The traveling lifestyle of working nomads might sound like a dream, but it can be challenging to stay productive while you’re on the road.

Remote working has many advantages, but some of these are lost when always moving locations without a stable office.

Being productive is critical for nomad travel jobs. How do digital nomads make money? Their remote working jobs. Fail to be productive, and you find yourself with a one-way ticket back home.

Still, there are benefits to the working nomad’s lifestyle if they plan it right. Keep reading for tips on how to stay productive in your remote job online.

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How Important is Location for Remote Jobs?

The location might not sound like a crucial decision for location-independent working nomads, but it’s the most vital factor for being productive while working remotely.

Finding the best cities to work remotely can be helpful, but let’s face it. If there’s WiFi, you can technically work anywhere. The problem comes when you choose the wrong location since this can amplify the disadvantages of working from home or telecommuting.

The Beach in Tahiti Might Not Be the Best Nomad’s Working Space 

Instagram would have you believe that every nomad is piña coladas on the sand while peering over the top of a laptop screen at the crystal clear blue water. The truth is that most nomads work from one of three types of less titillating locations.

Some working nomads are most productive when in solitude, while others prefer the hustle and bustle of public spaces. There’s no right or wrong place – the answer depends on you.

Coworking Spaces

With the explosion of freelancing, digital nomadism, and small startups in recent years, coworking spaces are becoming a popular choice for most nomads. Leaving your office job, then paying for another office space, is ironic but there are some advantages.

Slow internet can turn an hour of remote work into a day-long affair, but coworking spaces typically offer professional-grade internet. Many also provide conference rooms for meetings and private booths for phone calls.

coworking space

Another advantage to a coworking space helps offset one of the significant disadvantages cited in remote work statistics – loneliness. The atmosphere will vary between nomads’ working spaces, but most offer some social environment as well as community workshops. 

You’re likely to find a digital nomad community while at a coworking space. This community could also be seen as a disadvantage to working nomads since interruptions abound. 

Coworking spaces can also be expensive. If you work remotely for a company in a different timezone, you might have a hard time finding a coworking space that’s available for the hours you need.

Cafes and Coffeeshops

Working nomads who are comfortable working in a noisy environment might find that cafes or coffee shops are their remote office of choice. A good set of headphones to block noise, along with software like Krisp.ai to eliminate distracting background noise during calls can transform a crowded cafe into a mobile office.

Unfortunately, WiFi can be hit or miss. It may take a few tries to find a cafe that offers fast enough internet (and allows you to stay for hours at a time).

Still, studies have shown that people tend to be more productive when working in a public space – possibly because they feel like others are watching them. If you can develop the skill of making a coffee last eight hours (so you don’t get kicked out), a cafe or coffee shop might be for you.

Hostels, Hotels, Airbnb, and Other Lodging

The most price-efficient choice for working nomads is working from their lodging. There are no commuting expenses, no membership fees, and nobody to kick you out.

Timezones stop being an issue since your office is likely a few feet from your bed. If you ever dreamed of working from home in your pajamas, remote work from your lodging is the closest you’ll get.

Still, WiFi can be a significant issue, particularly in hostels. Airbnb and hotels give better odds of acceptable internet speeds, but it’s worth testing if possible before committing.

Distractions can still abound, especially if you’re staying in a hostel dorm or community space. It’s hard to say no when people want to chat or invite you to the beach. Are those distractions better than being lonely while you work alone in your Airbnb? That depends on you.

hostel nomad distractions

Travel and Work Remotely with These Productivity Tips

Choosing the right working nomad’s space for you may be vital for your productivity, but there are more tips you can use to be more productive at your remote work.

Have an ”Instant Office” Pouch in Your Backpack

Designating a devoted office space helps for those who work from home, but working nomads don’t have that luxury. Plus, most are living out of one or two backpacks – taking everything you own to a cafe is impractical. 

Save time by setting up a dedicated office bag or pouch with essentials like your laptop charger, headphones, and other tech gear. Having a ready-to-go bag lets you get out the door and set up your office in minutes without fumbling around or forgetting critical equipment.

Plan Your Remote Work Schedule the Night Before

Before you go to sleep, write down what tasks you will accomplish the next day. Planning ahead doesn’t just clear your mind for sleep. It ensures you’re focused precisely on what needs to be done when you wake up, instead of being distracted by your freedom.

Be Ruthless with Calendars and To-do Lists

Travel can be chaos. Working nomads face many daily challenges that aren’t present when you live a more traditional lifestyle. Don’t let essential details of your work (or travel) slip your mind.

Instead, use to-do list software and project management apps for every detail of your life.

Structure Your Day for Maximal Mental Attention

When working remotely, you have far more flexibility in how you plan your day. This flexibility can be a problem, especially for freelancers. 

It’s easy to wake up, get lost in admin tasks, and find yourself at the end of the workday without having accomplished actual work. Devote the first chunk of your day (when your attention is highest) to deep work on your projects. 

Save your mentally draining miscellaneous tasks for the end of your day.

Block Social Media

Digital nomads love social media, and for a good reason – it’s a great way to connect with others living the location independent lifestyle. 

digital nomad social media

Nonetheless, many working nomads find their productivity ruined by that Facebook notification or Instagram feed. Grab a website or app to block social media while doing deep work.

Use Noise-cancelling Headphones to Keep Interruptions at Bay

Public spaces like cafes are often noisy. If you’re working from a more social environment like a coworking space, people will want to talk to you. 

Cut out the noise and discourage your more talkative coworkers with a quality set of headphones or earbuds.

Download Articles or Information You Need for Offline Use

Guaranteed WiFi is often a luxury, especially for working nomads doing their jobs in remote places. 

Whenever you have a reliable internet connection, download any articles, software packages, images and videos, relevant emails, or whatever your remote job requires. This lets you stay productive when the internet isn’t cooperating.

Take Breaks

Grinding away at your work for twelve hours straight might sound impressive, but it hurts your productivity. Science shows that our attention spans begin dropping after about an hour of focused work. 

Remote workers who take advantage of their freedom for short breaks every hour or two can enjoy more productivity than a chair-chained office employee. 

Setting your laptop timer to ring every hour can turn up the pressure for more productive work sessions, while also reminding you to stop and take a break.

Be Disciplined in Your Work Schedule

Amazing distractions surround you. It’s tempting to keep pushing work off to go on that hike or see that site, then be scrambling at the last minute. This is especially true if for working nomads who are doing part-time remote work instead of full-time remote jobs.

Even worse, what happens if the WiFi isn’t cooperating on the day you planned to catch up on work, or your laptop dies? Be disciplined, learn to say “no,” and stick to a pre-planned work schedule.

Join the Productive Working Nomads

Staying productive in digital nomad travel jobs can be a challenge, but it’s a skill honed with time. 

Start practicing these tried-and-true tips from working nomads to stay productive, keep earning, and keep traveling.