Self-management is by no means a new concept, and we all have some degree of experience when it comes to taking responsibility for our own behaviour and well-being. Self-management is the key skill needed to live a healthy balanced life.
And this skill is even more critical to succeed as a digital nomad. Digital nomad is certainly one of the buzz words in the new world of work. More and more people are striving to achieve the nomad lifestyle, and it is not hard to understand the appeal.
As a digital nomad you have the authority to say goodbye to the eight-to-five office life and hello to freedom of choice. Choose your own hours, choose your work location and choose the projects that excite you. This is the ideology that excited me about becoming a digital nomad and pushed me to take the plunge.
What I didn’t realise is how little experience I had in true self-management. The office had provided me with routine and discipline beyond deadlines and delivering. I had a good understanding of my time and capabilities. I knew how much I could get done each day and it allowed me to manage my time. Knowing I needed to be in the office from eight-to-five had naturally helped me manage my personal life too. I had an established sleeping routine and a regular eating plan.
So, without the office how do you maintain routine and take responsibility for your well-being? Here are some of the tips I learnt through my own experience.S
1. Set Goals
This is something we have all been told to do, probably on more than one occasion, and you might be rolling your eyes. The reason we hear it so often is because it actually works. Setting goals gives you direction and helps you regain focus when life hits you with distractions.
- Set daily goals that will help you take control of your day and make regular progress. In true millennial fashion, I value instant gratification. Having daily goals allows you to feel achievement each day and achievement fosters motivation.
- Set midterm goals too. Apart from the day to day, mid-term goals help you take control of your future. Try being specific with your midterm or long-term goals. You should be able to create small goals that will help you achieve these bigger goals. For example, if your long-term goal is to travel to a new country think about daily goals you can implement to work towards this larger goal.
2. Create Routine
This might sound crazy to someone who is looking to avoid the routine of daily office life, but even if you are not in the office routine is important. Routine is very difficult to maintain if you are travelling, but routine is vital when you need to stay on task. Create a schedule for yourself. Don’t beat yourself if you don’t follow it exactly but use it as a guideline and try maintaining it.
3. Stay Updated and In-touch
At the office, it is easy to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in your field. In the office, your colleagues are regularly updating you, whether you like it or not. We often forget how valuable everyday office conversation can be. As a digital nomad, you need to take responsibility for updating your self in order to remain relevant.
Take online courses, sign-up to informative newsletters and use social media to follow field relevant content.
4. Take Control of Your Finances
Majority of digital nomads are contractors or freelancers working for multiple organisations. You have to become your own finance and human resources department. You need to plan ahead, take account and assume unforeseen expenses will occur. For example, companies don’t supply contractors’ laptops or pay for software. These now become your overheads. Account for these expenses when you are agreeing to rates.
Self-management embodies a variety of skills you need to implement in order to successfully self-manage. These tips are just a few self-management tools to get you started.
Try some of these courses that will teach you some of the most critical self-management tools.
- Time management
- Becoming financially savvy: Budgeting
- Become financially savvy: Personal income tax
- National Certificate in Generic Management