Choices, choices – time and the Digital Nomad

When you are living in a place where you go to work every day at a physical institution, you naturally develop rhythms and patterns of time that allow work to take place in predictable and trustworthy patterns. For example, you have meetings you can schedule that will allow you to move an agenda forward.  And you have people around you working specific hours of the day offering their job structured services.  Finally, you can craft a to-do list that fits the hours you have available in your office, giving some assurance you will get them done before you close your office door and head home for a (scheduled) dinner.

But what happens when you are either traveling or living in a place where you don’t have those natural work rhythms and patterns to structures, because you are a Digital Nomad?

This is where it gets interesting.  You have to take full conscious responsibility for your work habits, patterns, and responsibilities.

Right. Better get on that.

Digital Nomad – Wrinkle #2:  Doing interesting things while traveling and living geographically free means that you are always being tempted to do things other than work.  Climb a volcano or assess a grad paper?  Hang out chatting with interesting people or reply to work emails?  Live now with the results of your work or work now to generate the results that will allow you to live more freely later?

As I am just learning how to find the right balance, I don’t have a depth of advice to offer. What I do know is to really understand your work and life priorities at any one point in time and ensure that the highest priority rules the moment.  Planning doesn’t really work well. “Flow” does…

Digital Nomad – Delight #2:  Contrast.  Wow, traveling and living the Digital Nomad lifestyle gives you amazing contrast to work with. Want to judge a person you work online with harshly? Taking a look around where you are right now and seeing the realities of life that most people live puts you quickly into a place of humility and consideration of the reality of the person you are working online with.

Feeling that you deserve more money for the work you are doing? One glance at the lack of opportunity, little pay, and harsh  working conditions of most people in the world will straighten out your thinking real quick.

Thinking that something you want to create online has already been done and there is too much competition?  Most of the world is just ramping up their use of the internet.  The question is not one of competing in first-world online contexts, but of finding international markets that are yet to develop or are yet under-served. There are thousands of these available.  Any field, any language, any scale.

Finally, think you deserve to take the morning off to play? Take one glance right now at the person near you who is working 10 hours a day at a repetitive, boring job – for a pittance.

Right.  So, what’s my priority this morning and what do I want to create with it?

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