Productivity Hacks for Digital Nomads

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Cold showers: Some love them, some hate them, but there is no denying that starting your day this way will make you more alert and enthusiastic in your work. Try it every other day as a test and see which days end up being your most productive.


Pomodoro Technique: The brain can fatigue quite quickly, especially on tasks that are not firing up the creative or inspired part of your grey matter. Most have heard of the pomodoro technique, but a lot are reluctant to try it, thinking that taking a 5 minute break every 30 mins is borderline lazy. I don’t think this technique is useful for all tasks, as some like coding require getting into a zone, that once broken, can be difficult to reenter. But testing out on certain jobs is bound to yield fantastic results.

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Brain-Wave Entrainment: This has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, with apps popping up left, right and centre. It’s easy to understand why, when the simple act of listening to audio as you work can bring your brainwaves to a specific level optimal for either focus, learning, problem solving, relaxation or sleep. My personal favourite is Brain.fm, available as a Web App or Mobile app.

Pavlovs Bell: If you are new to Pavlov and his Dog and Bell, here is a quick introduction to him from Simply Psychology. In a nutshell, he discovered that associations between 2 things can be made in the brain if they are presented within a short amount of time. For example, if I was to punch you each time you ate a piece of chocolate, your brain would start to associate chocolate with pain. Enter Pavlok, the tech company using this method to help people quit bad habits and develop new ones. It has a variety of features, but it’s main one is to deliver an electric shock to you each time you fall back into a habit that you want to break. This can be done for obvious things like smoking, but is also successfully used to crush procrastination. One of my favourite features is the Shock Clock, which can deliver you a nice refreshing zap along with your wake up alarm. For those of you who are still not onboard with the cold showers, this will also get you starting your day with a bang. Now I know the idea of being electrocuted is not exactly appealing, but it’s not as extreme as it sounds. You can customize the level of zap, so its enough to be an irritant, but not so much that you’ll end up throwing your Pavlok out of a highrise building.

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Midday Meditation: Meditating at any time of the day is hugely beneficial, but doing it halfway through your workday can serve as a type of reset button, giving you the energy to attack your workload with the same vigour as the morning session. Plenty of apps are on the market that make getting into meditation and forming a daily habit much easier. You are no doubt familiar with Headspace and Calm, as they have impressive marketing campaigns…but one that gets a lot less attention, and is in many ways superior, is Waking Up by Sam Harris. At the time of publication the app has a 50 day program, which takes you from beginner and gradually builds you up with each passing day. Separate to the main program are 36 lessons, ranging from 3 minutes to 30 minutes. These are something that no other app on the market is offering and can really help you improve your meditation practice.


Coffee Coffee Coffee:

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Liquid Brain Juice and Nectar of the Entrepreneur Gods; Coffee is our friend. Here at Hub 53 we love our caffeine and have make sure to supply our members with an espresso machine and beans to keep them bouncing. But this is not always the case in co-working spaces, so better to be prepared in case you are confronted with the sad sight of cheap instant coffee. One solution that takes up very little space in your luggage is a 3-1 Coffee Grinder cup. It grinds your beans, acts as a paperless filter, and as a cup. They are relatively cheap to purchase too and are available from many companies on Amazon. If you are in South East Asia, you can get one on Lazada here.


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Co-working Spaces: I may be preaching to the converted, but for those few who are still on coffee shop rotation….you are missing out big time. A good co-working space will give you the ideal environment to be able to concentrate on your work, without unnecessary distractions (crying babies). Designated spaces for different activities (Silent rooms, Skype Rooms, Nap Rooms, Meeting Rooms) means that everyone can do what they need to do without distracting anyone else. Productivity 101: Crying babies and loud skype calls were sent by Satan to spoil your workday.

Study with me:

This seems like a pretty wacky idea, but is strangely effective. For those who prefer to work from home, but could use the motivation of working alongside someone else, ‘Study with me’ or ‘Work with me’ videos can be a useful tool. You knuckle down and concentrate for as long as they do. One I have used myself is by Youtuber Thomas Frank, because he has a few at different lengths (One hour, 45 mins and Pomodoro 25 mins)…but shop around a little to find what works for you.

Are there any other Hacks that you use that you would like to share with us? We’d love to hear so we can share them with the community.

Author: James Dennan

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