
With the above in mind, it’s no surprise that at some point or another, many digital nomads struggle with staying on top of things…especially if you add different time zones to the equation.
But, just because it’s not perfect, it doesn’t mean that we should all go back to the traditional 9 to 5 job and stay in cubicles all day long.
Here are 7 Tips to Stay on top of Things While Traveling
1. Try to have a daily routine
Regardless of where you find yourself in the world, try to have a routine that you can stick to. Some people work better in the mornings, others later in the day, so take that into consideration. The idea here is to make it easier for you to balance work and travel. Say, for example, you’re a morning person; your routine then should help you start working early in the day so that after lunch you can go out and explore the city or town you’re in.
2. Be mindful about your workload
The flexibility that comes with remote work can be a problem in disguise, “because it comes with a higher operational workload.” While remote work has been around for some time, most remote workers…especially those that travel a lot, tend to feel like they need to take on more work and do more in order to prove to their colleagues that they are, in fact, working.
To stay on top of work while you travel, it’s critical that you know your own limits and that your workload reflects that. The appeal of being a digital nomad will soon vanish if you’re taking on too much that it prevents you from unplugging and heading out to actually visit and see the place that you are in.
3. Learn to unplug
Speaking about unplugging, most digital nomads struggle with powering off and unplugging from work. We get it, you want to show the world that you are working, but we all need to unplug at times in order to work our best.
Being unable to unplug can easily lead to burnout, so it’s important that while you travel, you give yourself some time to explore new places, to relax, and to simply be away from work. This is where having a routine can come in handy.
4. Join a coworking space
Most coworking spaces around the world offer day passes or monthly passes. Even if you don’t go in every day, coworking spaces can be a great resource for many digital nomads. For starters, they provide you with a workspace where you won’t be alone (keep in mind that loneliness is one of the top challenges that digital nomads have to overcome).
Secondly, coworking spaces tend to inspire people to sit down and work. If you’re working on a big project and are having a hard time working from a coffee shop or your hotel room, going to a coworking space where people are working will likely motivate you to work as well.
Sometimes, especially when we’re traveling, we all need a little push to get back in the right mindset to work. A coworking space can be a valuable resource if you start to feel that you’re having a hard time motivating yourself to work or getting through different projects.
5. Invest in the right tools and resources
As a digital nomad, you’ll be traveling on the go, which means that you will have to invest in the right tools and resources in order to stay on top of things.
You’ll need a reliable laptop (consider buying a lightweight one if you’ll be carrying it around with you most of the time) and smartphone, you’ll need electric adapters, a local SIM card, an external hard drive to backup your files, a hotspot, etc.
6. Leave your traditional work model mindset at home
Forget about keeping track of how many hours you work on any given day and instead start focusing on results. This can be a challenging thing to do, especially if you used to work in a traditional office environment where success was measured by how much time you spent in the office as opposed to the results you were giving.
The wonderful thing about being a digital nomad is that it provides people with flexibility, and this flexibility comes hand in hand with understanding that some days you’ll work more, some less; some you’ll be more productive and some you’ll struggle with getting things done.
You need to leave behind your mindset of how work should be done and instead guide yourself based on results.
7. Set some deadlines
Even if your job doesn’t require it, sometimes to stay on top of things you need to give yourself some deadlines. This will not only help you tackle work more effectively, but it will also help you prioritize tasks.
If you set daily, weekly, and monthly deadlines, then you’ll have an easier time unplugging from work and taking the time to explore your destination of choice. Keep in mind that this strategy will only work if you stick to deadlines.
The digital nomad lifestyle offers various benefits and advantages. However, to make the most of it, it’s important that you plan ahead, that you have access to the right tools and resources, and that you understand that being a digital nomad is as much about work as it is about travel.
Photo by bruce mars from Pexels.