One of the hardest things about being a nomad is managing your work-life balance. It can be so easy to fall into the bottomless pit of work work work with no personal time or on the other hand, play play play with no time to get to your work tasks. Finding that perfect balance between the Two is essential for making your time as a nomad successful.
So, how do we do that? Simple, Create Structure. Without a good structure or routine, even the most dedicated employee may themselves in caught in the procrastination trap.
Have a set schedule.
Even though you managed to escape the Nine-to-Five rat race, that doesn't mean you should come and go as you please. Setting a basic start and end time to your work day will help keep you on track. If your work allows flexi hours, take a few minutes at the start of each day to plan your whole day. If necessary, break your work hours up to accommodate a sight seeing trip in between. For instance, complete 2 hours of work tasks, followed by a trip to the beach and a lunch break, and then back to work for a portion of the afternoon. Knowing where you need to be and what you need to do is immensely helpful in staying productive.
Don't underestimate the power of a To Do List.
If, like me, you find yourself prone to procrastination, the best tool you can use is a good To Do List. Create a list of every single task you need to complete in a day, even if it's as mundane as taking out the trash or making your bed. There is nothing more satisfying than checking items off of it which helps motivate you to get the next one done until, before you know it, you're all done!
Create a designated workspace
This may be challenging when hopping between different Airbnbs or hostels but it can be very beneficial to have one comfortable spot to do your work. Whether it's a state of the art standing desk with fancy ergonomic chair, a paid spot at a co-working space or even just a comfy chair at the kitchen table. Having a zone specifically for work will help you stay in the "work time" frame of mind.
Take a break
When planning your schedule, be sure to give adequate time for breaks as well as a full lunch break. Short, regular breaks are proven to help keep your mind focused. A recent study, conducted by The Draugiem Group, found that the ideal work-to-break ratio is around 52 minutes of work and then a 17 minute break. People who used this schedule were found to be more productive, focused on their tasks and were less likely to be distracted by things like phones, Facebook and unrelated emails.
Enjoy your time off
When working form an office, it's easier to leave work problems at work at the end of each day. But when you live and work in One place, it can be difficult to find the right level of separation. However, if you follow the above steps and have set yourself a quiting time, then make sure you put all work devises off. Don't answer work emails, or do the "Just 5 more minutes of work". Be firm with yourself on this point and enjoy your well earned rest period.