Some thoughts on productivity as a digital nomad.

Back in February 2018, I left a full time job to chase my dreams. By doing this, I have become somewhat happier: I live a more exciting life and have more time for my creative hobbies that give my life a purpose. The problem is that I still have a hard time to focus on the things I want to see succeeding. Let me explain why.

Third party factors vs. Self-willingness.

With such a mobile workstation, productivity should never be an issue

Let’s face it, I haven’t achieved as much as I wish I did a few months back. I would use many third party factors or excuses to justify it.

“I need a good environment”

Wrong, you’ve had a private desk and an internet connection all along. What you need is setting priorities and stick to that. Moving back home could remove some of the temptations, but self willingness is stronger than temptations in any environment.

“I want to meet mentors who could help me out”

Wrong, no one’s gonna do it for you in the first place. Even if inspiring people are great and can keep you motivated, you are the one who will make things evolve and the one who has to reach out to mentors if you are willing to network. As Simon Sinek said, you have to learn to ask for help. Another issue is, since it’s a really specific field (music production and travel film making), it’s a bit hard to find peers to grow with, especially when you decide you change from location every couple of months.

“Moving to a new place is tiring and exciting at the same time”

Even though it is true that living somewhere new can shift your focus to other things, it is a bit of an excuse for laziness. I am the one accountable for my actions and should be able to set priorities if I want to evolve. Period.

But with a part time remote job, that cannot be an excuse. The funny thing is that I use to be more productive when I first started my full time job, because I was scared that this schedule would make me give up on my interests.

The fear of failure or the no guarantee of results prevent me from putting effort into something.

Guess what: you’re gonna die anyway. As Steve Jobs said, remembering that is the best way to avoid thinking you have anything to lose. Especially when you have financial safety and enough free time to make it happen. It’s time to exit the holiday mode and get into productive mode. And when it come to creative hobbies, it is always worth the investment, simply because worst case scenario: you’ll have created things and memories. In my case, awesome movies and pictures of my trips, words to reflect on years later and a soundtrack that comes with it.

I won’t do it unless it’s urgent or rather, important.

I have previously stated that I only do things when I’m forced to, or when I’m extremely excited about them. It’s procrastination in the first case, and lack of motivation in the second.

Important things are on the long run, and should be the ones to focus on instead of the urgent ones. I’m grateful to have a work life balance in order to be able to do so.

Speaking of important things, my biggest dream is to turn my creative interests into something big. But for this to happen, I have to be excited about them. I remember spending the summer in the basement producing Drum & Bass music while other people would go on trips with their friends. I would attend a few music festivals and spend a lot of time alone. I was passionated.

Now, things have changed. I’m catching up on the trips with friends part while my interests suffer from it. I guess part of me has to start enjoying my alone time again. It is time to create new addictive habits and get rid of some useless ones.

Final thoughts

Travel in a sustainable way was the first step. The second is to have a purpose

After 6 months travelling in 6 countries, living in 3 big cities and making somewhat enough money to do so, I realised I was happier, but not fulfilled.

I have decided that some things shouldn’t be part of my life anymore and should be replaced by others:

  • Browsing social media feeds vs. reading meaningful posts/watching online courses and tutorials.
  • Meeting up with too many new people vs spending time with a few quality people and start enjoying his alone time again.
  • Spending the day on screens vs. exercising to be energised and then more focused for personal and client work.
  • Drinking a beer at the end of the day vs. enjoying a drink as a reward once something personal is done. Principle of delayed vs instant gratification.

I hope that writing this down will give me another reason to commit, and most important, will give me a place to reflect within a few months.

If you have any productivity tips or ressources, I’d be happy to read them below.


3 thoughts on “Some thoughts on productivity as a digital nomad.

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