Life as a digital nomad, or traveling freelancer if you will, is easy to write off as being completely problem-free and awesome. This lifestyle allows people to be location independent, work as much or as little as they please, and answer to themselves.
However, ask any person actually living this lifestyle, whether they’re a writer, graphic designer, photographer, or any of the other digital nomad career options, and they’ll tell you it’s a little more complicated than that.
Frankly, it’s hard to travel and actually see the world while constantly trying to stay on top of projects. It’s hard to keep up with e-mails, find reliable Wi-Fi, seek out new clients, come up with ideas, ward off distractions, and make deadlines while life is outside begging to be lived.
So how do freelancers get any work done while traveling? Well…
Here are some tips on being a digital nomad:
It may not be the entirety of your supply case, but carrying a travel-sized set of supplies is a necessity for keeping up with work. For example, if you’re into calligraphy, take along a small set of your favorite pens and inks. If you’re into writing, keep a handy physical notebook and a couple pens or pencils on hand.
Also, before you leave home make sure you have all of your necessary computer programs paid for and updated.
Before you book accommodation anywhere, read past reviews on the Wi-Fi situation. If you’re relying on where you’re staying as being your primary workspace, this is going to be a major factor.
Alternatively, if you know you’re going to be travelling in a part of the world without great internet access or cell phone coverage, bring your own. Companies such as Skyroam allow you to carry a wifi hotspot with you to over 100 countries while only paying for the data that you use.
Have a great workspace
Whether you’re an apartment dweller, hotel lobby lover, or cafe user, it is important to have a great space to work. Make sure your area is clean and bright with minimal distractions and that you have all your supplies at the ready.
While on the road, it is so easy to give up any semblance of a routine; especially if you gave up your boring old routine in order to hit the road in the first place. However, keeping a work schedule will be one of the biggest factors in determining if you are able to accomplish your goals or not.
Decide what time of day you feel the most motivated to work. If you’re an early morning riser and feel the most inspired after a great night of rest, than that is your calling. Alternately, if you are most focused late at night, than you know where you should be every night at 11 p.m.
Stick to the schedule you have created as much as possible.
Keep notes of ideas
You never know when inspiration will strike, so when it does, it’s best to have a way to keep a running tab on all of those ideas.
You know that shiny thing in your pocket that lets you look at photos of cats, scroll through your Instagram feed, and get onto Facebook? Well that thing also has a little handy ‘Notes’ application at your disposal. So use it.
You never know when disaster is going to strike, so make sure you always back up your work in multiple locations.
Whether it’s on your hard drive, an external hard drive, a Google drive, or on the Cloud, there would be nothing worse than losing hours of hard work and focus by not keeping a duplicate of your work somewhere.
And for the times when there is no motivation, focus can not be found, and productivity is at an all time low, take some time out of your day to rebalance. Meditation does not have to be all “Om’s” and “Namaste’s”, it can simply be taking twenty minutes out of your day to sit back and quiet your mind without distraction.
Look up some great, short meditations on the internet that will help you to relax and once again find your mojo.