You’ve landed yourself an amazing remote work job and decided to travel the world. Perhaps you’re on a beach in San Diego or a jungle in Jamaica. Once you arrive, though, you suddenly discover that you no longer want to stay in and work. Why would you? It’s so beautiful out there. But work is non-negotiable. It’s the only way you’re able to afford this work-from-anywhere lifestyle.

Luckily, there’s a way to avoid distraction and stay focused. With a bit of discipline, you can balance being a tourist with being a full-time worker. Keep reading to discover how to stay focused and continue to make the most of your beautiful surroundings. 

The Distraction of a New Destination

When you arrive in a new place, it’s only natural to want to explore. However, if you’re working a 40-hour week, this doesn’t leave you with much time. You might wake up in the morning with the best of intentions, but then you look out the window at the shimmering reflection of sunlight hitting the sea and feel that very natural urge to head outside.

Unfortunately, being a digital nomad or remote worker that embraces traveling doesn’t mean being on a never-ending vacation. You may have the freedom to travel to the world’s most beautiful destinations, but sometimes, you have to get your head down and put in the hard work. The sandy beaches and palm trees will have to wait.

The pull of your destination can become even stronger if you know other foreigners in the area. They might not be remote workers, instead spending all their time going on adventures. As your fear of missing out increases, you become desperate to ditch your projects and grab your swimsuit.

Does this situation sound familiar? Below, discover four tips that will allow you to stay focused while still getting the most out of your time spent in a new place.

Engage in Deep Focus

The sooner you can get your work done, the sooner you can go outside and explore. Often, though, people are used to engaging in unproductive habits. Perhaps you combine your work with browsing social media, watching YouTube videos, and generally being distracted. You might try to multitask but find that everything still takes forever.

This may be why you’re often reaching 6 pm before you’re ready to head outside. By this time, the sun is setting and tourist attractions are closing. To remedy this, design your day around the concept of deep work. This involves going into a dedicated work zone, turning off all distractions, and entering a flow state that allows you to get through all your work in the quickest time.

Multitasking doesn’t work, making you less efficient while making more errors. That just creates more work for later. Instead, write a to-do list in the morning and then tackle tasks one by one. If you’re able to nail the deep work approach, then it’s possible to cut an 8-hour workday in half, giving you much more time to spend exploring your surroundings.

Start Bright and Early

Many people think that they work better later in the day, but this is rarely the case. Some digital nomads choose to explore during the day, thinking that they can get their work done in the evening. If this works for you, then go for it. For most people, though, your most productive time will be as soon as you wake up.

When natural or artificial light hits your body, the sleep hormone melatonin will be suppressed. This helps you feel at your most alert. As the day draws on, you’ll become increasingly tired, with melatonin levels rising as the darkness arrives, helping you sleep soundly. If you’re not starting work until 7 pm, then you’re going to find it difficult to concentrate and perform well. 

Even if you’re not a morning person, you can become one by developing a productive morning routine. Limit time-wasting activities in the morning, such as scrolling through your phone or taking long showers. A good morning incorporates meditation and exercise to get you in the zone. Also, try waking up an hour or two earlier. Doing so gives you that little bit of extra work time so that you’re ready to go outside straight after lunch.

Set Strict Deadlines

Many remote workers try to avoid deadlines, viewing them as stressful and unnecessary. However, research suggests that deadlines reduce stress and increase productivity. Essentially, they’re a prioritization tool that allows you to get your most important work done within a decent time limit. It’s often tempting to procrastinate on the bigger projects, but deadlines prevent you from doing this.

Each day, decide what tourist activities you want to do and how long you’ll need to do them. This will help you determine a time that you need to finish work and leave the house. That creates a clear divide between work time and vacation time. The stricter the deadline, the more motivated you’ll be to really knuckle down and get your work done quickly.

You may also want to look at your schedule for the week and figure out how many days it’ll take to get through. If you spend four days a week working and then take three-day breaks, then this will be enough time to explore your destination. This is known as being a half-tourist, allowing you to gain the benefits of being on vacation while also achieving your professional goals.

Stay Longer in Your Destination

Still finding it difficult to avoid the distraction of your destination? Maybe you’re just not giving yourself enough time. As a digital nomad, you shouldn’t be in any rush. If you’re only spending a week in a location and need to work full-time, then of course you’ll struggle to see everything. Instead, adopt a slow travel mentality.

Booking month-long accommodation can help you live a more sustainable lifestyle. You’ll be able to work long hours and complete all your projects to a high standard. Even if you only head outside in the evenings and on weekends, giving yourself more time in your destination will allow you to do all the touristy things that you see others doing. Remember, a month of weekends is equivalent to a week-long vacation.

Combining your love of travel and commitment to your work is never easy. There will always be some trade-offs and compromises. However, if you’re able to nail your productivity and stay disciplined, you can avoid getting distracted by your surroundings. That’s because you’ll still have the benefit of being a tourist and won’t feel like you’re missing out.

To help you get into the zone so you can minimize your time spent working and maximize your time spent exploring, book an Anyplace Select apartment that is set up for productivity.

Where to next? Find flexible month-to-month rentals across the globe on Anyplace.


Joe Frabotta is the Director of Marketing at Anyplace. He's a part-time nomad, traveling + working throughout the year but also having a home base in the mountains of Asheville, NC. When he's not working, you'll probably find him playing guitar, doing a section hike on the Appalachian Trail, or cooking up a storm in the kitchen.

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