Beginnings of a Digital Nomad: The Remote Year - Day 115

in #travel4 years ago

Clean Workspace = Clear Mind


October 13th, 2017 - Day 115

From Las Vegas to Bangkok to Bali to Colombia, I now write to you at the tail-end of a 3-week stint here in Vienna, Austria.

The Important of Your Work Environment & Its Effects on Productivity

It wasn't until the past year or two that I’ve really emphasized the importance of a clutter-free workspace in order to optimally conduct business. The rise of digital nomads & internet entrepreneurs has led to a significant increase in the demand for "co-working spaces,” or independent offices/working environments where one can rent a desk in order to separate work life from private/social life.

In fact, demand has risen so significantly that we've seen the number of co-working spaces double each year from 2006-2015.


A view of the "sektor5" co-working space I've been frequenting here in Vienna where I'm currently writing this post from.

"But why should I PAY to work at an office everyday if the whole point of being independent is to AVOID offices?"

Because while being your own boss buys you freedom, the efficiency gained in a productive work environment far exceeds the cost of working there. Contrary to the traditional 9-5 job (in which you have to show up at a certain time & are allowed to leave at a certain time), you can come & go as you please.

That said, it takes a certain amount of willpower to sit yourself down & get serious. But inherent in an entrepreneurial mindset is that same willpower you need to succeed; for paychecks are never a guarantee, business can go sour at any random/arbitrary point in time, & you’re responsible for not just yourself, but also the livelihood & success of those around you (i.e., employees, investors, etc.).


En route from Vorarlberg, Austria to Milan, Italy

By putting your livelihood in your own hands, you relinquish any & all responsibility from someone else’s hands (i.e., an employer) in order to FULLY benefit from the fruits of your labor (rather than get paid X amount in order produce X+Y in revenue for your employer) while at the same time building an asset that benefits society in one way or another, or—as is the case with freelancing—provide services at a certain cost.

So what can I do NOW to improve my work environment & increase productivity?

Don't be like Wupje here (below); keep your workspace clean!

As mentioned above, a clean workspace is conducive to a clear mind; thus helping you stay focused & make better decisions. I’m not going to go into further detail about this, as everyone’s needs are different (temperature, lighting, required equipment, etc.). Also falling under this same umbrella are aids/hacks such as ergonomic keyboards, dual monitors, posture-improving computer chairs, etc.

Another key/essential ingredient: silence. Research has shown that high noise environments are detrimental to longterm memory & reading comprehension. This is due to the fact that unnecessary noise significantly burdens your brain’s prefrontal cortex, thus affecting problem-solving & decision-making abilities. Additionally, silence has shown to improve cognitive abilities by activating your brain’s default mode network in a process known as “self-generated cognition."

This means no background music, TVs running the latest Game of Thrones episodes, or whatever you think “helps” you stay productive.

But for those who truly insist on a form of background noise, try checking out binaural beats (two different auditory sounds or “waves” played in opposite ears to induce your brain into entering an either alpha or theta state), “white noise,” or classical music; the latter having shown a correlation with increased productivity.

Lastly, I’d like to address workflow. This is all subjective, as it’s not a one-size-fits-all matter. But for those of you who need some sort of structure to your work day, try the “Pomodoro Technique,” which traditionally incorporates a 25-5-30 work split (work for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break, repeat this 3 more times, then take a 30-minute break, & repeat), although others advocate a 50-10-30 split (work for 50 minutes, break for 10 minutes, repeat once more, then break for 30 minutes). Every work split is customizable based on personal preference, but the underlying principle still remains the same.


Happy Steeming! From Angelo, Christina, & Haas @steeminfrenchies

Hope this helps! Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to read this & I wish you all a great weekend, the best of luck in whatever endeavor(s) you’re pursuing, & happy Steeming :)


Lots of amazing information. I like my work setup clean as well. I'm more of a morning person too. I love the silence in the morning. Just me, my coffee and the computer. Looking forward to the next update :)

Yeah I find that my willpower is at its best in the morning as well, so it's a great time to tackle the biggest tasks of the day.

You seem to be doing a lot of traveling yourself too, eh? That's really great! Just followed you & I'm really looking forward to seeing more about Italy & the rest of your travels :) Be safe & stay in touch...

I did quite some trips this summer. I'm saving up and looking forward to the next one. Stay safe :)

I and my employer have spent serious money on time and resource management. None of it as informative and helpful as this great and spirited article. Decluttering and quieting the mind. Thank you for these thoughtful suggestions.

Interesting perspective Angelo. You've been doing digital nomad thing way way longer than I have. Actually I don't really work, I just do my thing on steemit now. Before that I was just an investor which meant I did nothing but check my portfolio and a little research. I had my own english business in Korea and sold it over a decade ago now. I've been very fortunate to live my life how I want all over the world since then.

