How to make work feel like vacation
You know what bothers me the most?
When people think that digital nomads are constantly on vacation.
No, dude, we’re not. Not even close. We work as much as you do. Sometimes, even more than you.
You see, when you work as a freelancer, especially as a remote freelancer, your work schedule is not traditional. You don’t commute to and from work every day or take an 1-hour break for lunch or start at 9am and finish at 5pm.
To the contrary, you may work late nights or on weekends and lose track of time. Therefore, it’s very possible that you can end up overworked, because no one is gonna kick you out of the building, thus forcing you to stop.
It’s nice to feel like you’re on vacation
Even if you’re not. Nothing can beat that deep zen feeling of constant relaxation. Well, guess what. You can achieve that same feeling, by applying some very simple life hacks to your daily work life.
Vacation is not a situation, after all. It’s a state of mind!
Take long breaks
You don’t have to work 8 hours straight. Being a digital nomad means ditching the usual 9-to-5 schedule. Take advantage of daylight and plan a long break away from your office.
Go for a long walk to the beach, wander around and, why not, grab an ice-cream from the local vendor.
Alternatively, do something you would normally do on a deeply relaxing vacation. That would involve napping in a hammock under a tree or sunbathing by a pool. Anything that works for you.
When you break for more than the traditional 1 hour, then you give your brain more time to register the relaxation feeling. Then, when you get back to work, you carry that feeling, combined with a wide smile on your face, and every boring task becomes instantly more enjoyable.
Plan activities during lunch breaks
It doesn’t have to be an exhausting workout session. You can plan activities that are relaxing and enjoyable. That way, you won’t get bored, but instead, will get obsessed with a new hobby, which will be your thing.
Ideally, try to find a hobby that will keep you away from your laptop and office for some time. Out, in the open air, where you’ll get to enjoy the sun rays and do something fun.
For example, you could go fishing or snorkeling or roller skating. Or you could simply buy one of those kids toys that you use to blow bubbles. Okay, that’s lame, I don’t know why I thought that. Strike that.
But you get my point. There’s a ton of vacation activities you can spend your time doing. Pick one and have some fun.
Pick your next destination based on beach proximity
Just living by the sea, even if it’s only for a couple of months, already feels like a vacation. Like I said before, taking long walks on the beach or even swimming are refreshing ways of recharging your batteries. After a good swim (and some sunbathing), you’ll go back to work more motivated than ever. Trust me on this.
Focus on email for up to 20 minutes, twice a day
Once in the morning, once in the afternoon. Don’t monitor your inbox randomly all day. Every productivity expert would tell you the same.
If you limit the number of times you check your email, you’ll set your brain free of all the stress it causes. Instead, you can spend your less stressful day in other activities, that will boost your creativity and productivity and let you chill the fuck out.
40 minutes a day are more than enough. Spend the rest of the day doing something more enjoyable.
Discover something new every day
If you have the luxury of living in the nature, take advantage of it! Explore every corner of the city that’s hosting you this month and act like who you are: a foreigner in a strange land.
If you want to feel like a tourist, the best way to do it is to discover parts of the city where you live (for the time being) or go sightseeing. Do one thing every day. Go ahead, visit that museum you always wanted to visit and keep postponing. Join a random group of tourists and listen to their tour guide. Let culture surround you.
Alternatively, you can go on a different kind of adventure. You could simply aim to discover all the posh restaurants in the city, try out new cuisines and get new eating habits.
Invest in a few plants for your office
I cannot stress enough what a game changer plants can be. I’m talking only about real plants, not those plastic ones that gather dust and are bad for the environment.
The more you add to your office decor, the more it’s gonna look like a jungle. Just looking around an office full of plants is incredibly refreshing.
Depending on how much time you are willing to spend taking care of them, decide whether you want to buy simple cacti or more leafy ones.
I would suggest you pick a theme, like jungle or tropical savannah or Nevada desert or whatever. Then, based on that theme, research and buy the relevant plants and convert your office into a sanctuary.
Just remember to water them. Sick plants are sad.
Where there’s will there’s a way
It doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s the little things that can change your life for the better.
Like I said before: vacation is a state of mind.
As a digital nomad, you’re blessed with a major advantage: flexibility. Make it worthy.