How to Become a Digital Nomad with No Experience: A Guide by Digital Marketer Manuela Willbold

How to Become a Digital Nomad with No Experience: A Guide by Digital Marketer Manuela Willbold

Have you ever dreamed of working from anywhere in the world, without being tied to a specific location or a fixed schedule?

Do you want to explore new cultures, learn new skills, and enjoy more freedom and flexibility in your life? If so, you might be interested in becoming a digital nomad like me.

Who is a digital nomad?

A digital nomad is someone who uses technology to work remotely while travelling or living in different places. Digital nomads can work from home, co-working spaces, cafes, hotels, or anywhere with a reliable internet connection. They can choose their hours, projects, and clients if they deliver quality work and meet deadlines.

What does it take to become a digital nomad?

become-a-digital-nomad-and-a-digital-marketer

But how do you become a digital nomad with no experience? Is it possible to start from scratch and build a successful career as a location-independent professional?

The answer is yes, but it requires some planning, preparation, and perseverance.

In this digital nomad guide, I will share with you my journey of becoming a digital nomad and give you some tips and advice on how you can do the same. Don’t worry, anyone can achieve this!

My Digital Nomad Story: How I Became a Digital Nomad and a Digital Marketer

I have always loved travelling and learning new things. I studied education at university and later journalism and blogging in my free time while I worked as a teacher and a content writer and translator for several years.

I talk about my journey in more depth here:

However, at some point, I felt that something was missing in my life. I wanted more freedom, flexibility, ownership, and challenge in my work. I wanted to be able to work from anywhere in the world, without being limited by geography or time zones.

That’s when I discovered the concept of digital nomadism. I was fascinated by the idea of combining work and travel and being able to earn money online while pursuing my passions. I decided to take the plunge and quit my teaching job to become a full-time digital marketer with ClickDo.

This was only possible because I’d worked part-time for ClickDo previously, learning the SEO and digital marketing skills that would eventually get me the job of a full-time senior marketer at the agency.

Digital marketing is one of the most popular and lucrative fields for digital nomads. I had some basic skills in writing, editing, blogging and social media when I started to work for ClickDo, but I knew that was not enough to land me a decent full-time job online with the salary I wanted. I needed to learn more about SEO, content marketing, email marketing, web design, analytics, and other aspects of digital marketing.

I achieved this through learning by doing basically. I learned all about WordPress, SEO, blogging and digital marketing through the guidance of ClickDo’s CEO Fernando Raymond along with online tutorials and SeekaHost University courses.

The courses are taught by ClickDo marketing and SEO experts who have years of experience in the industry, and who are also digital nomads themselves. They gave me valuable insights into how to find and manage clients and projects and grow my portfolio online.

The journalism course I did for one summer holiday when I was off from teaching also gave me access to a supportive community of fellow students and mentors who helped me improve my writing, research, and journalistic skills. They gave me feedback on my assignments, answered my questions, and shared their own experiences and tips on working as writers, journalists, and even digital nomads. All these experiences encouraged me to start my blog, manuelawillbold.com, where I could showcase my work and build my brand online.

 

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On top of my basic pay, I get paid commissions, so I gradually built up a growing stream of income from making additional sales for ClickDo. I built blogs and magazines for ClickDo that would offer guest posting and PR services, which would serve as additional income sources besides client work.

Parts of my daily work include content writing, editing, proofreading, SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, web designing, and SEO consultancy for clients around the world. Some of them are small businesses or startups that need help with their online presence or marketing. Other established brands or agencies outsource some of their work to me.

Here’s more about my life as a digital marketer and nomad in London:

I also started to hire more freelancers as my workload increased. I now work with content creators and publishers, email and social media marketers, salespeople, and web designers to delegate tasks so that we can scale our operations in digital marketing and website monetisation.

Thanks to these developments, I can grow my income and reputation as a digital marketer. I constantly learn new skills and expand my portfolio with more diverse and challenging projects, new collaborations, and partnerships, which in turn enable me to charge higher rates for my work and negotiate better terms with my clients.

Nowadays, I earn enough money online and remotely to support myself and fund my travels around the world. I have visited over 30 countries and plan to visit many more while working remotely from anywhere I want as a digital nomad.

How you can become a digital nomad with no experience

become-a-digital-nomad-with-no-experience

As a digital nomad, you can work from home, cafes, co-working spaces, hotels, or anywhere with a reliable internet connection. You can also travel as much or as little as you want if you’re self-employed or depending on your and your employer’s preferences and budget.

But is it possible to start this lifestyle without having any prior skills, work, or education in the online world?

Yes, you can, and I will guide you through the steps you need to take to become a digital nomad with no experience. I will also highlight some of the necessary skills, work and education options, and possible career paths that can enable you to live and work as a digital nomad.

Check out my highlights of living as a digital nomad here:

Step 1: Assess Your Current Situation

The first step to becoming a digital nomad with no experience is to assess your current situation and determine what you need to change or improve. Some of the questions you should ask yourself are:

  1. What are your goals and motivations for becoming a digital nomad?
  2. What are your current skills and strengths?
  3. What are your current weaknesses and gaps?
  4. What are your current income sources and expenses?
  5. How much savings do you have and how long can they last?
  6. How much debt do you have and how can you pay it off?
  7. How flexible are you in terms of time, location, and lifestyle?

