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As working nomads, every day is an opportunity to craft your perfect work-life balance in an exciting new place. No two days are the same, and that’s the beauty of this lifestyle. I’ve been living and working from anywhere for over three years now, and in that time, I’ve discovered a few tricks to designing an ideal day as a nomad. The key is staying flexible while maintaining focus.
Some days start with an early morning walk to a coffee shop to get a jump on work. Other days begin with a yoga class at the beach to energize my mind and body. I may spend the afternoon co-working at a trendy shared space or working solo in my rental. Evenings are for exploring the local culture, whether that means a home-cooked meal with new friends or watching the sunset from a rooftop bar.
The nomadic life isn’t for everyone, but the rewards are endless if you crave freedom and adventure. With the right mindset and routine, you can achieve an optimal balance of productivity and play. Here are my tips for crafting your perfect day as a working nomad.
Wake Up Early and Get Some Exercise
As a part of the family of working nomads, I’ve found that starting my day early and exercising is vital to productivity and work-life balance.
- Wake up around 6 AM. I know it’s early, but the mornings are my most productive time. I start by drinking water, stretching light, and stepping outside for fresh air.
- Go for a walk or jog. Getting the blood pumping wakes up my mind and body. Even just 20-30 minutes of walking around the neighborhood or on a treadmill does the trick. It’s a great way to explore the area if I’m in a new city.
- Do some yoga. After my walk, I like to do a short yoga routine, around 10-15 minutes. It helps center my mind and loosens my muscles before sitting to work. Videos on YouTube are perfect for this.
- Shower and have breakfast. A shower, a healthy breakfast, and a cup of coffee or tea prepare me for the day ahead. I include protein, fat, and carbs for sustained energy.
- Start work by 9 AM. With exercise and breakfast done, I’m focused and ready to dive into my work. I get so much more accomplished in the mornings when I start early.
As working nomads, days can easily blend together, so having a bit of routine and structure is essential. Waking up at the same time each day, exercising, and maintaining a regular work schedule helps combat burnout and keep me motivated. The flexibility to work from anywhere is impressive, but without some self-discipline, it’s easy to feel unproductive or isolated. An energizing start to the day and consistency set the right cadence for me. How will you build your perfect day?
Find a Productive Workspace
For working nomads, finding a good workspace is critical to productivity. I’ve tried my fair share of options over the years and have a few recommendations:
Co-working spaces are popular for good reasons. They provide stable WiFi, printing, meeting rooms, and, most importantly, a dedicated space to work. Many have daily or monthly rates, so you can try a few to find one that suits your needs. I prefer spaces with natural light, standing desks, and a casual vibe.
Public libraries are a go-to for me. They’re free, quiet, and often open for extended hours. I find local libraries and get a temporary library card for each place I visit. The only downside is they typically need the amenities of a co-working space. But with a laptop, hotspot, and headphones, I can work for hours productively.
Cafes are ideal for everyday work or meetings. I aim for cafes with many seating, outlets, and a chill ambiance. If I buy something every couple of hours, I can post with my laptop for an entire workday. The background noise and bustle help me focus, though it may only suit some. The biggest perk of cafes is enjoying a good coffee or snack while you work!
Parks and public spaces are perfect on lovely days. I find a shady spot under a tree, on a bench, or at a picnic table. Being outside in nature rejuvenates me and helps spark new ideas. The downside is relying on public WiFi or your phone’s hotspot and unpredictable weather. But for light work or a quick break, parks can’t be beaten.
The key for working nomads is trying out all the options and figuring out what environments help you focus and feel inspired. Of course, mixing it up based on your tasks, mood, and location keeps things interesting too. The perfect workspace for you is out there—you have to go find it!
Connect With Other Working Nomads
Many working nomads, try to connect with others with a similar lifestyle can help combat feelings of isolation and provide valuable tips for overcoming challenges. I’ve found several ways to build connections with fellow working nomads:
Use co-working spaces
Co-working spaces are a great place to connect with other location-independent workers. Discuss with someone at the coffee station or join a networking event. Many co-working spaces have Slack channels and Facebook groups you can join to connect with others remotely.
Attend meetups and events.
Search for working nomad meetups, co-working meetups, or meetups related to your line of work in the city you’re staying in. These events are full of like-minded people and a perfect opportunity to make new friends. Exchange business cards and stay in touch with people you click with.
Join online communities
There are many active communities for working nomads and remote workers on platforms like Facebook, Slack, and Reddit. Post introductions, share tips, ask questions, and engage with others. Some of my favorite groups are:
- Digital Nomad Girls – A group for women working remotely and traveling. Full of helpful advice and meetups around the world.
- Remote Year – They have channels for each work and travel program cohort. Even if you didn’t participate in Remote Year, the alum channels are open for networking and connecting with nomads.
- Nomad List – They have a popular Slack group with different channels for locations, jobs, and hobbies. It’s an easy way to connect with nomads all over the world.
Making an effort to build connections with other working nomads, both online and in person, helps combat the potential downsides of a nomadic lifestyle. Share knowledge, swap travel tips, collaborate, or even grab a coffee – nurturing a solid community will enrich your experience as a digital nomad.
