How to Stay Productive While Traveling

High productivity is challenging for anybody, even if you work from the same space every day.

And if you’re running your business while traveling the world - it can be difficult to find a consistent workflow.

Sure, you get the luxury of location independence, however, you also have to be prepared to work around obstacles that may get in the way of your productivity.

Lucky for you, we rounded up a list of 9 work efficiency tricks from fellow digital nomads + remote working professionals. (We’re digging tip #6.)

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1. Use the Pomodoro Technique.

Nothing says “get on it!” like a ticking clock. If you haven’t heard of this time management method, the Pomodoro Technique uses a timer to break down tasks into 25 minute intervals. After each work interval, take a 5-minute break. Repeat this process a few times and then take a longer break (15-30 minutes) before the next work interval. ⏰

The goal is to stimulate complete presence in single-tasking. So if you receive a phone call during your work interval or want to get up to grab a snack, you must ignore these interruptions until your break period.

Isn't it funny; multi-tasking is made out to be this great skill (hey, we’ve totally written “great multi-tasker” on a resume here or there.) But wouldn’t you agree that focusing on one task at a time might be even harder than doing many things at once?

Studies show that completely immersing yourself in one activity and enjoying the process contributes to overall happiness levels.

This is known as being in flow, a mental state coined by positive psychologists. So, by committing to one task at a time, you have a better chance at achieving this flow state of mind.

2. Try meditation.

No need to reinvent the wheel here: meditation gets so much hype for improving overall life efficiency improvement for good reason; It actually works.

If you’re feeling unmotivated or unfocused, try incorporating just a few minutes of meditation into your schedule.

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You can get started by using easy meditation apps like Headspace and Calm. These tools are beginner-friendly and have a repertoire of guided meditations that are entirely free!
 

3. Prepare on the plane.

Jet lag, time zone shifts, and uncomfortable transportation methods make it difficult to stay organized and on the ball.

To work around this, prepare your schedule in advance by jotting down your priorities during the time spent in transit. Once you're settled in on your long-haul journey, get to work!

 

Pre-determining what needs to get done is an excellent way to combat time wasted during travel. It also sets you up to avoid guilt and disappointment in case you feel sick or tired once arriving at your destination.

4. Create an email schedule.

Constantly checking and responding to emails? Unchain yourself from your inbox by creating a schedule.

At PACK, we receive frequent applications to join our experiences - and while we always respond as quickly as possible, we simply can’t allow for this to take away valuable time. Time is better used to actually plan these amazing experiences for you!

Our current email schedule looks like this: Check and respond to e-mails three times per day, at 9 am, 12 pm and 3 pm. No exceptions.

Steal this or try something similar with time slots that work for you. ✅

Not clicking refresh every 20 minutes might be challenging at first, but avoiding this behavior will allow you to stay productive at work and give you a better shot at getting in "flow".

 

5. Go cold turkey, literally.

The internet is the land of infinite distraction. With memes, blog posts, and YouTube videos galore, being productive can be nearly impossible.

Fortunately, there are browser plugins like Cold Turkey that temporarily block online distractions so that you can get more work done faster.

 

6. Do a brain dump.

Did you know that the human brain can only process roughly 110 bits of information per second?

That may seem like a lot, but just decoding speech alone requires you to process 60 bits of information per second.

Knowing this, we stand a better chance at working efficiently if we first let go of the unconscious thoughts that may be holding us back from fully focusing on one thought.

A "brain dump" is a useful exercise for expelling all of the scattered ideas in your brain and is simple to practice. Try it right now!

Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Set a timer for 5-minutes and during this time, free-write every single thing that's on your mind. When the time's up, put the piece of paper away and transition into working.

What makes this practice powerful is that you are working to physically let go of the thoughts that can't serve you at this moment. After completing a brain dump, you may find it easier to move forward in getting work done.

                                        Just a normal workday with our Bali crew!

                                       Just a normal workday with our Bali crew!

At the end of the day, or whenever your work is complete, feel free to look at what you've written. Then, decide if any of these thoughts are still relevant and proceed with the awareness that these thoughts don't control you. You are capable of achievement without these thoughts holding you back. ⭐

 

7. Stop manufacturing stress.

Heard this one from Brendon Burchard in his book, "High-Performance Habits" and it truly speaks volumes.

One of the great things about working while traveling (and running a business in general) is that you get to call the shots. You're the boss.
So why is it then that we refuse to use our power of choice and opt to get into or refuse to leave stressful situations?

Stop creating stress in your daily living, and that includes within the boundaries of your work.

Dealing with a difficult client? Fire him/her.

Feeling overwhelmed? Find a mentor to coach you.

Need inspiration? Join one of our retreats and connect with other high-level entrepreneurs who are also growing their businesses! 

Make the conscious choice to enjoy the process of whatever you're currently working on.

Ask yourself, "How can I bring enthusiasm to this next activity?"

 

8. Beware of productivity predators.

 

Grab a sticky-note and make a quick list of what frequently distracts you.

Attention destroyers like social media, texting and working from loud coffee shops should be at the top.

