Currently in Cambodia. I posted a while back that I am traveling Asia for a year. Integrating work and travel was a bit hard the first couple weeks. The problem I had was the transition of time from a time zone where my calls and business was centered around to a new time zone. The new time zone is also 12 hours ahead!
I missed a lot of calls, missed communications, late on response to emails, basically everything was late. Eventually I provided myself a routine to help with my time zone issues. It did take a bit to get use to but it helped with my business and I decided to share it with you. I wrote about something similar as well in the past last year about what apps you need while being nomad entrepreneur.
- Look at your schedule, understand it. – By understanding your current schedule you are in now will help you with your overall schedule. What time of day is the most important, where are your down times – I think are the 2 important views you need to understand. When I say what part of your day is the most important, it is the day where you can complete 20% of work for 80% of results. I know I have to do all my calls late at night from 9pm-12am (my current time). This results for 3 hours of catchup and calls for the other time zone. I have narrowed my time to just focus all my calls around that time only. My day can no consists of working at a coffee shop or doing tourists stuff.
- Limit Tourism to the first couple days. – I travel for some set of days meaning at least 5 days or 10 days or 1 month. It all depends how long. I try to focus all my tourist stuff in the first set of 2-3 days, literally try to do it all in 1 day. This way I can get the tourist stuff out of the way. I personally like to do that. I like enjoying the locals better than the tourist stuff. Some people might want to spread it out but I think if you travel and work that you should get it all out of the way. I say this is because you want to keep your focus organized. Focus on travel then focus on work.
- Spend a whole day at a Coffee Shop. – Spending a day at a coffee shop (once a week) from breakfast till dinner is a full day of work. It might be off hours BUT this is the time to catch up on the small items and complete a ton of tasks. For example organization of business, traffic, lifestyle, etc. Even though you can still do emails and phone calls, you should use the off time zone to focus on small items. These tasks should be like ‘sticky note’ tasks. The one off tasks that can be completed in 5-10 min intervals. Even focus on organization of how you do traffic. Deep analytics of your campaigns. etc.
- Spend Half a Day at the coffee shop. – Once you spend a day at the coffee shop. Make everyday a work day but cut the load in half. I start my work day in the morning and by lunch time is when I usually or try to cut it off. In the end you want to enjoy your trip. So spend it working and traveling. Since you have 1 day a week on re organizing and doing the small items, these half days should be big items that affect the business in a bigger way – 80/20 rule.
- Work out of your hotel/airbnb – When I first started traveling I worked out of my hotel because why not. The problem is it brought me back to the thought of comfort and just watching TV and the feel that I am on vacation. I would then just start working out of a coffee shop with wifi and it has helped me. I have done this for a long time, especially if I didn’t want to go to my office – I would just go to a local Starbucks. By doing this you get to enjoy the local views and also focus on the task at hand. I bring my headset just incase it gets a little loud from the city streets or the cafe it self. I think by getting out of a zone with a diff scene your brain tends to adjust base on the surrounding environment.
Some pictures of me working at coffee shops with decent street views. First pictures is in Malaysia Shisha Shop and the second pictures is in a coffee shop in Cambodia.
In the end you want to properly spread your time. Look at the time you have available. Look at the time that is the most important between each time zone, optimize. It is just like looking at a traffic timeline, which time makes the most sense to spend money on traffic. Same goes for your schedule. In the end enjoy life and travel a lot.