drink, cocktail, beach

Finding the Perfect Balance: Digital Nomad Work & Relaxation

We should all work hard, but don’t forget to relax as well.

Whether you’ve taken up work as a virtual assistant or social media manager, one thing all digital nomads have in common is that we love to travel. However, rather than being a complete holiday, we also need to work hard in order to maintain our lifestyle and keep doing what we love.

No matter your digital nomad job, hours can fly by as you work without you realising. Before you know it, days with 8-hour working sessions have gone by and you’re not sure where all that time has gone. It’s at times like these that we need to remember why we chose digital nomad work in the first place, to balance our passion for travel with our remote work.

Today, we’ll be going over a few tips that you can apply to your workstyle to make sure that you’re clocking out with enough time to visit the beach, eat at your favourite restaurants, and do what you love.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Digital nomad work: don’t forget to relax

Picture the scene. You see a beginner digital nomad who has built up their business to the size that they can now travel as they wish. They select their dream destination, apply for a visa, and get their digital nomad suitcase packed. Excited, they hop on the plane and before they know it, they’ve touched down on warm sands, watching the palm trees sway, and wondering why they didn’t leave home sooner.

Then comes the first client call. Then, the second. Before they know it, our digital nomad friend has spent the day in Zoom meetings and completing work for their various digital nomad jobs. A week passes, then two weeks…

For those without a concrete plan and schedule, it’s easy to fall into the work sinkhole, not allowing yourself to experience the wonderful country you have travelled to. We want to help you avoid this pitfall, or help you out of it if you’ve found yourself in it.

mexico, cave, cenote

Schedule your time

If you’re the planning type, then scheduling your time may come as second nature to you. For those less planning-inclined, learning to set a schedule for our work hours will not only save time but also allow us to do the things we love. You can use this time to do something as simple as exploring our new local area or trying out a high-octane sport such as windsurfing.

The first thing to do is to arrange your work schedule for the week, or day if you prefer. As schedules can change, it’s best to allow yourself the time you think you’ll need to get the work done, without allotting too much time. Schedule in time to relax at the beginning or end of your day – your schedule will depend on your personal preferences.

clock, time management, time

Scheduling Tools

Tools such as Google Calendar can be a great way to organise your week for free. There are a number of free apps on the market as well which are specifically designed for helping you better manage your time. Try utilising these tools for a week and see how you get on, you might find this the perfect way to organise the week ahead.

Of course, you can also go the old-fashioned way and use a pen and paper diary. As long as it works for you, then that’s the important thing.

Learn to say no

When you’re starting out with your online business or as a remote worker in general, it can be difficult to say no to clients. You want to take on all the work you can to grow your business, and are well aware that it could drop from beneath you. You learn to take on more work than your schedule should allow for.

If you are not careful, this can bleed over into your digital nomad travelling experience. Having built up a full schedule, you work extremely hard only for the hours of the day to slip away. You may be abroad, but if you’re spending 10-12 hours in your apartment during the day then it’s difficult to really experience your destination country.

pocket watch, time, sand

Setting expectations

Learning to say no doesn’t mean being rude to your clients, but sets expectations for the time moving forward. Not only will your clients respect your honesty, but they will also trust that you value your time and will take the work seriously. You’ll also feel more motivated and less burnt out from the long time spent working.

Take breaks

Many of us have escaped or are soon to escape the 9-5 grind. However, even a 9-5 job offers an allotted time for a break, so why shouldn’t you have a break as a digital nomad? When we are our own boss, we finally have our dream job, yet often do not allow ourselves the regular breaks that we need. From social media managers to work in graphic design, we all need to take a breather at a regular time.

coffee, cup, mug

Online jobs can be stressful if you do not take the time to sit back and relax once in a while. It can be as simple as spending an hour at a coffee shop with a friend or learning to play a new instrument. When you get back to work, you’ll feel refreshed and more motivated to continue.

