Top Tips on How to Stay Focused When Working and Travelling Abroad
In 2018, the lure of being a digital nomad has never been more appealing - as expected job insecurity in western work sectors in the near future is driving a generation of digital workers out of the office and onto the road. The Lanzarote experts from Optima Villas are familiar with such changes to the working landscape, and below, they’ve outlined some tips to help ensure those brave enough to pack up their belongings and head into the unknown don’t have to swiftly return due to a lack of focus.
1. Pack responsibly
Remember: you’re working abroad - not on a constant holiday. This means you need to be careful of what you pack and what you decide to leave at home - so try to pack light and only bring the essentials. A couple of outfit changes will be enough, while bulkier items can probably be left at home.
It’s also a good idea to be conscious of bringing items which may be difficult to replace. Purchasing a non-licensed laptop charger can damage your hardware, so it’s best to bring an official spare one with you - the same goes for your phone charger, too. Additionally, remember that you will become accustomed to the climate, so make sure you have appropriate clothing - no matter where you’re travelling to!
With technological advancements in the past decade making laptops equally as powerful as desktop computers, workers are no longer confined to a desk and power source. What’s more, the WiFii connection at a beach bar in Vietnam is likely to be just as strong as the shared broadband in your fully-serviced office unit in the UK.
One of the easiest ways to lose focus is by losing your temper. When hardware fails us and laptops and spreadsheets stop working to our requirements, we often see red mist and put our work aside for another time. Avoid device-related stress by purchasing a modern laptop prior to your trip and protect it with a sturdy case and insurance.
3. Stick to set working hours
It’s easy to forget about work when you’re surrounded by hundreds of swimsuit-clad peers enjoying the sand, sea and sunshine. Remember, to maintain this dream lifestyle, you need to balance out your leisure time with hard work. Otherwise, this pipedream might just be another holiday.
Wake up early to beat the rush and give yourself more free time in the evening - or if you work better at night, ensure you’re not prone to distraction and put in a full shift of work. In general, aim for between 6 and 9 hours of work a day and try to avoid busier areas with loud music and lots of people. Find a quiet spot with plenty of shade and a power source nearby to charge any electricals.
4. Keep to a calendar
If you’re debating this life change, chances are you’re an outgoing character, an extrovert seeking out new adventures and experiences. It also means you’re likely to be quite open to other suggestions and you might find it difficult to say no when temptation and distraction comes your way.
Try to plan ahead and make a calendar with designated social activities outlined so that the fear of missing out on a party is greatly reduced when you know you’ve got a festival penned in for the following weekend. It’s important to have some leeway though, so leave some space for both unexpected work and spontaneous leisure time.
5. Consider time zones
One of the biggest advantages to working and travelling abroad is the freedom, in many cases, to delegate your own working hours. This can be abused though - think about how many times have you left a project to the last minute. You should avoid this at all costs when working abroad, as your client or employer may take some time getting back to you.
If you decide you’re going to work remotely in a different time zone and your employer or client is in the UK, any deadlines they set you must be completed within their hours, rather than yours. By adopting the use of a team collaboration software tool such as Slack or a telecommunications application like Skype, you can keep in touch around the clock.
To ensure your deadlines are met within their allocated time, a great tip is to use the alarm function on your smartphone. Leave clear, detailed memos and reminders upon receiving tasks and projects and you can rest assured knowing you’ve taken the suitable precautions. If you follow all of the above, your future career as a digital nomad may just be your favourite role yet!