So this is my first time really kind of sort of working in a very long time. So far I know what you mean about a good environment to focus, I've got some motzart playing in the background, and 20 pages open of people I'm following and want to write to, you being one of them.

If I'm not doing this in my hotel, I enjoy a coffee shop, good place to meet people too, but that can keep one from getting work done. How do coffee shops work for you? Yo must have a lot going on, probably more ambitious too. I'm ambitious about travel and pulled a big time travel audible out of my rear and find my self in Chiang Mai Thailand all of a sudden. About to publish a post on it.

It's a pretty poplar place for digital nomads. Have you been here before? How was your time with Haas in Amsterdam? Looking forward to meeting you in Thailand if it works out. Hope you are well. -Dan

Hey Dan, I was wondering how you've been able to invest in Latin America & travel so much! Late congrats on selling your business; exiting is truly an amazing & impressive feat! This Steemit gig isn't bad either :) I keep telling everyone that as long as they keep it as a hobby or passion project while ignoring the money aspect of it, it retains its novelty & fun. I sort of use it as a journal forged into the blockchain into order to keep my memories "decentralized" somewhere to look back on during a future date.

I really appreciate you taking the time to write me! I wish I had more time to stay engaged with everyone, but business + travel + trying to stay connected with friends & family take up quite a bit of my day...I'd be lying if I said it doesn't get a little overwhelming at times.

Regarding coffee shops, I've never tried them out but I'd like to someday! The convenience of having refreshments at hand sounds tantalizing, along with ability to take a mental break & people-watch :) Never been to Chiang Mai myself but I have a bunch of friends that've spent significant amounts of time there & have told me it's a more chilled-out version of Bangkok. The reason why I haven't wandered much outside of Bangkok (have only been to Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi, & Koh Samui) is because all of my Thai-based business partners decided to expat to Bangkok, so they're based there. But I'd love to check it Chiang Mai some time since everyone talks so highly about it!

Yeah the time with Haas was awesome! I've known him for only about 3 years now (as he was a childhood friend of my business partner René @world5list), but he's got to be 100% hands down one of the nicest, most geniune people I've ever met who also has a lot of very interesting things to talk about; easily in my top 10 of the highest quality people I know, which is why I was extremely happy about sharing with him the Steemit platform.

I pushed up my arrival to Bangkok to a week from now & will be there a solid 6 months! Hit me up on sometime if you're in town & would like to link up :) Safe travels buddy

Thank you too, for taking the time to write me. I know how busy you must be. I too find it difficult to keep up with everyone. I totally see what you mean regarding Haas. I only know him from Steemit, he's one of he first ones to follow me and appreciate my work on here. I've always gotten a great vibe from him. Seems like a real class act.

Wow 6 month's in Bangkok. I have a bank of posts I can pull out a hat ready to go. So I posted this one about my home base in Bangkok with you in mind.

It's a good value place, a bit on the run down side but it's still a real good deal. I get the impression that you already know where you'll be staying in Bangkok anyway.

I'll be passing through Bangkok again in about two weeks give or take. So, I'll get a hold of you and we'll make some plans. I'm totally looking forward to it now. We'll have a great time for sure!

Maybe we'll find a coffee shop to get some work done as well! lol Here is where I made my office in Koh Pha Nagn for few weeks. This is one of my all time favorite work spaces. I always try to find nice places to sit down with my computer for an hour or two, and if there is view of beach it's just that much better.

Yes, finding success at a very young age has had it's pros and cons. Having money, yet never finding a way to earn money doing what I enjoy has made me unambitious. That's like since age 22 now! Kind of rediculouse. I bought my first and last house at that age.

I could "work" but I don't want to "work" unless I find something I enjoy. But now on steemit, I kind of enjoy being a travel writer and networking with people, so if this turns into a money maker for me then I'll have a fuller life other than just doing what I enjoy anyway, traveling. I'll be able to loosen up on my budget as keeping that in check allows me the freedom to not work and live how I do. I try not to touch my savings ever, and just live on interest and investments which is good or not so good depending on the year.

Anyway this post is getting long. No need to reply. I know you're a busy guy. I'll get a hold of you when I'm on my way to Bangkok. Safe travels. -Dan

What is digital Nomad by the way??

A digital nomad is just another term for one who works remotely & isn't centralized at a specific location due to their ability to work/travel from wherever they please. Most are either online entrepreneurs or freelancers.

wow, cool , thank you for answering me.
have a good day

woww thank you for all of this great work and informations

And thank YOU for taking time out of your day to read it :)