Meet with friends

Connecting with friends and other digital nomads is a fantastic way of keeping yourself accountable. Regularly meeting and discussing your schedules can help keep you grounded and provides a second opinion on if you are working too much, or extra tips to help arrange your schedule.

Digital nomad work: people, girls, women

Sometimes, all we need are a few kind words from the right people to get us back on track, especially if we are feeling stressed out with work. They may even suggest events to go to or things to try – we always recommend making the most out of these opportunities!

We understand that making new friends can be a bit intimidating, especially when you’re travelling alone! However, there are many ways you can meet people, including at local events, nightlife venues, or even on transport options such as the ferry. Making new friends is a great way to keep yourself grounded and help ward off loneliness on your travels.

Local meetup events are a great way of meeting like-minded people – apps such as Meetup connect you with other travellers organising events near you. Of course, joining local social media communities will instantly connect you with other digital nomads and travellers – join our growing Facebook community to ask any questions you have and hear more travel tips.

Hobbies/Sport

Local meetups can range from trips to local restaurants to trying out a new sport, such as volleyball on the beach or football. Sports is a great way to meet new people and connect with the locals as well, who pour onto the beaches come the end of the day to let off some steam with sports. Keeping up with sport will also help with fitness, just what we need after a day of sitting down and working!

The local music scene is also very popular, so if you play an instrument or just love listening to music, then you’re sure to meet like-minded people there too as you relax after a day of work.

Journal/Blog

Speaking of accountability, another way you can achieve this is by running a personal blog or writing in your journal. Not only will regularly filling this in help you track your progress as you travel, but you’ll also be able to look back through the blog in the future and remember all of the good times that you had.

notebook, camera, map

For your friends or family, they’ll also be able to follow your progress if you choose to upload your journey on your blog. This can be on social media, such as Instagram, or through longer-form articles.

Summary

We all need to take a break from time to time, especially when we are surrounded by a beautiful new destination just waiting to be explored. While work is a core part of life as a digital nomad, don’t forget the reason we decided to be digital nomads in the first place, to embrace our love for travel.

FAQ

  • Is it hard to be a digital nomad?

    Being a successful digital nomad means balancing online business with exploring your destination country. Work can fluctuate on a weekly basis depending on your job opportunities, however as you travel and learn, you’ll get better at handling the pressures that come with routine travel. Many digital nomads will admit that their start was a bit tricky, however they gained confidence and experience over time.

  • What jobs can you do that involve travel?

    A digital nomad is an individual who works remotely while traveling the world. They marry their passion for travel with the ability to work anywhere, exploring as they go. Common digital nomad jobs include copywriting, graphic design, website design, programming, and so much more.

    Thanks to the internet, many jobs can be made location independent with video conferencing keeping you in touch with your employer or client. With a little bit of research, you can find a good digital nomad job that suits your needs.

  • How do digital nomads get work?

    Finding travel jobs can be a bit intimidating for the beginner digital nomad, however there are a few ways to approach this. One place to find remote jobs is via an online job marketplace, such as Upwork or Freelancer. These websites have a high demand for new freelancers and feature regular work from clients across the world, meaning they are a good starting point for making money online.

    Another option is to turn your current job into a remote working position. It can be a good idea to consider whether your current job could be made remote and to speak to your employer about this. You may be surprised when they agree to it!

  • What is the best digital nomad job?

    There are countless digital nomad careers out on the market – the first step is understanding what your job interests are and working from there. If you love to write and explain your thoughts, then a job in freelance writing may well be for you. Other remote workers may prefer a graphic design role or data entry.

    The best digital nomad jobs are a mixture of what you enjoy doing as well as the ability to earn a steady income stream remotely. Once you have achieved this, you’re officially a digital nomad!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Picture of CaboWork

CaboWork

Want to know more about the latest telecommuting tips? Follow our pages on social networks:

Subscribe

Stay up to date with our latest news and blog and don’t miss any updates

Want to see more?

Here you will find more information and useful tips!