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I remember not too long ago the idea of working from home or abroad was a fantasy. Just 10-15 years ago, the only way it seemed to be a possibility is if you were stuffing envelopes or doing something shady.

The only other way it could happen is if you were to start your own business.

Well, that’s a lot easier said than done. And more often than not, the business fails and you’re left needing to search for a job in the aftermath. A job that requires you to get into your car every day and spend hours of your life commuting in horrible traffic, just to get to work. And just to get yelled at by your boss and forced to work overtime.

Ugh just me typing that last sentence gives me the shivers. What an unnecessary waste of time, gas, and life.

I’m not going to lie, sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated when you’re working at home so it’s important that you have some self-discipline, or you might fall victim to some of the work from home pitfalls that many experience on a regular basis.

1. Remember to exercise.

Any time I try and work a lot and I don’t exercise I get extremely antsy. I feel tired and unmotivated by the project at hand.

Humans weren’t made to sit and type on keyboards all day.

We need to get rid of the CO2 deep within our body and fill it with healthy O2 for us to feel good.

If you don’t feel good, you won’t produce good work, so remember this first and foremost.

2. Try and have a schedule.

I often fall victim to this, because the allure of just turning on the Time tracker and working around the clock is real. Sure, feel free to do it sometimes, but I think it’s super important to block certain parts of your day for your body (see #1 and also your family).

I’ve learned the hard way that you will significantly piss off your significant other if you keep your head buried in a computer all day instead of paying attention to the family.

If you designate certain periods of your day to work, you’ll attack those time periods harder and produce higher caliber work in a more concentrated time scale.

If you don’t believe me, set up a timer when you do your next task and see if you can do it in 30 minutes instead of the hour you thought it would take. 9 times out of 10, if I have the pressure of a clock going, I will complete a project in a much tighter time frame.

3. Get an office or find an awesome cafe.

Sure it’s cool to sit in your boxers making money, but you need to be a human being. Sitting at home every day will make you eventually feel lethargic and hurt your health and happiness. Don’t do this. Take advantage of the fact that you can work from anywhere and give yourself nice scenery with some people around.

I recently got myself a Regus office for when I’m abroad and it’s been great. The interaction with people in the shared office has been hugely helpful for keeping myself somewhat sane. It’s also a great way to meet people. It’s important to have relationships outside of the screen.

4. Breathe

Take a few moments out of the day to gulp in some giant swigs of air between your work sprints. Again, this will help with your oxygen levels and keep you more awake.

I love the iPhone app that I have on my phone that intermittently induces this exercise.

5. Find a work buddy

It’s nice when you have someone doing the same thing you’re doing because it makes you feel like you’re actually part of something bigger than what’s right in front of you.

Upwork huddles are a great place to meet other people in your industry and on the platform. I recently attended one in Brussels and one in LA and it was fantastic to interact with people on the platform and share stories. Not only did it make me feel like I was part of a team, but it also showed me how kick-ass this platform is by attracting such amazing people.

Have anything to add about being a digital nomad? Leave a comment below!

Happy Upworking!

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