Becoming a digital nomad can be a dream come true for so many. A hammock on a Maldivian beach or a coffee shop in Thailand could be your personal workstation. However, having the freedom to work from a novel location each time also carries its set of unique challenges. For example, a coconut might fall on your head whilst you’re building a website or a monkey might snatch your mouse (distractions!)
Naturally, being your own boss in a laid back environment requires a razor-sharp focus and setting boundaries. So how does one optimise their time and ensure productivity once they’ve plonked onto a bouncy beanbag?
1) Grab a Writing Pad
Spending a little time off of your laptop can boost your focus. Whether it is a coloring book, a note pad for work pointers or a sketching pad, getting a few minutes off your laptop will improve your overall productivity whilst working in a tea or coffee shop.
2) Ruthlessly Block out Distractions
Concentrating on concentrating is also an art. Sadly, in today’s age of information overload, one must either have an iron will power to be self-accountable OR use of the following technological solutions for blocking out distractions. These include apps such as RescueTime and Focus. These apps help you measure how you spend your time so you can use it as the precious and priceless enigma that it is.
3) Pomodoro Timers
Use the Pomodoro timer technique, which was coined by Franceso Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. You can use your smartphone timer to crunch your time into intense segments, which will keep you focused and wane out out any procrastination.
4) Pick the Quietest Corner
If you usually work at a crowded café, instead, go to a location where there is no one likely to interrupt you. If I am looking to be uber productive, I’ll pick a spot in a far away edge of a large café, facing a wall. Sometimes, I’ll wear a large beanie to even obscure my gender and become truly unrecognisable.
5) Zone out with music
For many people, plugging in their earphones to listen to music allows them to block out surrounding distractions. Try apps such as 8tracks that have a variety of genres and create a playlist that can last for your entire working day. You can select the subtle and soothing genres of ambient, study or chill for work. It even lets you mix up multiple genres to create mash-ups and eclectic fusions. For me, the playlist Drown the noise, works wonders. Have a listen and you might find it helpful too.
6) Take a Cardio Break
It’s a fact that physical activity aids in easing productivity and mental work. A quick jog, run or salsa dance break can clear your mind, that can become over stressed by sitting in front of the screen for long hours. It will also add excitement to your work and bring forth fresh ideas/solutions to problems that have had you stuck.
7) Connect with Other Digital Nomads
You’ll find them at co-working spaces, coffee shops and libraries. Apps such as Work hard anywhere and Unsettled connect digital nomads from around the world and show the best options for co-working spaces in exciting locations around the world. Being around digital nomads will get you into the work vibe and inspire you.