Digital nomad living is something of a mystery to some, while others have jumped in and become a digital nomad themselves with little hesitation. As I recall my time as a digital nomad and one who worked and continues remote work I began to wonder, are there any specific time management skills needed for digital nomad living?
The specific time management skills required for digital nomad living are:
• Skills for arranging business and work schedules and projects
• Skills for local travel and cross-city, country travel arrangements
• Skills for organizing the activities of the day – morning, afternoon and evening programs
• Skills for personal growth and goal setting
Additional skills are needed such as scheduling moves from one country to the next and arranging visas, paperwork and other vital aspects, but for now, we will focus on a few time management skills that a digital nomad must possess to survive in the world of traveling and working at the same time.
TIME MANAGEMENT AS A DISCIPLINE
Time management is a discipline that is designed to help you organize your day. It is the key to productivity and getting things done, and I’ve seen it make significant impacts in many areas of my life. There are lots of different approaches to time management – from complete systems to a very basic to do list. Available are digital tools such as mobile and tablet apps; however, pen and paper still work fine; it is the approach you use in the determination to follow through which makes the most significant impact. Evaluating what system to use is not the focus of this web article, but rather a guide to the types of skills in time management that you might need as a digital nomad.
In terms of discipline and time management, you’ll need the control to do the planning, the implementation, keeping yourself on track when things suddenly change, and it measures how well you did. Of all the disciplines that will help you, learning how to prioritize is one of the most important ones, and I’ll expand upon in the following sections.
BUSINESS AND WORK TIME MANAGEMENT
The time management skills business and work are a combination of learning how to manage project deadlines, organize telephone calls, process emails in a usual way and make calendars and meeting appointments in different time zones. The only way to learn these is often to jump in, start prioritizing and then work out what processes and tools you need to help you along. It is best not to over think things. However, it is easy to get overwhelmed and also easy to be busy but not productive.
Each job you accept has a deadline. If you have multiple projects having different periods, you will have to manage which ones are needed to be dealt with first. Your task list will significantly help you on this one primarily if you’ve categorized your tasks into a “Per Project” set.
A well-organized workspace invites positive energy in your working environment. Keep your physical files handy but don’t let it invade your workspace. Use folders if necessary and organize your schedule accordingly. Your computer is no different; keep your work files separate from your data. Name your folders accordingly and make sure that you save your files inside the proper folder every time.
ONLY USE ONE APP
Specifically for business, many excellent mobile and tablet applications can help you with your time management. Applications like Todoist and Things 3 are just a few of the hundreds available on Android and iOS operating systems. You should use them if it is clear you get to benefit from it. And one extra tip here, only use one app and try to avoid using multiple apps that do the same thing.
TIME MANAGEMENT BEFORE AND DURING TRAVEL
The time management skills you need for your travels differ from your ordinary work time management skills in that they can be more chaotic; on the other hand, you have a lot more decision power to say when where and how will travel. It takes a look at what type of skills before going and also during the travel
A little planning goes a long way, so it might be useful to determine and plan for different types of travel. These different types of travel can be localized journey meaning trip neighboring and villages which can be done in an afternoon or over 1 to 2 days. Longer excursions like to a distant or even to neighboring take a bit more planning and also involve allowing more time for the trips. There’s a lot that you can do beforehand finding out events, and the places that you’re going to off the beaten track sites scheduling the main tourist sites when there are the normal can help you a lot.
During the trip, you don’t have to have a super detailed plan unless that’s the way you like to travel. But an idea of when you’ll arrive, what activities and what time and also the accommodation if needed all needs to be worked out for your trip to succeed. One of the most exciting but challenging things to acquire skill is to build your travel plan as you go and add extra activities to fill up the day or evening. All of this is possible, but it just takes some practice.
How long will you stay? The length of your stay depends on the visa your holding. It can be as short as three months or as long as you want to visit. Some countries do offer self-employment visa so you could remain indefinitely in their territory.
Where will you stay? Do you have relatives you can crash into while you’re in the country or do you plan to stay in a hotel or maybe rent a small room where you can sleep and work? Wherever you go, you must remember that as a digital nomad, our work requires a stable internet connection. Always put that in your checklist before booking your hotel.
What do you need to prepare? Prepare all your documents in advance. Visa, Passport, plane tickets and other vital documents like maybe a medical record if you have allergies. These documents are a must if you are planning to travel.
What about your finances? Finances do not only mean money that is in your bank or your pocket but also to how you will be able to access your earnings while you’re traveling abroad. It can via a bank transfer but be sure that your banks recognized internationally or you can use a third party application like PayPal.
TIME MANAGEMENT FOR THE BUSY DAY
Determine the times you were able to work at your 100% with efficiency and accuracy then think of the factors that caused that kind of productivity in you. Once you’ve identified those factors, you will better understand what it is that makes you tick and perform at your best.
When you are digital nomad, you want to make the best of your day this will mean in practice that you were combining work and adventure travel many days out of the week and even on the weekend. Combining these is not always so easy and the time management skills that are needed are ones that allow you to schedule or organize activities or exercise and relaxation as well as sleep. In the morning, what time will you get up and have time? Will you start work or go on that adventure? That impacts your afternoon plan as well is your evening plan. Perhaps the most vital skill in this is to stay on track with what you have planned.
The best digital nomads that I have met are unbelievably versatile in being able to go from deep work on their Internet business in the morning to jumping on a bus and going across town to go to an event in the afternoon without breaking a sweat. After that, they then coordinate all the logistics to add a few closeby visits to places they haven’t been before and get back home in the evening to go to a beach party. They can do this with ease and confidence. Everyone has a chance to be able to be this type of digital nomad with time management skills, and it just takes practice.
TIME MANAGEMENT FOR PERSONAL GROWTH AND GOAL SETTING
When you’re a digital nomad and have been living for a lengthy period in a different country, it’s a good idea to step back from time to time and look at your long-term goals and personal growth. The skills involved in this are not as quickly seen or urgent like the other time management skillsets, and they are different. For instance, this is the phase or time when you set long-term goals 6-months or 1 year ahead and find ways to incorporate them into your weekly activities. Learning a new language or positioning yourself into a new type of online business takes focused time and also preparation.
Again, some systems cover this. One method, David Allen’s ”Getting Things Done,” suggests you take a look at your long-term goals every week in a ”weekly review” session. The main point here is to indicate that this type of time management needs a different approach and varies from the other types of time management skills.
In conclusion, if you want to get the most out of your digital nomad lifestyle; time management skills are the way to do it. The skills as mentioned above are just some of the important ones that a digital nomad should possess to increase productivity. If you look at it closely, it is mostly all about completing the tasks that need to be completed first and then moving on the next until done. Digital nomads don’t differ from people who have nine to five jobs; they still have deadlines to keep in mind, tasks to schedule and research to do. They have more flexibility in terms of where, when and what work they will do as well as how they do it.
I’m the owner of Digital Nomad Explorer. I’ve traveled to over 50 countries and been an expat in Scotland, Finland, and China. I was a digital nomad while having my own robotics company and traveled throughout Europe and China working remotely. Currently, I’m location independent with a home base in Kirkkonummi, Finland.