Time Management for Digital Nomads
Time Management is the key to focus on your goal. Ask most people who desire to work at home the main reasons for their desire – time and/or money freedom are likely to be at the top of their list. Independent and free-spirited people love the concept of working at home is because they like the idea of working when they want on what they want. Yet, for many of us digital nomads, freelancers and entrepreneurs who already do this, we know that this is a double edged sword.
YES, you can set your own work hours when you work at home but it does NOT mean that you don’t have to have set work hours.
A ‘work when you want’ schedule…or rather, the lack of any work schedule at all, simply will not work.
Working at home can be a very, very good thing. If you are a stay at home parent, you can be at home to see the kids off to school and be at home when they get home. You can put a load of laundry in and it can run through the cycles while you are working. You can have dinner ready before your family comes swarming in like a flock of hungry buzzards. All of those things are real perks that you automatically get when you work at home.
But the reality is especially when you are just starting – working at home can also be a very, very bad and stressful thing. It is imperative that plan your time well and set up a work schedule that you and your family can live with. When you work at home, time is truly of the essence.
You must make very good use of the time that you spend working. If you are not efficient in accomplishing the tasks that must be done, you will either spend too much time working or you will fail miserably at your work at home job or digital nomad business.
You must set up a work schedule for yourself when you work at home and then you must enforce that work schedule for yourself and insist that you family and friends also adhere to your work schedule. So while you are not answering to a boss, you are answering to you which can be far more challenging. If you are new to this digital nomad world, you may have a ton of different things to do and learn and not sure where to begin or what to do next.
A job out where you answer to someone does 3 things which is often overseen for the new work at home business owner; (1) It provides a structure for your day (2) It provides you with set tasks and (3) it tells your family and friends that this is the time you are not available because it is your ‘work/job’ hours.
So let’s discuss the critical thing you need to do to make this lifestyle work for you.
You need to set and follow strict boundaries.
When you have a job that you go to outside your home, you are required to be at that job at a specified time on specified days of the week.
When you have a work at home job or business, you need that same kind of structure of time management.
You need to set regular working hours. The freedom that a work at home job provides is that you can choose the hours…but you do have to choose!
People close to you may not see your work at home job as a “real‟ job. Your spouse might see you as being free to run errands. Your stay-at-home friends might see you as being available for long telephone conversations or lunch.
You can see the problem. If YOU do not schedule your time and abide by your schedule yourself, others will not. Unless you see your work at home job as a REAL job with REAL working hours, your time will be eaten up. You will not accomplish the tasks that you need to accomplish.
You will fail and find yourself out looking for a REAL job unless you see your work at home job as the REAL THING with regular working hours that make you unavailable for other activities.
The best way to accomplish using your time to your own best advantage with your work at home job or business is to make a schedule and tell your family and friends what that schedule is.
At the end of the day, our work/business requires some of our time. And our families and our friends require some of our time. So it’s important to find where that balance is.
Here’s Your Growth Goals
1. Get your email under control:
Turn off alerts; filter your emails by business, social and personal. Checking each and every email account more than once a day can be a time consuming task that you very easily make less time consuming by having all of the email that comes to all of your various email account to come into one gmail account. Email can consume a lot of time. You need to filter the important from the irrelevant and only spend time on those emails that are related to your business
2. Organize your time/tasks by category & blocks:
Use a program such as Airtable to help you organize and prioritize your work day: A scheduled work day is an efficient work day. You will get a lot more done in a lot less time if you know in advance and can see at a glance what task is next on your list. A time table is a visual aid. It can help you allot your time efficiently and productively!
3. Focus on result & income producing activities:
When you make your work day schedule, you need to be certain that the tasks that you schedule are the ones that will in fact make your business grow and thrive. Don’t waste your time, effort and energy on tasks that can be done by others.
I started my entrepreneurial journey as a web developer on a popular freelancing site. After seeing the time my clients was saving and the way their business was growing through outsourcing, I decided to do the same. Take time to research outsourcing. You can add hours to your day each and every day when you outsource the mundane business tasks to others.
You can outsource such tasks as bookkeeping and accounting, web design and coding; ad writing; article and book writing and most anything that can be done virtually. Others can do these tasks better and more efficiently than you can and your time is better spent on growing your business, making new contacts and closing those deals!
4. Kill your TV & Social Networks:
Many of my friends use social networks to find women. And I use social networks to network with entrepreneurs around the world and make business. So as you see no matter the tools you are given, it does not matter if you are not using and leveraging them for growth and to achieve your goals. Save time by eliminating counter-productive and mind numbing activities such as watching fail videos and reality TV shows.
Don’t think you have enough time to work on your business? Keep a time log for the next 7 days. Use a time tracking program such a Toggl.com to see where and how much time you spend on different sites on line. And when you leave your computer, log what you did for the day and how long you spent doing it.
Now don’t misunderstand me. We all need personal and down time to relax our minds and bodies and reinvigorate our spirit. But we can’t be wasteful with our time everyday and be upset when we did not achieve our goals or life dreams.
Time is the most valuable asset we have. Thus it is imperative to nake the very best use of every minute of every day that we possibly can.