Want to give the digital nomad life a try? These tips could help

This article was created for The Travel Project by Cal Bailey, who spent two years travelling around the world.

We’ve all seen that picture, someone laying in a hammock, staring out at the beautiful turquoise water with their Macbook balanced on their knees, captioned “my office for today”.

Oh, the joys of life as a digital nomad; no office, no fixed hours, always pushing the boundaries of where you make your next workplace. Alas, it’s not all jetsetting and walking barefoot along sandy beaches. Although, with the right work-life balance, it definitely involves a lot of that. When you ditch the 9 to 5 schedule and opt for a lifestyle which takes you travelling around the world, you need to find a balance that works for you.

Too much of the “work” and there’ll be no point visiting amazing places as you’ll never have time to enjoy them. Too much of the “life” (ie travelling, exploring, partying, etc..) and you’ll be back home faster than you can say where’s my passport. The answer? These 3 tips…

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Boy-on-boat-in-Asia-digital-nomad

Work Out a Schedule

“But hey! I thought you said being a digital nomad meant flexible hours?” Yes, it does, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and stick to your own schedule, even if it changes depending on your destination. When I first embarked on my journey, I figured I’d try and keep my weekends free and do the bulk of my work during the week, whenever I had the time.

This turned out to be a badly thought out plan, as there was always something better to be doing and I kept putting things off. The end result was working under stress trying to meet deadlines at the last minute. I’ve found a much better approach is to set myself certain “work hours” and enjoy the rest of the day for exploring, eating, and meeting new people. 

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Maximise Your Productivity

Procrastination is your worst enemy when you’re a digital nomad. Let’s say you’ve given yourself 4 hours to work in the morning before you go out exploring. But, first you need a coffee, and then you need to check your Facebook, then do some work, then answer a WhatsApp message, then have a chat with your friend…you see where I’m going.

It’s easy to get distracted, and it’s easy to put off doing actual work. Before you know it you’ve only done half the work you needed to in those 4 hours, so now you have less time to enjoy some sightseeing. Coffee, noise cancelling headphones, and dividing my day into small goals all help me to stay on track. 

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Travel Slow

Getting into a routine – and finding good wifi – can take time. So if I’m always on the move traveling to airports or driving in long car journeys, it makes it much harder to stick to my work schedule. Worrying about meeting deadlines takes the fun out of travelling and discovering new places, so I don’t rush from one destination to the next.

Remember, you’re not on a two week vacation trying to cram in as much as possible in a short space of time, so enjoy life on the road and take it slow. I prefer staying in one destination until I’m satisfied with it, whether that be 3 days or 3 weeks, before I move on to my next adventure.

Do you have some awesome tips for life on the road that you think we should know about? Share your stories with us here and you could see your work published on six-two…

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