Work-Life balance is more important these days than it has ever been, especially as many of us are now working from home. For digital nomads, striking the ideal balance between work and play (or work and rest!) can be a challenge. However, after nearly five years of working remotely, I’ve got much better at managing my digital nomad lifestyle. These are my top 5 tips to help you maintain a healthy work-life balance, no matter where you are in the world.
Build a Business you are Passionate About
Perhaps the most difficult step to a rewarding digital nomad lifestyle is finding work that you are really passionate about. Working day in, day out on something you don’t enjoy or don’t care about is incredibly draining. That’s why I quit my 9 to 5 job in the first place! Equally, turning an enjoyable hobby into a business can quickly suck the joy out of it, so make sure you are ready to take that step.
Think about what you love to do, what drives you and what your long-term goals are. Can you turn your passion into a business? Will it earn you money, without draining the excitement out of it? Or is there something else that you can do while keeping your hobby as a fun and much-needed break from work?
If you need some help narrowing down or developing your ideas, resources such as Tomas Drybala’s courses Build an Athletic Lifestyle Business or Create A Compelling Personal Brand could help you to build the digital nomad lifestyle that you want. Take a look at his courses in more detail here and get a free eBook to get you started.
Have a Plan
Every business will have different successes in different areas. Creating a business plan with goals and actionable steps to achieve them will help you to see the bigger picture while working on the small things.
At the very least have a rough idea of where you want to get to, then you can figure out how to get there. Admittedly, for most creative people having to add structure to your business like this can be a challenge. I am not great at it for sure but when I came up with a vague plan it was much easier to decide what to prioritize.
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Work Smarter, not Harder
Unfortunately, you probably won’t manage to build a successful online business without putting in some hard work. However, don’t assume that you have to work every hour in the day in order to do that.
When you are working, avoid all other distractions you are only focusing on work. Turn off the TV, switch off your phone and turn off notifications. Working for shorter, more intense periods of time can really help you to be more productive and smash through your to-do list.
Work hard, but make sure you are focussing on the right things that will drive your business forward. Using your business plan you can decide whether spending hours perfecting your Instagram captions will help you to gain followers and clients, or that perhaps learning more about SEO and developing your website will be more beneficial.
Take Time Off
In many cases, the worst boss you’ll ever have is you. When you run your own business, it is tempting to spend all day, every day working on it. Checking emails, being present on social media, writing that urgent proposal at midnight on a Friday night…..you get the idea.
However, working all the time is more likely to lead to burn out. You will be exhausted, and resentful when you realise that your business has become your entire life. Make time to relax, do things you enjoy and spend time with friends and family.
Yes, work is important, but your physical and mental health should not suffer because of it. When you do manage to balance your work life and your personal life, you will be happier, healthier and ultimately more successful.
I try to take a couple of days off a week, even if they aren’t two days off together. If you have a partner who is off work at the weekend or on certain days, try to plan your time off together so you can enjoy each other’s company and nurture your relationship.
Alternatively, you may prefer to work every morning then take the afternoons off. Figure out what works best for you and your routine.
Having regular breaks when you are working is also vital to help you to refocus, have time to be creative and to move your body. Set an alarm if needed so you have a break every hour to get up, stretch your legs and stop looking at the screen.
One of the huge benefits to a digital nomad lifestyle is that you can work from anywhere. However, constantly travelling to different places is exhausting at the best of times and trying to juggle a business with new travel and accommodation bookings every few days is exhausting.
Most successful digital nomads find a base for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, where they live, work, and have the chance to explore without having to rush around. I found that once I stopped trying to see and do everything in a couple of days, I was much more productive with my building my blog and business.
Personally, I usually spend alternate days working and exploring. I get tired if I’m out and about all the time, but equally, start to go stir crazy if I’m cooped up for days on end. So, for me, a little bit of both helps me get some much-needed rest and relaxation amid the work.
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For me, my business developed around a hobby, then became a way that I could continue doing what I loved. I loved travelling, so started blogging in the hope that I could earn some money and could keep travelling without having to get a ‘proper’ job.
At first, I had no idea what I was doing, I was just writing a few diary-style blog posts and couldn’t understand why the money wasn’t rolling in. Once I started to think of my blog as a proper business, I dedicated the time, money and resources to it to grow.
I do work hard, but I have had some incredible experiences that I never would have been able to experience in my regular job as a personal assistant. The hard work is definitely worth the freedom and flexibility that a digital nomad lifestyle offers, and now I can relax and take time off without worrying.
So if that’s your dream, I hope these tips can help you on your way. Good luck, and let me know what you get up to!
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