This guest post was written by Joaquim Miro from The Alternative Ways.
Once used to describe the eccentric individuals that roamed the world while working online, “digital nomads” have now become a mainstream phenomenon. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that it was possible to base yourself anywhere, open your laptop, and generate income remotely.
Yet now the competition is getting fierce. Last year, 60% of millennials declared themselves as self-employed or soon-to-be self-employed. So how can you stand out against all these other freelancers, contract workers, and fellow digital nomads?
By acquiring the 7 habits of highly effective digital nomads.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Digital Nomads
Habit 1 – Plan Ahead With The End Goal In Mind
Try to define your primary objectives as a digital nomad. Are you trying to grow your career through travel? Are you building a portfolio of clients through freelance contracts? Or are you working remotely for a company from back home? Place specific SMART goals in mind, and then back track using the following habit.
Habit 2 – Make 2 Lists & 1 Calendar
The creation of lists is a controversial subject. Some say it’s better not to, as it can hinder the ability to think on a larger scope and remain flexible, while others say it’s the only way to remain productive. I would agree that it’s sometimes better not to have lists when working from an office. Yet when you are on the road there is so much going on that if you don’t make a list and a concrete longterm plan, you will invariably get lost. Those who remain at home don’t have a trip to plan and a budget to uphold like you do, so what works best for someone working the 9-5 job may not be best for you.
I recommend you make 2 lists and a calendar. One very small and specific list of things you want to accomplish this year. Then use this list to build a calendar that backtracks with all the necessary KPIs and deadlines to make your goals a reality.
Then make one larger list with things that absolutely need to be finished today, this week, and this month. Live and swear by this list. Whatever you don’t finish that’s on the list for the day, move it to the next day. This saves you a lot of time and allows you to focus on one thing at a time.
Habit 3 – Focus On 1 Task At A Time
It is so easy to focus on 5 different things at a time. What is difficult is to buckle down and work on a task from start to finish. This allows you to go down your list and get much more done than if your mind and attention is all over the place. It took me years to get better at this, and I often times still find myself trying to do many things at once!
Habit 4 – Set Calendar Reminders
If you don’t have a CRM in place, you can use Google Calendar to remind you whenever you have meetings, deadlines or time-sensitive objectives. There are so many things going on as a digital nomad, not to mention the time differences between you and your clients. You need to establish your presence and show you are reliable, even if you aren’t physically around. The best way to make sure this happens is to establish a routine, or put calendar alerts to keep you well organized.
Habit 5 – Seek Help
By surrounding yourself with a network of people already in the game, you can avoid making beginner mistakes. You can also get feedback on your work and plans. If you are lucky, you can even find a mentor, who will undoubtedly fast track your business development while helping you develop more efficient work habits.
Working alone can tire you more quickly. By working around other people you get to bounce ideas off one another, and take small breaks to recuperate your mental stamina.
Habit 6 – Develop Yourself Continuously
If you aren’t reading and learning about your subject every day, someone else is. Rather than lagging behind and feeling as if you are being phased out, remain an expert on your subject. Network with other experts, write about your findings on blogs, and share your knowledge with the world through social media and other established institutions. You can also use these best travel resources to travel for cheaper while developing yourself.
Habit 7 – Take Daily Action
Every day you should do at least one thing that helps your business or project grow. When travelling it’s not always easy to do so, so I recommend having a small routine in place. Maybe every morning you can take 1 hour to speed through a few items on your list. Or every rainy day you spend 4 hours arranging your social media posts for the upcoming week(s). Find out what works for you and take continuous action.
Work, Work, Work
In the end, the biggest determinant of your success is directly related to one utterly important thing. Your time commitment determines your success. You must invest a lot of time in your project if you want it to be successful. When working on the road sometimes doing so is not easy. There is so much to do but you must remain focused if you ever want to achieve success in your endeavours.
As a passionate traveler, blogger, pianist, paraglider, digital marketer and cryptocurrency enthusiast, I always felt the urge to travel the world, but stopped myself because of my career. So I took a leap of faith to prove that it is possible to grow your career through travel. And it worked! Now I am on a mission to help you do the same at The Alternative Ways.