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How to Set Yourself Up for a More Productive Day, Every day.
You’ve done it. You’ve become a digital nomad. You’ve broken free from your 9 to 5 and are finally living your life the way you’ve always wanted to.
However, you probably realized by now (if not, I’m truly sorry to be the one to tell you) that while this lifestyle is great, you still need to work. If you don’t deliver to clients, they leave you behind, causing this dream life you’ve built to disappear quickly.
Making sure you’re as productive as possible is critical to your success as a digital nomad. But how exactly do you do that? Well, as with many things, a huge part comes from how you begin. Setting up a quality morning routine focused on maximizing your productivity will help you be at your best so that you can maintain the digital nomad lifestyle as long as you want.
Understand the value of discipline and where it comes from
The first thing you need to do is to change your mindset to focus on discipline. All the other tips below are secondary, since without it nothing else will really work. Discipline is the act of internalizing structure. You need to gather your willpower and control its flow, knowing when to summon it and when to relax.
How you do this will be different for each person, but one thing common to everyone is that discipline comes from being clear about your motivation. When you know what it is you are working towards—when your life is full of purpose—it’s a lot easier to buckle down and get to work.
Think long and hard about your motivation and consider writing it down somewhere so that you are frequently reminded of it. It’s easy to lose sight of your purpose, especially when things aren’t going perfectly, so make sure you never forget it.
These constant reminders as to why you are doing what you are doing will make it much easier to get out of bed and get to work on the life you’ve worked so hard to build.
Make a list and check it twice
The night before, or in the morning, make a list of what you need to do for that day. But don’t just make any old list. Put the most important things first and consider attaching a time limit to each item.
Be realistic, too. If a job takes you three hours, don’t pretend like you can get it done in two. If a job is more long-term, then set limits so that you will still have time and energy for other, shorter-term projects.
It’s important to do this the day before, as this will help you mentally prepare for the next day. You don’t want to wake up thinking, “Okay, what do I need to do today?” Instead, you want to jump out of bed, grab breakfast and get straight to work.
Plan breaks into your day
One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to be more productive is thinking they can work constantly. The idea is that if they never get up from their desk, and instead pour hours and hours into their work, they’ll automatically get more done.
But this is just wrong. You run out of energy, and if you don’t take breaks, you’ll just end up burning out.
So how do you balance the need to take breaks with your desire to get things done? Well, it’s quite simple: plan for it. Build in short little breaks so that you can get up and stretch. Set a time for lunch and use any other errands or tasks you need to do as an excuse to step away from work. Everyone needs to go the grocery store, so use your mid-afternoon break to get this out of the way.
Stop turning to things such as TV for your downtime. These suck you in and drain your productivity. Instead, go for a walk, do a little exercise or simply get out of the house of office. Planning for this won’t make it feel like you’re wasting time, but instead will allow you to maximize your own productivity.
Take breakfast seriously
We’ve all been told countless times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yet many of us still scoff at this, saying we don’t like to eat breakfast or don’t need it. This is simply not true. Your body may adjust to not having food in the morning, but this does not mean it’s working at its best.
The word breakfast comes from break-fast. When you’re sleeping, your body is actively depriving itself of nutrients and energy. Continuing this after you wake up is denying yourself the opportunity to be at your best.
So, what should you eat? Filling up on fried eggs and bacon also isn’t good; foods such as these weigh you down and take energy away from your brain. Instead, eat whole grain breads or oats so that you can get energy and stay full. Proteins from yoghurt and boiled eggs are also good for staying full and energized throughout the day.
If you drink coffee, make sure it’s freshly roasted so that you take full advantage of its nutritional benefits. And nothing quite beats fresh fruit in the morning, so always be sure to include some apples, bananas, peaches or whatever fruit is in season.
Consider getting up a bit earlier to give yourself time to make a proper breakfast so that you can give yourself time to focus on work and also give your body the energy it needs for you to be at your best for longer.
How you start your day will have a dramatic effect on your productivity. Since your lifestyle as a digital nomad depends on being able to complete projects effectively and efficiently, make sure you’re doing everything in your power for you to be at your best. This way, you can keep living the dream you’ve worked so hard to make a reality.
About the author: Caroline first started writing to support her travel plans. It slowly transformed into a lifestyle she has no plans to turn away from. She loves the freedom but knows there are unique challenges to staying motivated and productive.