When you’re given the opportunity to bring your work anywhere and travel the world, will you take it? Location independence and digital nomadism are attracting professionals worldwide. The allure of being able to see the world and still make a living is enticing. We see more professionals packing their bags; a laptop in tow to continue working. But working remotely is not all about sipping pina colada on the beach while having an online meeting with your team. The digital nomad lifestyle requires discipline and hard work if you want to make the most out of it.

Productivity Tips When Working Remotely While Traveling

Here we share 6 tips to keep yourself productive when working remotely while traveling. These are designed to help you manage your work while still having a fun time wherever you are in the world.

Setup a Remote Work Schedule and Stick To It

When working remotely, you don’t have a team or a boss physically there with you to help you stay in “work-mode.” It’s easy to succumb to numerous distractions and slack off. This is especially true when you’re traveling while working remotely. This is why a remote work schedule is a must. Your schedule allows you to plot what time of the day is dedicated to working, and what time is dedicated to sightseeing. While you don’t want to waste the beautiful scenery and fun activities around you, you also don’t want to miss deliverables and perform poorly at work.

You can use a time management system to plan your schedule. There may be instances when you have to be more flexible to accommodate a work deadline or a trip to the museum. That’s okay. With your schedule planned out, it would be easier to know when to squeeze it in without sacrificing your commitments. A schedule also allows for some predictability and control over your workday. At the end of the day, you still need to earn so you can live the life you want.

Prepare Your Remote Work Environment

Before you leave for your trip, you need to make sure you have your remote work gear ready. This includes your laptop, mouse, universal adapter, trusty headphones, a portable WiFi pack, and your smartphone at the very least. Make sure you have chargers and power banks to keep your gadgets running. Don’t forget to check the WiFi speeds of the place you’ll be staying at. Go for accommodations with stellar reviews on WiFi reliability. A digital nomad’s best friend is fast internet.

Once you arrive at your new home base, prepare your workstation. Now, you might be thinking, “Oh, I’ll just work while lounging in the pool or a cafe. Heck, I’ll probably bring my laptop hiking.” Well, let me hit you with reality. There’s only so much you can do while you’re on-the-go. It’s better to have a fixed workstation in your Airbnb or hostel to get work done than having to figure out how you’re going to send an email to Jim while you’re 10,000 feet off the ground. While you can certainly bring your laptop while sightseeing, it’s still better to separate work and play as much as possible. Plus, you risk losing your remote gear when you always bring outdoors. Better safe than sorry is what I always say.

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Work Time Zone Differences to Your Advantage

If you’re working on the other side of the globe, you can take advantage of time zone differences to separate work and play. You just need to figure out when to sleep. For example, those who travel far east like South East Asia would be at least 12 hours ahead of the US. They can set daytime for some sightseeing and work at night when it’s daytime in the US. Knowing the time difference between your remote base and your main office is a great help to plan your remote work schedule as well.

Set Limits and Communicate Them With Your Team

This tip goes for all types of work. The common problem with remote workers is they don’t know how to unplug. When this happens, they experience burnout and sometimes conclude remote work isn’t for them. But this can be solved by setting boundaries and communicating it to your boss and team. Working remotely allows you to be flexible but too much flexibility can take a toll on your health and your career. Figure out a work arrangement that works best for you and your team. Be comfortable to say “no” if you feel that it’s too much. But don’t forget to be considerate and allow for as much flexibility to accommodate remote team meetings too. You need to join these meetings so that you don’t lose touch with your team and vice versa.

Treat It as a Learning Experience

The digital nomad lifestyle is all about exploring the world on your own terms. Isn’t that the reason why you’re working remotely in the first place? While you need to work to fund your travels, don’t forget to balance everything out. Take this time to learn about new cultures and meet new people. You can join a coworking space near where you’re staying. You can check out NomadList and start meeting people who are on the same boat as you.

Traveling the world is such an eye-opening experience. Use this experience to fuel your passion even more. Make sure to take note of ideas that will come throughout your journey. For sure there’ll be a lot.

Take It Slow

Traveling non-stop can be exhausting, even more so since you have to work while you travel. You don’t have to beat yourself up with doing three cities in a week when working remotely unless that’s your thing. I advise you to take things slowly because adjusting to a digital nomad lifestyle takes time. You have to learn how you learn things. You have to find out what work patterns and routines work best for you. And these all take time. No one’s a master at remote work by birth. We all learn and work differently. We take our own journeys. And that’s perfectly fine. Take this time slowly and learn more about yourself and what motivates you to do great work.

Travel the World While Working Remotely

Traveling while working remotely is an adventure. Being a digital nomad requires a different mindset and will challenge your beliefs and practices. Be prepared to stretch yourself in all aspects and develop new norms and habits for yourself. But working remotely is not an end all be all kind of thing.

I believe working remotely is not an end goal but a medium for you to do other goals in life. Whether that’s traveling the world, starting a new business, having more time for yourself, or starting a new adventure with your family, working remotely can help you achieve those goals only if you continuously learn about yourself and use what you know to keep moving forward.

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About the Author: Lena Boiser

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Lena Boiser is an Agile enthusiast. Starting off her career as a Software Business Analyst in 2010, she eventually performed other roles including Project Manager and IT Business Manager. When she was immersed in Agile methodologies in 2014, Lena found her way through honing her craft and eventually became a Certified Scrum Product Owner. In 2017, after 7 years of working in the corporate world, Lena started her own remote consulting practice. Today, she provides project management and Scrum Product Ownership services to various businesses including software development companies, e-Commerce business owners, and small to medium sized companies. She believes that even teams working remotely can harness the benefits of Agile in order to deliver results for their companies. In her free time she likes to write. One day she could be writing about Agile, the next she could be writing anything about fashion or travel.