I do love the freedom of being location independent. However, there are positives and negatives to everything. There are certain things with the digital nomad lifestyle that affects the productivity with the work that you are doing. It’s good to be aware of this and to work out a work-life balance that will allow you to achieve what you want as an income, as well as with the travelling lifestyle.
From my personal experience, here are a few things that you need to keep in mind.
You need to be in a productive working environment.
There are several digital nomads who post Instagram pictures of themselves working on their laptop at a beach or in front of rice fields. As good as it sounds, it often isn’t practical. I’ve tried working at the beach and it is difficult to be productive when the sand is blowing on you or you try to look at your computer screen and the glare from the sunshine affects what you can actually read on the screen.
As for the rice fields, many of these nomads work in a cafe that overlooks the open field. They fail to tell you about the mosquitos and sometimes the patch internet or discomfort of the chairs.
Even if you decide to work in a cafe, you may experience something similar. And if you are on a public Internet network, there can be security risks or even a lag time with the internet connection.
If you really want to be productive, you will need the following type of environment.
Access to good lighting.
Natural light is best. But if you have access to LED artificial lighting that is well designed, it will also help you improve your alertness, which will directly impact your productivity level.
Access to quick internet.
Not all internet providers are created equal. I personally go for the quickest internet provider available (currently 5G), as it allows me to complete my tasks without delays. When travelling, there are places that advertise an internet connection, however it is so slow that you cannot be productive. Check the Mbps to see when you can.
Avoid working in areas with alot of distractions.
When you want to be productive, you need to minimise the distractions around you. Many digital nomads recommend working in coworking spaces. I personally find these environments very distracting. It is better to get a private room or to work in the room of your accommodation. That way, you can completely focus on the task at hand.
Minimise frequent travel.
It’s a bit of a juxtaposition. You can travel and explore, but aim to base yourself in a location for at least 5 days. This will give you time to balance your travels with your working schedule. It will also minimise the amount of time that you will lose when in transit.
Work in a clean area.
We take this for granted, but many working spaces are cluttered and are full of distractions, which will affect your productivity. This includes messy spaces, unclean areas such as tables, and non-minimalistic designs.
Take the time to find a clean and minimalistic space to boost your productivity.
Before starting your digital nomad lifestyle, make a note of the things that allow you to be productive and see how you can successfully incorporate it during your digital nomad journey.
Other useful resources
How to perform better at work.
Start your digital nomad journey today!
2 thoughts on “Productivity challenges that you need to be aware of as a digital nomad.”
I love the fact that I can travel and work at the same time. I completely agree with finding a productive environment to work in. It’s sometimes a struggle to actually get any work done. I tend to square off time, to work in my hotel room, or find a coffee shop that’s laptop friendly.
I completely agree with you Heather. And to be completely honest, I find that the most productive working environment for me is one where it is quiet, isolated and comfortable. And like you, I have to work in blocks of time otherwise it is easy to get distracted with other things. It is easy to get busy, but actually not be productive.
I did find a really interesting coworking space in Paris that was designed with “Quiet zones”, meeting rooms, collaboration spaces and teleconference spaces. It was really well designed. I hope that more coworking spaces will design their areas for maximum productivity like those ones. :)
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