A bright sunny day and clear blue sea greet me as I sit down to write my blog. Sipping a blue mojito, my head is swirling with endless thoughts and ideas waiting to materialize on paper. Caught up in the moment, I suddenly feel a tap on my shoulders. I turn around to find my boss staring at me. What in the world is he doing here?
Like when the clock struck 12 and Cinderella’s carriage turned back to a pumpkin, the bright sun turned into a yellow overhead light, the clear blue sea into my laptop screen saver, and the blue mojito into a pen I was chewing. And my boss, well..he was still my boss. Back to reality! I was of course daydreaming about working from my favorite location.
Do you often lapse into such dreams — when writing a code, or designing web pages? If yes, then you, my friend, are looking to be a Digital Nomad! You share the dream with a thousand others to build a location independent career, so you can live and work wherever you want to.
As exciting as it may sound, it’s not easy to pack your bags and march out on the journey of a lifetime and still make a decent wage. If you are looking to get out of the 9-5 routine, here are a few things which you need to keep in mind to balance your work and nomadic life:
1. Passion for your work
Most important of all – you should be passionate about what you do. Be it writing, photography or graphic design, if you have the yen for it, then it won’t matter where you do it from. Master your skills before you set out on the journey, so it’s easy to work from anywhere without much help.
2. Bring your files to the cloud
One major pitfall that can affect your work when traveling is being unorganized. Given the limited time you have to get your work done, you can’t spend much of it searching for email attachments or updated files. To ease this burden, upload all your files to your cloud account, so everything you need is in one place. If you have a good WiFi connection, then you are set to start working anytime you want.
3. Don’t depend on emails
Time is of great value when working from different locations. You might want to go skating or bungee jumping right after you send the files to your client. Sending it via email attachment can prolong the process. To top it off, if your client’s email is full or swamped, it might even go unnoticed. You can avoid such plights by sharing your files instead of mailing them. Share your files as links with your client and have them viewed within minutes. No waiting for the mail to arrive, or attachments to be downloaded.
4. Stay in touch with your team
While most digital nomads work independently, there might be situations when you have to interact with your clients for reviews or your offshore team to get work done. Also, you might need input from your local contacts to complete your work. Such tasks can be easily managed even when you are sipping coffee lying in your hammock. Collaborate online in real-time with your teammates sitting across the world and get feedback right away.
5. Keep yourself WiFi independent
The main purpose of living a nomadic life is to be free from all attachments. But what happens when you are frequently running to cafes or restaurants to get a WiFi connection to do your work? Then, be it on the sandy beaches of the Bahamas, or the towering mountains of the Alps, you are still glued to your corporate lifestyle. Store your files offline, so even if there is no internet, you always have your files with you to work from anywhere.
6. Be in control
You might be free spirited, but you still have to depend on other people to get your work done like file reviews, document approvals, and so on. With lots of activities clogging your calendar, it might be difficult to keep everything in order. You need to create a smooth workflow which will ease the process of your work. One solution? Try assigning tasks to specific people who have to review your work, and set specific deadlines. That way you don’t have to keep reminding them since the task notification will do that for you. Adding tasks for yourself might be helpful too, especially if you are a bit of a procrastinator.
Inspired? Then what are you waiting for! Get the perfect job, pack your bags, and set out on a journey that redefines your workplace! While you are at it, let me get back to my mojito and the lovely sea view.
P.S: Here’s a collection of exciting destinations for you to get started! We’d also love to hear some of your travel stories, please share them below and inspire others!