Set Daily Work Priorities and Tasks
As working nomads, setting clear priorities and mapping out your daily tasks is vital to staying productive and avoiding burnout. Here are some tips for building your perfect workday:
Set 3 Top Priorities Each Day
Focus on what matters by choosing 3 high-impact priorities to accomplish each day. For me, that usually includes:
- Working on my most important project or client work
- Connecting with critical colleagues or clients
- Handling essential admin tasks like invoicing or scheduling
Everything else can wait. This approach helps avoid distraction and ensures I make progress on meaningful work.
Block Time For Deep Work
Plan time each day for focused, uninterrupted work. My most productive time as a writer is in the morning, so I block 2-3 hours for “deep work” on my top priorities. Then, I turn off notifications, find a quiet space, and dive in. Identify when you’re most focused and schedule important work during those periods.
Take Regular Breaks
While deep work is essential, frequent breaks are also necessary to recharge and renew your mental focus. I take short breaks every 90 minutes, stepping away from my workstation to stretch, grab a snack, or stare out the window! Keep your breaks to 15-20 minutes to avoid getting off track.
End Your Day With Buffer Time
As working nomads, your workday only ends when you close your laptop. There are always more emails to answer or loose ends to tie up. Use 30-60 minutes of “buffer time” at the end of your workday to handle any remaining tasks so you can genuinely unplug in the evening. You’ll rest easier knowing your priorities are handled.
Following these tips, you can build a balanced workday as a nomad that fuels productivity, avoids burnout, and leaves time to enjoy your location independence. The key is being intentional about how you spend your time and learning what works for your priorities, work style, and energy levels. With practice, you’ll be crafting your perfect workday in no time!
Take Advantage of Your Flexible Schedule
As a working nomad, one of the biggest perks is having a flexible schedule. No more rush hour traffic or set 9-to-5 workdays. You’re free to plan your time as you like. Here are some ways I take full advantage of my flexible schedule:
Wake Up When I Want
One of my favorite parts of the nomad life is waking up naturally without an alarm. I go to bed when I’m tired and wake up when my body is rested. Some days that’s 7 AM; others are closer to 9. Not jumping out of bed to beat the morning commute is so freeing.
Take Longer Breaks
If I feel burnt out or unproductive, I allow myself to take a more extended break. That could be an entire afternoon off to hike, read a book, or relax. Sometimes stepping away from work for a few hours is all I need to recharge and renew my motivation. As a nomad, no one is monitoring how long my breaks are or whether I’m away from my laptop. I can work at my own pace.
Travel During Off-Peak Times
One of the best parts of location independence is avoiding crowds, especially when traveling between places. I often opt to travel midweek or shoulder season when rates are lower, and destinations are less busy. Traveling Tuesday through Thursday or April/May and September/October means fewer people, shorter lines, and more peace and quiet. I get to enjoy destinations without big weekends or summer crowds.
Take Advantage of Time Zones
As a digital nomad, I frequently work with clients and teams in different time zones. While this can present challenges, it also allows me opportunities. For example, I may start work earlier if I have a morning meeting with European clients. But then I finish earlier, too, freeing up my afternoon. I can also work at night for US-based clients and take more time off during the day when I want. The flexibility to shift my schedule around is ideal for a nomadic lifestyle.
The freedom of nomad life allows endless possibilities for crafting your perfect day. Make the schedule that works for you, not the other way around. Take longer breaks when needed, travel in the off-season, and use time zones to your advantage. Build the day you want as a working nomad.
Explore Your Surroundings
As a working nomad, it’s easy to get caught up grinding away at your work tasks and miss out on exploring your surroundings. Schedule time each day to discover the place you’re visiting. After all, that’s one of the main benefits of the nomadic lifestyle!
Get outside and walk around.
Stroll around the neighborhood you’re staying in and see what you discover. Look for local shops, cafes, parks, or anything else that catches your eye. Walking is a great way to get exercise and fresh air after being cooped up working. You never know what hidden gems you might stumble upon.
Do some sightseeing.
Check out the top attractions in the city or town you’re staying in. This could be museums, historical sites, natural landmarks, or whatever that place is known for. Even just visiting one sightseeing spot can give you a better sense of the local culture and history. If you have time, a guided tour is a great option to learn about the area from an expert.
Strike up conversations.
Chat with people you encounter in coffee shops, restaurants, or wherever you frequent. Ask them for recommendations on things to see and do, places to eat, or any tips for getting around. Locals always know the best spots. Engaging with people in the community helps combat feelings of isolation and expands your network. You never know when a new connection might lead to an opportunity.
Sample the local cuisine.
Try popular foods, drinks, and dishes unique to that region. Food is a beautiful way to experience a new culture. Ask your Airbnb host or search online for traditional meals and where to find them. Or walk around until you find a restaurant that smells amazing! Expanding your palate and discovering new flavors are all part of the adventure.
Building in time for exploration and discovery will make your nomadic experience much more fulfilling. While work is important, remember to feed your curiosity about the world around you. Get out there and see what you can find! The memories you make will stay with you long after you’ve moved on to your next destination.
