21 productivity TIPS for becoming a Digital Nomads

Productivity on its own can be a tough challenge for anyone, even if you work from the same space every day.

What if you’re jumping workspace every week? Every day? Every couple hours? Digital nomads and remote workers have a very unique productivity puzzle to figure out.

I’d love to share the full list of productivity tips with you, hoping this list sparks some thoughts and ideas for next time you’re looking to get productive working remotely.


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Our Top 3 Productivity Tips for Working Remotely

“Focus on being productive instead of busy.” 

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1. Plan for tomorrow at the end of your day.

I started recently planning my calendar and to do list for the next day the evening before, I personally like to write it down, it also help me to focus more and I must say that am super impressed with the results. When I wake up, I don’t need to scramble to check when my next task its gonna be, I already know and can plan accordingly.

Here’s a simple outline to follow, if you’re keen to start making tomorrow lists:

  1. At the end of your day, write down the tasks you need to complete tomorrow.
  2. Look at the list when you start the next day.
  3. End your day by creating another list for tomorrow.


2. Try single tasking with a single tab

I recently challenged myself to have only one browser tab open at a time. It was really difficult but I ended up getting much more done because I was hyper focused on the task at hand. We all know that social media is extremely addictive and that it is easy to lose focus.

If you’re interested in trying this, you can do it manually by being more mindful of which tabs you have open. Or you can try a browser extension like OneTab which prohibits you from opening more than one tab.


3. Make space for both work and exploring in a new city.

One of the great benefits of remote work is that you can often set your own hours and get your work done when you’re most productive. This has proved really helpful for me when it comes to exploring a new location.

Something that’s worked really well for me has been exploring in a two-hour window over lunch and working a bit later in the evening.

I also love taking Portrait Photography while traveling and it is important for me to have the time doing what I love the most.



19 of the Best Crowdsourced Tips for Productive Digital Nomads


1. Crowd-source reliable spaces in a new city.

When I’m landing in a new city and looking for a great spot to work from, with power, WiFi, coffee and great vibes, I usually send out a Tweet or message local friends for suggestions.


2. Never make a to do list more than 3 items.

Avoid overloading your to do list. Momentum is important for productivity. When I started I used to make a list of 10 or more things that i should do everyday, ending up not doing half of it! Focus on what it is important and it will help you being more productive.




3. Use the Getting Things Done method.


I personally am fond of the GTD method, and with my daily tools Google Calendar / Trello / Toggl / Evernote, you easily catch things where you left them, should you be on the road, in your neighbourhood café, or at home. No matter the device.


4. Try the Pomodoro technique.

For many people, time is an enemy. We race against the clock to finish assignments and meet deadlines. The Pomodoro Technique teaches you to work with time, instead of struggling against it. A revolutionary time management system, it is at once deceptively simple to learn and life-changing to use.



6. Work in spurts.

I give myself, say, 1 hour to get x, y, z done. To motivate myself even more, I’ll give myself a list of the most important tasks and then challenge myself to finish them before I leave the space I’m working from.


7. Use your travel time wisely.

Waiting at airports, flying to a new destination or sitting on a train can all be used to work. This way you can get some work done and spend more time exploring once you arrive. I especially do this with less interesting tasks when flying somewhere – helps a lot with flight anxiety since I have to focus AND I’m more productive as there is usually no or very bad WiFi, which means no online distractions.



8. Switch OFF your phone!

This the hardest part for most of us. I keep my phone on silent and keep notifications turned off. This keeps me much more focused and able to get things done.


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9. Make time for others.

I also make sure to allocate sufficient time for my relationships, my health and my mind. I feel it powers up my overall productivity in the end. When I am not traveling, my wife and live in Kuala-Lumpur – Malaysia and we always take the time to enjoy lunch/diner together and go to fun places. Working out is also very important to keep healthy and release stress.


10. Move in the morning.

I try to move my body in the morning before doing anything else for grounding and focus – I usually wake up around 6:30am & even before I drink coffee, I spent 45mn doing Calisthenic, and it gives me a great space to launch from the rest of the day.


11. Make time for movement.

Putting a rough schedule in for the day/week helps me a lot. I have a tendency to work TOO much, so I schedule in a short run in the afternoon, not long (20-30mn) but it helps me lots to fresh my mind.


Short trip to the Maldives: Check “Civitatis”


12. Make sure there’s power.

One thing that I found to be super important to manage while travelling the last few weeks was battery power. I bring my computer almost everywhere and you will need to make sure that you do not run out of baterry when you most need it. Doing research ahead as well to make sure I’ll have access to international adapter while traveling to a foreign country (Easy to forget!)



13. Plan workspaces ahead of time.

Before traveling, I created a Google My Map layer with cafés and potential workspaces in different areas I’d like to explore so that I can quickly travel to an area knowing I know at least one place where I can work rather than looking around when I get there.


14. Switch to standing every now and again.

I loved going to cafés where they have the window-side stool seating that’s high enough for standing! It feels nice to switch from sitting and standing once in awhile!

17. Look for lots of light.

Try and find cafes or coffee shops that are well-lit and easy to get up and walk around. I find that working in a place with lots of light helps to keep me awake, alert, and creative. Also, spotting a cafe or coffee shop with room to walk around allows me to stretch out my legs and get the blood flowing.


Over To You

Do any of these resonate with you? Do you have a tip to add to the list?

I’d love to hear it in the comments!

4 comments

  1. Cool, I like #14, it’s awesome. I never thought of it, but standing every now and then is a great idea. Even though we walk around and do sightseeing a lot, also go to beaches or to the mountains, I sit most of the time. Also the working environment itself is very important. You should use a proper chair and desk!! Very important. You will feel the difference after a while 😉

    Cheers,
    Dennis

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