The holy grail for most travellers is how to continue travelling, but you need to stay productive. There are multiple ways to attack that, online business (digital nomad territory). Or working in each country you visit to extend your travel. I’m going to deal with the former.
I’m going to assume you have an idea or a business right now. It’s either business as usual for you or you’re starting up your dream online business.
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Staying Productive is Hard
Travelling and productivity don’t always go hand in hand. There’s too much to do, too much to explore and too many nights out. There’s always something to drag you away from your responsibilities. From your way to ensure you can travel long term.
Let’s face it who wants to be working when there’s a whole world to explore out your front door.
Why You Should Stay Productive
It’s so important to have one hand in the pie. One eye on using your brain for something more than just enjoying life. One day you’ve got to rejoin society. Whether you can do that and still travel full time is up to you.
For me, after about 4 months I started getting the itch. The itch to do something with my time other than mindless exploring. Because let’s face it, it is mindless. It’s exciting and you’re engaged to a degree but you’re not really using the talents or intelligence you were given.
How Can You Stay Productive?
This is the big question. How can you manage to stay productive enough to make a solid difference in your life?
Keep yourself on top of the topic or topics you’re interested in or have a passion for. It’s so important to remain current in whatever field you ultimately want to work in.
Read books regularly. I read 2–3 types of book a day. 1–2 business or topic specific books and 1 fiction. This keeps me ahead on trends and gives me some useful downtime too.
There is inspiration in everything. Day in day out you’re coming up with ideas. Write them down, keep a notebook, an app, something where you can store your precious ideas.
When inspiration comes let it flow. If you have time, develop the idea you had there and then on the spot. You never know you may have come up with a plan to travel and afford to full time.
This one may not apply to everyone. But I find it helps me hugely. Writing, whether it a journal/diary or just writing about what you love. It’s a fantastic outlet and forces you to use your mind to remember details.
Writing consistently also allows you to build a bank of potentially saleable ideas. You will have a catalogue of your thoughts and epiphanies. This is super important for the day when you want to create your ideal business or rejoining the working world. Banks of ideas are so so important.
Be creative, flex those brains cells. I find creativity to be one of the best things for getting the grey matter working well. Whether it an outlet like Instagram, Twitter, a blog or just somewhere you can express yourself. Make sure you can do it in a manner that gives you complete freedom, nothing to hide.
Creativity for me is massively important. I think this is why I found photography which contains 2 things I love, technology and feeling creative. It’s allowed me to scratch the creative itch. Which if I don’t attend to I end up seriously miserable.
Have a Routine
This one really is key. Let’s be honest, drinking 4–8 pints of beer a night isn’t going to help with that routine. Get into the habit of starting and ending your day the same way. Wake up at the same time, do the same routine. Go to bed the same time roughly (not always possible socially), do the same routine.
My morning routine consists of rising at about 5:30–6am. I check my social media and website analytics over a cup of coffee. Then I hit the books, reading something business related, or that I know I can use to enhance my business or website. I make notes and come up with ideas that I bank for a later date. Following that its exercise, breakfast and a shower. Then I start my to-do list, which I’ve already created ahead of time.
I highly suggest developing a morning routine that works for you. You can experiment with this until you get it just right. You can download your free morning planner.
Night time it’s much simpler, and consists of reading in bed whilst ignoring my phone.
Create a Schedule
If you’re creating content or have another creative outlet, make sure you have a schedule. Put everything in your diary. Or use an online tool such as Asana, Trello, or Evernote to manage and organise your life.
This has by far been the biggest influence on me maintaining my focus. Being able to put down everything I need to do and prioritise it has been key.
It’s important you create your schedule ahead of time. Never do it the morning you need to be getting on with stuff. You’ll likely end up doing crap that doesn’t need doing or that doesn’t add to your endeavours.
Prioritise Your To Do List
It’s so important to maintain a priority with your tasks. Ensure you have only 3 major tasks to complete a day and get them done before you do anything else. Sometimes this make take all day, others only the morning. This allows you to stay focused on what’s truly important and cut out the crap.
It’s amazing how much time we spend doing mindless tasks that add nothing to our businesses. Time is precious, especially when travelling. So if you can get the important things done the pressure is off. You can enjoy your time and afternoon or morning depending on when you work best.
I have struggled for the longest time with what to get stuck into. And where to go with online business ideas. This is due to a number of reasons but mainly the below.
I have a huge issue with motivation. As an ex personal trainer, I use to preach about motivation all the time. The truth is when you have it, great. But what happens when you don’t. I’ve spent a huge portion of my life stressing over the fact that I don’t have the motivation.
Until you realise that motivation is a farce and that discipline wins out every time, you’re destined to fail. Discipline is the one thing that trumps all. And it’s about creating that routine and schedule so that even when you’re not motivated you’re still working.
Being focussed on the task is hard. There are too many distractions, we have our phones now. Which is a gateway to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and every other app that gives us instant information gratification.
By cutting out these distractions. Turning off all notifications so you don’t know someone just followed you or left a comment. You can free yourself of checking every time your phone lights up. This has been another of the biggest things to help my focus.
The million dollar question. What should I be doing? You can spend years of your life asking this question. What should I be doing? What should my business be?
The only way to find out is to do. Write a list of things you love, and your talents. Marry them up and see what comes out. For me, I love to write. I love to inspire people and I love to travel. These have resulted in me finally creating the blog and website that I always should have.
It’s a way for me to express myself, whilst helping other people. Which is also very high on the list of things that I need to do.
I drew a lot of inspiration from a book by Dan Meredith called “How to be F*cking Awesome”. Which really got me out of a hole, I highly recommend reading this bad boy.
I’d love to hear your success stories and failures in the comments below. After all, we can all learn from each other.