Working on the road is challenging as it is. But if your livelihood depends on your productivity, it’s a whole another task to tackle. Here are some traveler hacks to being productive while working on the road!
I’ve been a freelance graphic designer, online course creator and blogger for more than three years. And I have just as long experience of combining my work with living and traveling abroad.
Through these years, I’ve gathered several productivity hacks you might find useful if you’re planning to hit the road as a digital nomad.
Traveler hacks to being productive while working on the road
Most of my experience is based on slow long-term traveling which means living in one country for at least several months. But I’ve used these productivity hacks to keep working on a month-long road trip through Europe as well as shorter travels like several week trips or in the process of moving from one country to another.
HACK #1 Plan in advance
Any travels, whether it’s a short-term trip or a long-term move involve several activities and must-do’s we can already predict in advance and schedule in our plan.
Here are some things you can think about:
- Are you going on a long flight? If so, plan to work on the plane and prepare all you might need to get things done in case the internet won’t be available (which is mostly always from my experience);
- Plan to have your arrival/departure days free of work. While it’s not impossible to squeeze in a task or two in between packing your bags and running for a bus, it will be way less stressful if you can keep these days duty free;
- Could you have a lack of internet for a day or two? Warn your clients of your availability or make sure to gather all the necessary files for working offline.
I definitely didn’t follow this advice myself when I went to live on an island for 10 days with a new computer (and lack of files within it). I could’ve saved myself tons of struggles with a more eager planning.
HACK #2 Keep your focus straight
While having a clear focus is important in any business venture, it’s even more important to have this clarity when you’re working on the road.
Before leaving your house, make sure to clarify all MUST do’s and eliminate the rest.
- The first step would be to clarify your goals for the period of time when you’ll be traveling. Whether it’s a month or more, understand what are the most important things you really need to accomplish within this timeframe.
- Afterward, eliminate or outsource the rest. If your to-do list includes tasks like social media scheduling, filling out templates or any other less creative task to do, make sure to find some help. While it can be an additional monetary investment, your time and experiences abroad are much more worth it!
- If possible – don’t take on any new projects for this period of time or, at least, your travel days. Working with new clients or on new tasks require extra attention from you. It’s a whole new process of planning, cooperating, making sure everything is working as expected.
HACK #3 Know your travel routines
When working on the road, it’s important to adjust your schedule not only to your availability but also to your travel routines.
For example, if you know you’ll be exhausted after a full day of walking, don’t plan to do most of your work right afterward.
This hack has been a huge help to me. I already know that I should plan separate days for working only or do the most important things before heading out because a long day of active traveling, whether it’s moving or exploring, exhausts me SO much. I’m rarely able to get out of the bed afterward.
It might be the other way around for you. Therefore, if you’re just starting your nomad journey, make sure to explore what works the best for you and give yourself some time to adjust.
HACK #4 Follow the weather forecast
One of my personal favorite activities is following the weather forecast. And while we might not share this hobby, it’s still a very useful thing to do when you’re traveling.
If you do this, you can easily manage to schedule your work around the upcoming forecast and your activity preferences.
- If the forecast is predicting a sunny weekend, focus on wrapping up your to-do lists until then.
- If you see a dose of rainy evenings, go ahead and schedule them as your working hours.
For me, the weather outdoors is rather important when I’m traveling around. It’s rarely as fun to explore the surroundings when the weather is horrifying. Therefore, I use the option to work my schedule around it.
It won’t be fully precise at all times and in some places, sunny summer days can last for months so this method might not work as good. But it’s still nice to be prepared when possible.
HACK #5 Get in the zone
This is yet another tip you might find helpful not only for the working on the road but also in a day to day life, no matter where you’re at.
Getting in the zone would be all about preparing a legit workspace, shutting off from people around, maybe leaving your phone in another room, putting on headphones and REALLY GETTING TO WORK.
Working on the road usually could give you only short time periods to have focused work so it’s especially important to get in the zone and get the work done instead of procrastination.
How this getting in the zone looks for you depends on your own preferences and what you need to get the job done. But one part of this is important no matter the situation – always get rid of the distractions!
Having more money and more time to travel is what motivates me to actually stay productive while working on the road. It’s my best inspiration for clearing up my goals, staying focused and getting in the zone.
Therefore, the last but not least hack is to really keep your motivation straight, maybe even keep it right in front of your however that might be possible. Plan a nice evening out after a hard day of work. Give yourself the pleasure of guilt-free weekend trips instead of staying in just because of your to-do list.