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How to Stay Productive When Freelancing Abroad

Guest PostGuest Post
December 25, 2018

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by James Riddle, freelance writer. 

Digital nomads have the world at their feet. The romance of working one week from a hostel on a Thai beach and another from a stylish coffee shop in Singapore sounds appealing to anyone. But it’s not as easy as many digital nomads would have you believe. And not all projects and positions work well remotely.

Ask yourself some tough questions before you think about packing your bag: Is it possible to combine your current projects and travel? Will you have enough time to explore new surroundings while still getting your work done on deadline? Do you have enough savings to cover those times between jobs?

Here are a few basic guidelines that can help you organize your workflow effectively while freelancing abroad.

Find a good internet connection

Simple and obvious, but crucial. You need to choose accommodation with reliable high-speed internet. This isn’t always easy if you are heading to some remote island. You don’t want to have to do a “laptop dance” to catch a decent Wi-Fi signal.

Consider investing in a dongle or prepaying a mobile internet plan. It will save you time and help to avoid Wi-Fi stress. No worries, no pressure, no hassle. Just pick a location and work.

Look for co-working spaces

When you arrive at a new place, investigate the local freelancing scene. Pleasant co-working spaces are popping up all over the world these days. They provide a positive space to work and an opportunity to meet and get to know your local peers. The nomadic life can be isolating, so it’s crucial to socialize and make connections.

Work in the morning

Yeah, we know you left the office to avoid fixed schedule and wake up whenever you want. But working bright and early radically increases the length of the day (or at least it seems so). Try to adopt a healthy morning routine to get your working hours out of the way which means you still have time to explore later.

If you work in an office, there is usually someone around who can proof-read your emails, reports, blog posts, and other relevant written communication, but if you are on the road, you don’t have that back-up. Use an editing software like ProWritingAid or Grammarly to make sure that your communications are clear and error-free.

Take time to relax

You might freelance non-stop and explore the world 24/7, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have days off or spend a week without staring at a computer screen. Consider it as an essential part of your self-care and regularly take time to relax.

Take good care of your laptop

Nothing can be more frustrating for a traveling freelancer than a sudden laptop collapse in a foreign country. Because even if you can easily afford to buy a new one, essential data can be lost. Make sure you protect your device from malware—buy an effective antivirus software. And purchase cloud storage so that you always have a back-up.

Consider the time difference

If you stay in a country with only two hours difference from your clients, this isn’t a big issue. But for those wanting to work on the other side of the world, it might be a little difficult. Always keep a calendar with your deadlines at hand. Also, learn to use web tools for managing time differences. They will help you stay the more organized and increase your remote productivity.

James Riddle is a freelance writer who is trying to make it big with blogging. He advocates that freelancing can help people become more self-confident and find their mission in life. He is always seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth, and believes that it’s always important to broaden horizons.

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