Thanks to technology, more people are building their careers while living wherever they want to live. Self-employed or otherwise, you can “climb the corporate ladder” while living abroad. The biggest challenge for anyone who works remotely is the luxury of setting your own work hours because it’s tought sometimes to not fall behind on deadlines. Resisting the opportunity of play to meet the demands of work is easier said than done. After all, who in the right mind would choose boring deadlines instead of pristine beaches, exotic performances, and mouth-watering flavors?
For me, productivity is key when I need to balance between work and play. Learning how to do so effectively has allowed me to travel more frequently and complete my bucket list without jeopardizing my career. There are many ways to approach this but here is a compilation of five ways to stay productive while living abroad.
How To Stay Productive While Working and Living Abroad
1. Travel Slowly
Learn to love slow travel when you plan to work remotely in order to see the world; this simply means living in a new destination for more than a few days. The more frequent you uproot yourself, the harder it will be to be productive as you will need to find new accommodation and internet connection, and establish a new routine every time you arrive at a new destination. Slow travel also prevents travel burnout that would push back your productivity even further while you recover.
I used to travel between Great Britain and Turkey frequently because Turkey was a great experience for me. I would spend a couple of months in Turkey and spend some time in Great Britain before deciding to live in Turkey for a few more months after that. While my productivity was low during the transitional period, it was consistently high as I “settled in” as the weeks go by.
2. Hunt For The Best Internet
Make sure you hunt for reliable internet provider once you land in your new destination. It may seem to be rash but your productivity depends on it. Always remember that while the internet may be abundance in the city, it can be unreliable when you are traveling into rural areas—I learned my lesson while traveling around Turkey!
Never rely completely on the internet provided by hotels and guesthouses—they can be really expensive and extremely unstable and slow. It is a good idea to sign up with a mobile internet plan to avoid being unproductive while you travel to different places in a new country.
3. Find a Co-working Space
Most big cities have at least one coworking space tucked away in a corner of the city. Good news is that most are very welcoming of foreign visitors. Experienced nomadic professionals find coworking spaces increase their productivity because it is designed to do so—you will be surrounded with like-minded people. It is a great way if you need to bounce ideas for a new marketing campaign or reach out for help with a line of coding error. I bet you will also be able to expand your work network with the locals and other nomadic professionals.
4. Become a Morning Person
No one wants to wake up early when they are on vacation. So remember that you are abroad not just for a vacation—you are earning a living too. Wake up with the locals as if you need to be in the office at 8.00 a.m. Exercise and eat breakfast before dedicating the rest of your morning in front of your laptop. By lunchtime, you would have completed a significant amount of work and still have some time exploring your new destination in the afternoon without worrying about your deadlines.
5. Be Selective With New Friends
Remember when your parents said to choose your friends carefully? This is especially true when you work remotely while traveling. The great thing about traveling is meeting new people, but remember that not everyone is working and traveling—most are there for a work-free vacation. Therefore, learn to say “no” to your new friends and not to be peer pressured to join group activities or attend weekend-long parties.
Try to stick with others who work and travel—they understand that you are there not just for a vacation. They will be a great source of emotional support and motivation because they understand what you are going through. They will also be there to remind you to make the most of your free time. Additionally, you will be able to trade skills and ideas with them.
As a person who works remotely, you have the amazing opportunity to see the world without the restriction of an office cubicle. It would be a shame to throw it away because your inability to stay productive. Following these tips will require some time to get used to but once you get used to them, you will find your days to be more productive, not only with work but with experiencing your new destination as well.
How do you stay productive while living abroad?
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- How To Stay Productive While Working and Living Abroad - November 16, 2016