Rise and shine. What interesting place are you based in today? Doesn’t matter! You have work to do!
One of the more difficult issues in regards to being a digital nomad is finding that balance between work and play. The temptation is always there to pop your shoes on and spend the day exploring the exotic destination you are temporarily living in. Further, when it comes to the evening, it’s even harder to say no to that extra beer at the bar with your new friends. However, you must always remember, this is your job. You are here to work.
Many aspiring digital nomads quickly turn into mere travellers after a week in there new location, as the work and play balance shifts heavily, if not totally, onto the play side of the ledger. The gravitational pull of the new destination provides an aura that is just too hard to ignore, and within a week, these digital nomads are ignoring (losing) their work and clients and have no means of income. They begin burning through the savings, and before long, the year long digital nomad experiment turns rapidly into an expensive, debt creating three month holiday.
Hopefully, this may scare you into being a little more pragmatic and disciplined with your life. You should view the work as a priority always. After all, this is what is funding this location independent lifestyle, and hopefully, if your good enough, is creating some savings rather than debt.
So here is a simple piece of advice for making sure you get that work completed: do it first thing in the morning. Nothing stunts your enjoyment more than being out and about supposedly doing fun things, but having that three hours of work still to do, niggling the back of mind. It creates a sense of guilt while you should be freely enjoying whatever you are doing.
On the other hand, when your work is done, you feel happy, guilt free, satisfied and very clear headed and open to the impending adventure of the day.
The best way to go about this is to get up as early as you can. Right, that can be hard in a foreign place if you have been out late enjoying what the town has to offer at night. But “as early as you can” can be remarkably different depending on what location you are in. For example, if you are base in a quiet beach side town like El Nido in the Philippines, a reasonable time would be 7am. However, if you are in the pulsating city of Barcelona in Spain, and early morning may be more like 10am, as much of the culture in Spain is late night orientated.
In the long run, it is much better to gear your work routine around getting work done early and fast. Another benefit is that it also makes you open to opportunities that arise later in the day and avoiding using the phrase “sorry, I need to go do some work”.
Get up early, get your work done, and make it part of your routine. Your future self that day will whole-heartedly thank you.
Prepared by Work Play Nomad