Learn and Improve Your Skills
As a working nomad, continuous learning and improving your skills is essential. Setting aside time daily dedicated to learning has been crucial to my success and growth.
Take online courses
There are so many accessible or affordable courses online these days. I take at least one month of courses to build new skills. Some of my favorites are Udemy, Coursera, and Udacity. The courses range from coding and web design to business and productivity.
Reading is one of the best ways to gain new knowledge and perspectives. I aim to read one book weekly on my work or personal development topics. Some books that are most impactful for me as a working nomad include The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss, Rework by Jason Fried, and The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau.
Listen to podcasts
Podcasts are a great way to learn on the go. I listen to podcasts when exercising, cooking, or doing chores. My favorite educational podcasts include The Tim Ferriss Show, Entrepreneurs on Fire, and The GaryVee Audio Experience. The various topics covered in these shows provide constant inspiration and actionable advice.
Take notes and review
I take good notes to fully absorb new information from the resources I’m learning from. I write key takeaways, lessons learned, and ideas in a digital notebook. Reviewing these notes helps strengthen my memory and understanding of the concepts. Over time, I’ve built up a valuable body of knowledge that I can refer back to repeatedly.
Continuous learning and improving your skills requires dedication and consistency. But by making learning a daily habit and utilizing the resources available, you’ll gain valuable knowledge and insights to help you work smarter and more efficiently. So keep learning – it will fuel your growth and success as a working nomad.
Make Time for Yourself
As a working nomad, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and forget to make time for yourself. But self-care is essential to avoid burnout, recharge your creativity, and sustain your motivation and productivity.
Take regular breaks
Give yourself permission to take breaks when you need them. Step away from your work for at least 30 minutes daily to rest your mind. Do some light exercise like yoga or go for a walk outside. Your work will still be there when you return, and you’ll return rejuvenated.
Disconnect from technology
Make a habit of unplugging from your devices for a few hours each evening. Read a book, cook a meal, call a friend, or pursue a hobby. Give your mind a break from the constant stimulation of emails, social media, and work projects. Disconnecting at night helps you sleep better and starts your day off fresh.
Reflect and reassess
Set aside time each week to reflect on what’s working and not working in your routine. See if there are any tasks you can streamline or eliminate. Review your priorities and ensure you’re spending enough time on the things that matter to you. Then, tweak your schedule to build more free time and avoid burnout.
Socialize and connect
As a digital nomad, real-life social interaction can be complicated. Make an effort to connect with other people in person when possible. Strike up a conversation with someone at a coffee shop, join a local meetup group, or suggest a video call with friends or family back home. Social solid bonds will make you happier, healthier, and better equipped to handle the stresses of working remotely.
Putting your own needs first is essential to thriving as a working nomad. Build self-care into your routine and make the time to rest, unplug, reflect, and connect. Your work and well-being will benefit as a result. Staying in tune with yourself and maintaining a balanced lifestyle is vital to sustaining your motivation and productivity over the long run.
End Your Day With a Routine
As a working nomad, ending your day with a consistent routine is critical to maintaining work-life balance and avoiding burnout. For me, the perfect end to a productive day involves:
Unplugging from technology
After a full day of video calls, emails, and staring at screens, I try to unplug. I turn off all electronics at least an hour before bed and avoid looking at bright screens. This helps my mind unwind and signals to my body that it’s time to rest.
A relaxing bedtime ritual
Having a calming pre-sleep routine helps me relax into a restful slumber. I like to take a warm shower or bath, read a book, listen to a podcast, or do light stretching. Keeping the lights dim and avoiding stressful activities during this time is essential. I aim to be in bed around the same time each night to maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
Reflecting on wins and planning for tomorrow
Before falling asleep, I like to reflect on the day’s accomplishments and think about priorities for tomorrow. This helps provide closure for the day and gives my mind direction for when I wake up. I jot down any critical to-do’s or deadlines in a notebook by my bedside.
Giving myself time to rest
As working nomads, we need to be disciplined about getting enough rest. Most experts recommend 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night for adults. I aim for at least 8 hours of sleep to feel well-rested and productive. Some nights I go to bed a bit earlier, especially if I have an important day ahead. Our work and well-being depend on the rest we give our bodies and minds.
Establishing a calming and consistent end-of-day routine has been essential for my success and sustainability as a working nomad. Unplugging from technology, relaxing, reflecting, and resting adequately ensures I can wake up refreshed and ready to take on the next day. So what steps do you take to end your day well? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks!
So there you have it, my tips for crafting your perfect day as a working nomad. Finding the right balance of work and play that fuels your productivity and passion is vital. Don’t be afraid to break from routine and embrace the freedom of nomadic living. Wake up in a new place, work in an inspiring co-working space or coffee shop, take that midday yoga class, cook a healthy meal, and end the day watching the sunset from your balcony. The world is open to you, so take advantage of all it offers. Nomadic life isn’t for everyone, but it can be gratifying if you have an adventurous spirit and the discipline to get your work done. So get out there and start building your perfect day, one destination at a time!
Having time for yourself, to think, to heal, will help you stay focus on your other tasks and also set your priorities. Learn more about it on this article.