When I first gave up my office environment for the life of a digital nomad, one of the earliest things I noticed was how flexible my time had become. I loved my newfound freedom! However, I soon discovered that I didn’t seem to be getting quite as much accomplished as I had when I was confined to a relatively controlled office environment. Fortunately, I realized my error fairly quickly. I had given up not only my office but also the structure it provided – including the structure of a regular schedule.
But all was not lost. By making one simple adjustment, I was able to get my schedule back under control and my productivity back on track.
The issue I had was that I wasn’t setting my weekly schedule up for success. As much as we need to find time to meet with clients and prospects, we also need time to focus on getting deliverables out the door. My mistake was that I was scheduling meetings in a haphazard manner – as someone would request a meeting, I would fit it in wherever I saw a space on my calendar. As a result, I would find myself having to rush out to meetings almost every day of the week!
Meetings are a disruption. If you are trying to focus on work and then have to dive into a meeting, it takes you out of your flow, and it is really hard to get back to it once the meeting is adjourned. So, I started to slot days in my schedule just for meetings.
Now, when I set up meetings, I try to set a few in the same day, my Meeting Day. Regardless of whether the meetings are taking place virtually or in person, having them all together means I can just focus on the meetings that day. I know I am not going to be super productive on anything else on those days, but that is okay – I have another day in the week set aside for just focused work time, so I don’t worry!
Additionally, you can use that extra time between meetings to run errands – especially the ones you have been putting off. You are out and about anyway, so you might as well get to the bank while you’re at it!
This is just one simple change that you can make today that will change your productivity in a huge way. Set yourself meeting days and stick to them. When someone asks when you are available, try to slot them in on your meeting day. Then, on the days when you need to focus, you can shut off the world around you and just get stuff done.
Photo Credit: nicholasjon