12 Productivity Tips for Digital Nomads
A common challenge that many digital nomads face is the issue of productivity. Remote workers need a good level of self-discipline and motivation to be highly productive. Throw in the continuous desire to travel and the changing environments; it can be even more challenging to get the work done.
But, making the best use of our time at work also means having additional time for exploration and leisure activities. That said, how can digital nomads be more productive? Here are 12 tips for you to stay productive and focused as a digital nomad, no matter wherever you go.
1. Build a Routine
Keeping a routine is of great importance for every human being with typical work life, but even more so for digital nomads. There is no purpose of wasting time on things that could be better utilized elsewhere. The lack of a daily routine can impact your productivity level for getting through the day. So, build an adaptable routine that can still work anywhere you go. This is to make sure that you can still keep productivity at an optimal level. Furthermore, having a routine can help with controlling stress.
2. Create a Workspace Where You Can Be Efficient
It is of utmost importance to create a space where you can be most productive. This can be hard if you are moving around. As you will not likely have a workspace to go to or any other place in your access, you will need to create a space where you can get things done. Either you can utilize a work desk in your room or find a local coworking space that provides a nice environment for digital nomads. Many coworking spaces offer a desk, steady Wi-Fi connections, and other resources. But if you are going to a more remote region, you can possibly ignore the other aspects of a standard office setting as long as you got the essentials like electricity and the Internet.
3. Use the Pomodoro Technique
One of the best approaches to get your work done is to use a method to focus on what you have to do. Pomodoro Technique is among the most famous time management techniques for workers. It is a really effective and commonly used method to break down work into intervals. The technique follows the approach of concentrating on a single task for 25 minutes and then taking a 5-minute break (Stretch your legs, refill your water bottle or anything that relaxes your mind and body) in between. Each break enables you to relax and work more efficiently by reducing distractions.
You can repeat the whole process three more times and take a longer break of 20-30 minutes after completing the four rounds. With the help of this method, your workday breaks down to productive short sprints where you fully concentrate on one task at hand. It aims to help avoid distraction and increase productivity. Keeping a complete focus on work becomes more manageable in short intervals than consecutive long periods.
4. Prioritize Tasks
We all have numerous tasks to do on a daily basis. From paying bills and calling people to emails to read, we need to get these things done daily. However, we can’t spend all of our time doing these tasks simultaneously. To achieve productivity, we need to know what we are trying to do and how we are going to do it. One of the easiest methods to improve productivity is to prioritize tasks, depending on their urgency. Always start with doing the most critical things.
5. Avoid Multi-tasking
When it comes to working remotely, you are possibly juggling several tasks at one time. Right from checking your email to keeping track of your deadlines, reading up on the news, and planning your next trip, you are jumping from one task to another. If you don’t give your attention to a single thing at one time, you are never going to get anything done.
Know that multi-tasking is another productivity killer. Switching back and forth between tasks takes so much energy. As a result, this slows you down and causes you to miss small details. Even some studies like the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance published in 2001 prove that multi-tasking reduces one’s productivity. So, try to focus on a single thing first before you jump to another thing.
6. Limit Social Media and Phone Use
Texting and social media have really got to be a major productivity killer. According to a 2018 poll, an average American spends around 144 minutes every day on social media. Shutting off your social media notifications while working is crucial to stay productive. Have a defined period of time where you go without looking at your phone or social media websites. Stop checking emails after every few minutes unless it is something really urgent.
7. Use Your Travel Time Wisely
If you are a digital nomad on the go, you are on the move the entire time. Sitting at the airports, flying to a new destination, sitting on a train, or staying in a hotel room can all be used to work. By working during these times, you can get your work done and spend more time exploring once you arrive at the destination. So, if you want to be a digital nomad, you need to use your travel time in a wise manner. It is always recommended to focus on work rather than traveling.
8. Know When You Are Most Productive
We all agree that digital nomads are the most efficient people on the globe. They travel the world, work remotely, still manage to stay connected with family and friends. Many people may not know that this lifestyle is not without its difficulties. To stay productive, you need to figure out when you are most productive. Whether it is in the morning or night, try to keep the productive time for work and enjoy while you know productivity would be low anyway. Understand which tasks are critical to your business and cater to work on those tasks when your mind is at its optimal performance level. This helps in keeping your nomad and work-life balance in check.
9. Find Helpful Tools
All digital nomads need to make some financial investment in reliable technology. Find out what technology will work best for you and has the best features suiting your business needs. Apple phones have Siri, while Android cell phones have Google Assistant to help you organize day-to-day activities. If you are likely to work in remote areas, a mobile hotspot will be of great use. Many digital nomads use calendar applications or to-do lists that help them with their workload management. Google Calendar and Asana can be used to see when you will be traveling, block out time to work, and set deadlines.
10. Track Your Time and Activities
A good way for digital nomads, working away from the office, to know if they are really being productive during work hours is to track their time and activities. There are a number of time-tracking tools available to help you be more productive, as well as save some time. Using these tools, you can get a different perspective on your own work habits. For example, you might have spent so much time doing one thing when you could have worked on other tasks that are more critical. So, don’t be afraid to keep yourself in check if you want to succeed as a digital nomad.
11. Don’t Forget to Take Breaks
When you work from home, there is not always a well-defined break. To be productive on and off the road, always give yourself time off. Don’t keep yourself too focused on a task. It is crucial to take small breaks frequently, even just to refill your water bottle or do some stretches. This will not only help in maintaining your physical health but your mental health as well. In addition to Pomodoro Technique discussed above, you should always enjoy a decent lunch break. Eat a nice, healthy meal or go out for a walk in the park. Make good use of your time to explore the new destination. Doing so will aid you maintain your productivity when you get back to the digital nomad grind.
12. Evaluate Yourself
Lastly, make sure you evaluate yourself. You should examine how productive you have been lately, either weekly or monthly basis. Find out the ways you can improve on your time management, what resources you can utilize and how, and how you can boost your productivity in the time to come. Check if you have traveled too much or worked too much and adjust accordingly.
Consider the tips mentioned above when you are evaluating your productivity. These tips can really help you to stay focused to improve your day-to-day productivity in a shorter amount of time. You might have tried some of these tips already, but it would be great if you try them out again to see what works best for you to become your most productive self yet.