By bringing your awareness to what kills your productivity, it'll be clearer on what actionable steps you need to take to beat it.

 

9. Take a rest day.

We get it, FOMO while working and traveling at the same time hurts. Give yourself at least one day per week to really enjoy the place you’re in.

On this day, don’t think about work. At all. We mean it. If you’re giving 100% of your presence and energy in your work every other day, don’t you think you deserve to give 100% in your days off too?

Just as you would take a rest day from exercise to allow your muscles to recover, the same applies to business.

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I guess what we’re trying to say is this: be productive at being unproductive minimum once a week. 😉

 

What are your best tips for staying productive at work while traveling?

What To Pack as a Digital Nomad in 2018

 

Simplifying your packing list for your next trip as a digital nomad can be an intimidating task.

You’re frustrated that you may bring too many unnecessary items.

Or worse yet, worried that you’ll forget something that's crucial to running your business.

If you’re preparing to take the leap into a remote work adventure, here's a simplified tech-specific PACK-ing list (see what we did there?) for digital nomads working abroad.

Pssst. We’ve also added a bonus checklist of what NOT to bring at the end of this post!

 
 What to pack as a digital nomad - Packing list for digital nomads working remotely while traveling

Backpack or Suitcase?

Let’s square this debate right out of the gate.

For mobility and flexibility reasons, we are Team Backpack. Although, we’ve had many retreat participants who suitcase-all-the-way.

Here’s how to discern what is right for YOU:

Think about the things that make you who you are and what matters most to you – and bring that with you.

Next, get reasonable. What of your belongings, like books and documents, can you digitize? Eliminate a modest chunk of your personal stuff and forget about worst case scenarios. You can always replace everything else (clothes, toiletries, snacks) as you go.

Repeat this process and hack your pack until you’ve got lightweight luggage that is manageable.

 
 Digital Nomad Packing List with Find Your Pack
 
a look into the Bali PACK experience
 

Technology and Electronics – What digital nomads really need to run their online business abroad.

Laptop + All Accessories
           This is a given, right?

Headphones
           Doubles as ear plugs for long flights.

Unlocked Smartphone

           Keyword: unlocked. From there, seek-out a reputable SIM card provider that can activate your phone while you’re abroad.

(Did you know our retreat packages make this stress-free? – We give you a local SIM card so you can stay connected from wherever!)
 

Universal Travel Adaptor

           One simple outlet plug adaptor that you can use worldwide

E-book Reader

           Remember when we talked about digitizing your life? An e-book reader like the Kindle or Kobo is perfect for consolidating your favorites on one device.

Tech Organizer Travel Case

           In our opinion, this is a must-have for digital nomads and traveling entrepreneurs. Save time when you’re looking for the electronics you need without having to sort through tons of tangled cables and accessories. It also protects your items from dust and damage, which is more likely to happen while working remotely.

Power Bank / Backup Battery

           With so much to see and do, one charge might not be enough for your smartphone or camera.
          
Check out this list of the top portable chargers for digital nomads.

 

Absolutely DO NOT Leave Without…

 What to pack as a digital nomad - Packing list for digital nomads working remotely while traveling
  • A printed copy of your passport, bank cards and other photo ID like your driver’s license. Store these documents in a secure place, separate from the real items.
     
  • Travel Insurance – We hate to be your parents about this kind of stuff, but problems can arise while working and traveling simultaneously.
     
  • Preparing your Elevator Pitch 😉

You never know who you’ll meet that will change the trajectory of your business (for the better).

When you experience our retreats, you’re bound to get inspiration from like-minded people.  We bring together digital nomads, entrepreneurs, self-starters and online working professionals who are looking to grow their business and mindset.

Get the real scoop and follow us on Instagram.

 

Packing Questions to Consider:

When it comes to optimizing your luggage space, we follow two key packing principles:

1.   Ask yourself: “If I don’t bring this item with me, what is the worst that could happen?” If it’s not an extremely bad situation, leave it at home.

2.   Ask yourself: “Will I use this more than once per week?” When you need to get around efficiently, take only what you will use often. Otherwise you may end up frustrated and wanting to leave things behind as you go about your travels.

 

What NOT to Bring While Working Remotely.

Microfiber Towel ­– These days, most accommodations provide towels. Save your space!

External Hard Drive – Funny enough, this one is included on most digital nomad packing lists, but they’re not totally necessary.

As long as you’re not a photographer or videographer shooting in RAW and are able to access wifi regularly, count on cloud storage like Dropbox or Google Drive. You can access your files from anywhere making it smooth sailing for running your business.

Travel Guidebooks, Maps + Saved Brochures – It’s 2018 after all, so rest assured you can rely on your phone (basically a pocket computer) to figure out where to go and how to get there.

Tons of Cash – Keep your money safer by withdrawing in increments. There’s a delicate balance with this to avoid racking up high foreign bank fees. Check out our blog post on finding the right travel card for you!

What’s on your digital nomad packing list?

We’ve prioritized utility and versatility in this simple tech packing guide, now let’s hear from you!
Leave us a comment below with what YOU pack for long-term travel!