If you're someone who worked in an office, you know how challenging it can be to stay productive.
And for digital nomads who are constantly on the move, without a fixed base, the struggle to stay focused and get things done can be even more real.
But don't worry, being productive doesn't have to feel like a never-ending grind!
The key is to find the right tools that work for you and make the most of your work hours. When you start working smarter instead of harder, your productivity will naturally improve.
That's why we put together this guide for you.
We've gathered the best tips on how to be productive as a digital nomad, so you can make the most of your work hours and enjoy your travels. Let's dive in and make remote work actually work for you.
1. Make A To-Do List
As a digital nomad, having a to-do list can help you stay productive and focused. When you're on the move, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with all the tasks you need to complete. But with a to-do list, you can break down your work into smaller, manageable tasks that you can complete one at a time.
To create an effective to-do list, start with a brain dump. Jot down everything that's on your mind, including work-related tasks and personal errands.
It doesn't matter if you prefer a paper-and-pen approach or a digital tool, just find a system that works for you and stick to it.
But remember to be flexible with your to-do list! As a digital nomad, your schedule can change at any moment, so be prepared to adjust your to-do list as needed. And don't be too hard on yourself if you don't get everything done, this is perfectly normal as sometimes things happen and you can't control them.
2. Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize!
Once you have everything written down, organize your tasks by priority.
When it comes to prioritizing your tasks, there are a few things to keep in mind.
One helpful approach is to consider the urgency and importance of your tasks. Consider using the "Eisenhower Matrix," which involves categorizing tasks as urgent/important, important/not urgent, urgent/not important, or not urgent/not important. Focusing on urgent and important tasks first can help ensure that you're addressing the most pressing issues and making progress toward your goals.
Another approach is to consider the level of difficulty or complexity of your tasks. This can be helpful, as tackling difficult tasks first can help build momentum and avoid procrastination.
Finally, prioritizing tasks based on their potential impact, such as revenue generation or skill development, can also be beneficial.
If you have a large project that needs to be completed, don't forget to break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks. This can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and make it easier to tackle the project one step at a time.
3. Reduce Distraction
Distractions can be a major hindrance to your productivity.
To reduce distractions and stay focused while working remotely, there are a few things you can do.
Firstly, it's important to set boundaries with the people around you, whether you're working from a co-working space or a coffee shop. Let them know that you're working and can't be interrupted unless it's urgent. A great tactic here is to use some noise-canceling headphones like the powerful Bose QuietComfort 45 or the super versatile AirPods Pro 2. They are life savers, trust us!
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If you're working from an Airbnb instead, make sure to let flatmates, roommates, or hosts know your work schedule and when you need uninterrupted time to focus.
When working remotely, it's also important to be mindful of the digital distractions that can eat up your time. This includes social media, email, and instant messaging apps. Consider using productivity tools like website blockers and time management apps to help you stay focused and avoid digital distractions.
The last tip to reduce distractions is by creating a designated workspace that's free from distractions. Ideally, this workspace should be quiet, well-lit, and comfortable. Avoid working from your bed or couch, as this can make it harder to stay focused, and make sure to separate work from leisure.
4. Create A Schedule
As a digital nomad, creating a schedule is essential for staying organized, focused, and productive. When you don't have a traditional work environment, it can be, in fact, easy to fall into the trap of working all hours of the day without any break or, worse, don't work at all!
To create a schedule that works for you then, start by setting aside dedicated work hours each day. This can help you establish a routine and make sure that you're putting in the necessary time and effort to achieve your goals. Be sure to consider your personal work style and energy levels when setting these hours, as everyone's optimal working hours can differ. If you are a morning person for instance, you might want to put the most difficult tasks first and then leave the easiest ones in the afternoon. Vice versa if you like to work in the afternoon or in the evening. It's really up to you!
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When creating your schedule, though, be sure to include time for breaks, exercise, and self-care. It can be tempting to work around the clock, but this can quickly lead to burnout and decreased productivity. By building in time for rest and relaxation, you can maintain your energy and motivation over the long haul.
Finally, consider using the "Daily Highlight Method". This is an effective productivity strategy mentioned by the best-selling authors Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky in the book titled "Make Time" and it consists in setting a clear and specific highlight for each day that aligns with your goals and priorities. By focusing on one essential task, in fact, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed and distracted by multiple responsibilities.
5. Maximize your time
Everyone knows the saying "Time is money". Well, for digital nomads time means also freedom, so you better don't waste it easily.
In addition to project management, time trackers, and time planning apps there are several other time-saving automation tools that can benefit digital nomads, such as:
- Accounting and invoicing apps - apps such as QuickBooks and FreshBooks can help you manage your finances, create invoices, and track expenses on the go.
- All-in-one productivity tools - software like Notion can help you organize your work and life as a digital nomad by reducing information overload, improving organization, and streamlining your workflows.
- AI technologies - generative AI technologies like the innovative ChatGPT can be used as a virtual personal assistant to help you manage your schedules and appointments, and do repetitive and time-consuming tasks for you
- Travel planning apps - apps such as Skyscanner, Kayak, and Hopper can help you find cheap flights, book accommodation, and plan your itinerary without spending too much time researching.
These are only some of the apps that can help digital nomads stay organized, save time, and increase productivity. However, remember to choose the apps that work best for your specific needs and avoid overwhelming yourself with too many apps.
6. Outsource (when possible!)
Outsourcing can be a game-changer for digital nomads who want to be productive and successful in their remote careers. As a digital nomad, you know that time is precious and that there are only so many hours in a day. That's why outsourcing can help you free up your time, so you can focus on traveling and exploring the amazing places you are surrounded by.
Outsourcing is all about getting help from others who have the skills and expertise to take on tasks that you may not be good at or that take up too much of your time. For example, you may be great at creating content but struggle with graphic design. Outsourcing this task to a professional designer can save you time and result in better-quality work.
By outsourcing non-core tasks, you can free up your time to focus on your core competencies and grow your business or simply get time off and explore the place you are working remotely from. Outsourcing can help you scale your services quickly without having to take on additional overhead and it can also be a cost-effective way to manage your business or services.
So, whether you need help with administrative work, social media management, or customer support, outsourcing can help you increase your productivity and achieve more work-life balance. Give it a try and see how it can transform your work and life as a digital nomad. You can thank us later!
7. Sleep, exercise, and explore
As a digital nomad, taking care of yourself is just as important as getting your work done.
Here are a few reasons why.
Getting enough sleep is crucial for your health and productivity. I know it can be tough with different time zones and irregular schedules, but if you don't get enough sleep, you'll be less focused, more tired, and less productive. So, make sure you get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
Exercising is also another essential way to stay healthy and productive. Sitting at a desk for long hours can cause physical discomfort and even health problems. Regular exercise can help combat these issues by improving your strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health. Plus, it can also boost your mood and reduce stress, so you can tackle your work with more energy and focus.
Finally, taking time to explore can help you stay inspired and creative. As a digital nomad, you have the opportunity to travel to new places, try new foods, and meet new amazing people. These experiences can broaden your perspective and stimulate new ideas. Taking breaks to explore can help you recharge and come back to work with fresh ideas and renewed energy.
So, don't forget to take care of yourself! Prioritizing sleep, exercise, and exploration can help you stay healthy, inspired, and productive as a digital nomad.
How Do You Keep Productive As A Digital Nomad?
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