Whether it’s stress over finding the best virtual office address service or exhaustion over trying to find out if your next rental has good wifi, the life of a digital nomad has its fair share of problems. Contrary to how it may seem to outsiders, it’s not all about working on the beach while sipping cocktails. Let’s look at five common problems that digital nomads face – and some easy ways to fix them!
1. Creating a budget
The budget you set for a trip is bound to differ from what you spend. Still, setting one is crucial because it’s no fun finding out you’re broke and a thousand miles from home.
Unfortunately, most digital nomads don’t have the privilege of a steady paycheck. Instead, they’re juggling multiple clients who pay at different times. While this makes budgeting difficult, you can still benefit from creating a spreadsheet to track income, expenses, and taxes. Focus on living within your means and building up savings, and you’ll be on the right track.
2. Sticking to a routine
The life of a digital nomad is full of freedom and flexibility. Indeed, a big attraction to the lifestyle is breaking out of the old 9-to-5 routine. However, if you don’t create a new routine, your digital nomad dreams may quickly turn into an overworked nightmare.
Since there’s no “one size fits all” routine, you need to find the one that works for you. That may mean waking up before sunrise or staying up after sunset. Whatever it is, find and stick to a schedule.
3. Finding work-life balance
If you don’t stick to a routine, your focus and productivity drop. When that happens, a task that used to take an hour suddenly takes three. As your work life overtakes your personal life, you’ll find that you have no balance – and no time to explore the country you’re supposed to be enjoying.
One simple solution is to plan your work life and your free time. Guard your time off and try not to open work emails or do any work-related activity on those sacred days. Give yourself time to unwind and explore wherever you are. Basic productivity tips can also help.
4. Delivering results no matter what
If you work from a company office, you can rest assured they’ll have all you need to do the job. However, if you’re working from the road, that can be far more challenging. In fact, nearly half of digital nomads have trouble finding strong wifi. Although these challenges are legitimate, your clients will have limited sympathy – they’ll still expect you to deliver what you promised on time.
To fulfill your promises to your clients, it can help to spend a bit more on rentals. Also, keep all your work gear safe and secure — there’s nothing worse than having to replace a stolen laptop in a foreign country when you’re under a tight deadline.
5. Dealing with noise
If you grew up in a quiet area, the noise in large cities can be jarring. According to the UN, Dhaka, Bangladesh, is the noisiest city on earth at a whopping 119 decibels. If you’re working from an open-air cafe in Dhaka or elsewhere, it’s going to affect your concentration.
One simple solution to the noise problem is to invest in a quality pair of noise-canceling headphones. Another is to find an apartment on a high floor and work from there.
Although the digital nomad lifestyle has its fair share of challenges, they aren’t insurmountable. Engage in planning to overcome them, and you’ll soon be reaping the benefits of working remotely.