One of the best perks of having an online business is the fact that you get to set your own schedule. Whether you’re working as a digital nomad influencer, posting selfies of your adventures, using the right Instagram hashtags to get the most likes, or as a freelance copywriter, writing for brands like Juul e-cigarettes, you can live anywhere you want in the world. And even if you’re already enjoying a perfect life in Bali, you’re still going to spend some days traveling to nearby countries like Thailand and Australia. But since you’re working online, creating your own schedule, how do you balance the fabulous travel life with your online business responsibilities?
For anyone looking to balance the two, here are some strategies on how to have fun and stay responsible at the same time:
1 Make sure you have wifi
Whatever the hostel reviews say, you never know what you’re going to encounter the second you arrive. Maybe there’s a problem with the connection today, or the bill hasn’t been paid by the building owner, and all of a sudden you’re disconnected. And it’s late at night, which means that none of the wifi-powered cafes nearby have that connection you so need to finish up that important work project that’s due in less than 24 hours.
Even though 71 percent of broadband households in the US now have wi-fi or Apple airports, that doesn’t mean that the numbers are so high in the rest of the world. And when the rest of the world is your office, you don’t want to rely on it being available. So in addition to staying at remote worker-friendly hostels, consider investing in a mobile hotspot (you can check out the best ones here).
2 Be prepared for offline work
Even if you’ve got a mobile hotspot, that doesn’t mean there won’t be times when you can work offline. Think about the hours you spend on planes, where you’re forced to operate in airplane mode, or maybe you’ve gone away to the beach, without your laptop or hotspot, when you’re suddenly struck by a great idea you have to write down. According to The Balance, one great solution to this is carrying around a pen and journal with you at all times–just in case. Considering there will be 1 billion digital nomads in the world by 2035, you aren’t going to be the only person on the beach scribbling furiously into your Moleskine.
Being prepared is also important in this case. If you’re going on a six-hour flight and you need to complete writing work that includes citations of other articles, consider opening up the tabs you think you’ll need on your computer beforehand, so that you won’t have to log on to complete research. The more you travel, the more practice you’ll get to working offline, and you’ll know how to prepare.
3 Create a schedule that works for you
You don’t want to be miserable, however, while you’re traveling–so you’ll want to create a schedule that works for you. Want to spend one day sightseeing? Then organize your work for the evening. Want to spend a night in your hostel bed watching movies like People You May Know because you’re feeling a little under the weather? Then make sure you get your work done during the day–and if you’re a freelancer, honestly it’s always a good idea to give yourself a buffer of one or two days off every time you’re traveling, in case there’s a missed flight that keeps you up all night or an unexpected illness.
Be aware as well of what gets you motivated. With the temptations of historical museums to visit and fellow hostel-mates begging you to go out drinking with them every night, you have to find the right strategies to get your work done efficiently. One tip? Turn off your phone. Another tip? Invest in high-end noise-canceling headphones. And remember to exercise–exercising for only 20 minutes benefits your mood for the next 12 hours, which is sure to get you motivated.
4 Don’t forget to have fun
What will kill motivation the most is not allowing yourself to have fun. So even though you may be working 24/7 when you’re back home (wherever that home may be), you want to give yourself time to really enjoy this new place when you’re traveling. It’s worth not looking at emails for a day, and if you’re working for a remote employer, ask for an actual day off (or two or three).
According to a study from Expedia, “59 percent of travellers have a friend or family member join them for all or part of a business trip”–and you don’t want to leave that person hanging, do you? Or keep yourself from making friends while traveling? After all, that’s probably a large reason why you decided this was the lifestyle for you in the first place, so that you could see the rest of the world. So don’t forget how much that matters.
As you can see, there are some great strategies you can use to achieve a work-life balance while traveling–it’s all about understanding how to best plan your time and give yourself the time you need for both work and fun.