Without a doubt, being able to work remotely and work abroad are some of the best perks experienced by the new generation of employees and entrepreneurs. Travel and work isn’t limited to just salespeople or CEOs anymore. If you can do your job online, you can do your job anywhere. In the best cases, for a digital nomad it’s like being on holiday all year round. Plus, you’re still getting paid because you’re not missing out on work.
Even companies are recognising that if they want to keep their employees, and keep them productive, remote jobs have to be an option. A high paying job just won’t cut it any more if you don’t get the freedom to actually enjoy what you’re earning.
Working remotely = Working harder?
Everyone wants to be able to work remotely. Who doesn’t want to have that kind of flexibility in their lives where you can be working abroad if you wanted to? But most digital nomads will tell you that it’s actually not that easy to do, especially in the beginning. In some cases, you may find yourself working harder when you can travel and work compared to working in an office.
Why? Because offices and cubicles are designed, mainly, to minimise distractions. When you’re in an office, you’re in this bubble where all you need to think about is getting the job done. And when distractions are kept to a minimum, it’s easier to focus on work.
The routine of going to an office also puts you in the habit of working everyday. Even though you’re feeling lazy or you want to procrastinate, the daily routine of working (and seeing people around you work) motivates you to work. When you work remotely, you don’t have a clock. So you have to develop your own routine and find ways to motivate yourself to work everyday.
Productivity is all about preparation
If you prepare yourself to work remotely, however, the transition from being an office drone to a digital nomad becomes easier. Mainly, you need to develop the discipline to work through distractions. As well, you have to be able to get into the habit of motivating yourself to work everyday. If you want to transition into the digital nomad lifestyle of working remotely, but you don’t want to lose your office-honed productivity, here are some ways to help make the process easier:
- Consider part time telecommuting.
If your office allows you to telecommute several days a week, use it as an opportunity to test the waters. Try telecommuting once a week at first. You can gauge yourself on how much work you can actually get done away from the office.
Once you develop a routine on how you work away from the office, it becomes easier to develop a system or routine. As a result, allowing you to work remotely.
- Put yourself in “work mode”.
When you’re able to work anywhere, it’s best to put yourself in “work mode” in order to get things done, despite the distractions. For some people, it’s as simple as putting on noise cancelling headphones to block out the noise. Another option would be to disconnect from social media (one we highly recommend, if it’s not on your job list!!).
Some people even go as far as putting on office clothes to put themselves in the right frame of mind to start working.
You’ll find out what works for you.
- Work smarter, not harder.
One of the reasons why digital nomads seem to have more time, even though we get a lot of work done, is that we work smarter. We get more done by minimising distractions and finding ways to make processes more effective. This is where effective time management techniques and productivity hacks come into play.
Finding the right mix of tools and techniques is what will help you get 8 hours of work done in 5 hours or less.
- Identify your biggest distractions and find ways to avoid/minimise them.
One of the biggest disadvantages of working remotely is being exposed to a lot of distractions. Some are easy to ignore, while others are almost impossible to put aside.
To be productive, even while you travel and work, you need to know what these major distractions are and how you can avoid them. Or at the very least, how to minimise their impact.
If you find yourself easily distracted by family activities, talk to your family about respecting your work hours. Or, create a schedule that allows you to spend time with family and still work at the same time.
If social media is your biggest temptation, get an app like Freedom or Anti-Social to block out social media for hours at a time so you can focus on work.
Why it’s fun to be a digital nomad
Once you’ve mastered the art of how to work remotely, digital nomad living becomes seriously fun.
How does remote working make life fun? Because once you have the discipline to work through distractions, you know you can work anywhere, at any time. Whenever you need to work, you can work.
So when there are opportunities that might disrupt your routine, you’re not worried because you know you can always find time to work later.
And once you know how to motivate yourself to work regularly, you’re not worried about backlogs or deadlines. Once you sit down to work, not a second is wasted and you get stuff done. This makes it easier for you to walk away when you need to, or pick up where you left off.
Once you’re a ‘fully fledged’ digital nomad, you finally find the freedom to shake up your routine every now and then. You can then use this to motivate yourself to work better in the future. You’ll have more time to do do something you’ve always wanted to do, with your new found freedom.
Its kind of like going back to school, volunteering, travelling more or picking up a new hobby!
The point here is that anyone can be a digital nomad.
It doesn’t matter if you’re fresh out of school, or if you’ve been working for decades.
Spending the best years of your life in a box is no way to live. Learning to work remotely is a way to take back that time and get the most our lives.
Yes, we need to work to earn a living but we don’t need it to live.
As digital nomads, that’s what we want; for everyone to have the opportunity to get the most out of life.
Thanks for reading, and best wishes,
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