Working remotely has gone from a rarity to a common occurrence, as a 2016 Gallup survey of 15,000 adults found that 43 percent of employed Americans worked remotely at least a portion of the time. Are you one of the many people who work remotely, either occasionally or full time? From maintaining proper posture to staying organized, here are a few useful tips that can improve your remote-working experience as a digital nomad.
Sit Up Straight and Relax! Productivity Tips for Digital Nomads
1. Organize and Prioritize
Organization is important no matter where you’re working, but even more for remote workers. When you plan ahead, you can immediately jump into working instead of wasting time getting set up.
Proper planning includes having your assignments for the day lined up, getting your wardrobe ready, charging devices and ensuring that breakfast doesn’t take longer than necessary. It’s a good idea to write a to-do list of your most important tasks for the day, just limit it to three items. Any more than that could result in getting sidetracked.
Even though you’re working remotely, you still need to set a schedule so there’s clear separation between your work life and your personal life. Everyone’s biorhythms are different, and one advantage of remote work is you can plan your day around the times you’re most productive. Pay attention to when you have the most energy and use this to better plan your days.
If you’re working remotely in a new area, like traveling internationally, there are some extra steps to take. Before you leave home, build up your savings account and create a budget. You don’t want to be short on cash in a new environment. Get an unlocked phone that you can use anywhere and a charger that will work with the local plugs where you’re going.
[RELATED: Staying Productive While Working and Living Abroad]
2. Look After Your Health
When you’re a digital nomad, you spend most of your time seated. Make sure that you sit up straight and avoid slouching. These may seem minor, but over time, poor posture can have serious ramifications for your overall health.
You need to stay active even if most of your day is in front of a computer. Get up and move around every hour or two to keep the blood flowing. Make time for at least one physical activity every day, such as a jog or a yoga class.
Change your surroundings. In cafes and restaurants, the ambient sounds significantly boost your productivity. However, they often use dimmed lights, perhaps combined with candles on each table. So, remember to lower your laptop brightness to prevent eye strain and be careful around those candles. While they create a warm atmosphere, they can also be harmful to your skin, eyes, or damage your things.
3. Get Your Tech Right
As a digital nomad, you should keep up with the latest technology and take advantage of what’s available. You can do so by talking to your fellow digital nomads and checking online to read about the trends.
The right technology can boost your productivity and help you work more efficiently. Here are a few apps and services to consider:
Trello is a free project-management app. You can arrange your projects and plans on boards, and colleagues can comment or message you.
Sitata Travel Safe helps you stay safe while traveling, as the name suggests. It alerts you to health and safety threats near your current location. You can also use it to pull up emergency numbers and the locations of the nearest hospitals.
SaferVPN adjusts your device’s IP address so it will match your current location. Some areas restrict certain information to locals, so this app comes in handy for staying in the loop.
Doodle simplifies the scheduling process. You can propose a time and then send out invites, and invitees can choose to accept the time or propose a new one.
Oanda allows you to convert currencies in seconds.
Make sure that you back up your data using a cloud storage service. Since you need your computer to stay productive, keep it protected using antimalware and antispyware programs. If you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, avoid sending sensitive information unless you’re using a VPN that encrypts your data.