By answering these questions honestly, you will have a clearer picture of where you are now and where you want to go. You will also be able to identify the areas that you need to work on or learn more about before you can start your digital nomad journey.

Check out my tips for working as a digital nomad in this video:

Step 2: Learn New Skills or Improve Existing Ones

The next step to becoming a digital nomad with no experience is to learn new skills or improve existing ones that can help you find online work or create your own online business.

learn-new-skills-to-become-a-digital-nomad

Many skills are in high demand in the online world, such as:

  • Web development
  • Graphic design
  • Content writing
  • Copywriting
  • Social media marketing
  • SEO
  • Digital Marketing
  • Online teaching
  • Virtual assistance
  • Translation
  • Data entry

You don't need to master all these skills, but you should choose one or a few that match your interests, talents, and goals. You should also consider the level of difficulty, competition, and income potential of each skill.

Check out this ClickDo Guide to get an idea of remote working jobs that pay well while aligning with your expectations and goals:

Remote Working Jobs

There are many ways to learn new skills or improve existing ones, such as:

  • Taking online courses or tutorials
  • Reading books or blogs
  • Watching videos or podcasts
  • Joining online communities or forums
  • Practising on your projects or portfolios
  • Offering your services for free or at a low rate to gain experience and feedback

The key is to be consistent, curious, and committed to learning and improving every day. You should also seek out mentors, peers, or clients who can help you grow and challenge yourself.

Step 3: Find Online Work or Create Your Own Online Business

The third step to becoming a digital nomad with no experience is to find online work or create your own online business that can generate enough income to sustain your lifestyle.

There are two main ways to do this

Working as a freelancer

freelancer-working-as-digital-nomad

This means offering your skills or services to clients on a project-by-project basis. You can find freelance work on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, PeoplePerHour, Freelancer.com, etc., or by networking with other freelancers, digital nomads, or potential clients. The advantages of freelancing are that you have more control over your schedule, rates, and projects. The disadvantages are that you have less stability, security, and benefits.

Working as an employee

This means working for a company or organization that allows remote work. You can find remote work on platforms like FlexJobs, and Remote.co, We Work Remotely, etc., or by applying directly to companies that offer remote positions. The advantages of working as an employee are that you have more stability, security, and benefits. The disadvantages are that you have less control over your schedule, rates, and projects.

Starting your own Business

start-your-own-business-as-digital-nomad

You can also create your own online business by selling products or services that solve a problem or meet a need for a specific audience, I share tips for freelance copywriting businesses for example. You can create your website or blog, e-commerce store, online course, podcast etc., and monetize it through various methods such as advertising, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, subscriptions, etc.

Step 4: Making money online

If you dream of travelling the world and working from anywhere, you might be interested in becoming a digital nomad. A digital nomad is someone who uses the internet to earn money and live a location-independent lifestyle. But how do you make money online to support this kind of lifestyle or to even retire early?

 

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I will share some of the most popular and profitable ways to make money online as a digital nomad but you can also check out my previous popular guides on making money online in Germany and earning online in the UK.

1. Freelancing

Freelancing is one of the easiest and most flexible ways to make money online. You can offer your skills and services to clients around the world, such as writing, graphic design, web development, marketing, translation, and more. You can find freelance gigs on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer, or create your own website and portfolio. Freelancing allows you to set your rates, hours, and projects, but it also requires discipline, communication, and time management skills.

2. Blogging

blogging-as-digital-nomad

Blogging is another way to make money online by creating and sharing valuable content with your audience. You can blog about anything you are passionate about, such as travel, lifestyle, fitness, fashion, or personal development. You can monetize your blog by displaying ads, selling products or services, promoting affiliate offers, or creating sponsored posts. Blogging takes time and effort to grow your traffic and income, but it can also be very rewarding and fun.

3. E-commerce

E-commerce is the process of selling products or services online. You can create your online store using platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, or Etsy, or sell on marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, or AliExpress. You can sell physical products, digital products, or dropship products from other suppliers. E-commerce requires some upfront investment, inventory management, and customer service skills, but it can also generate passive income and scale easily.

4. Online courses

make-online-courses-as-digital-nomad

Online courses are another way to make money online by sharing your knowledge and expertise with others. You can create and sell online courses on e-course platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, Teachable, or Podia, or host them on your website. You can teach anything you are good at or interested in, such as languages, business, photography, music, or personal development. Online courses can be a great source of passive income and authority building.

5. Podcasting

Podcasting is the art of creating and distributing audio content online. You can start a podcast on any topic you are passionate about or have an audience for, such as travel, entrepreneurship, sports, comedy, or education. You can monetize your podcast by attracting sponsors, selling products or services, accepting donations, or creating premium content.

Podcasting requires some equipment, editing skills, and marketing strategies, but it can also be a great way to connect with your audience and grow your brand.

I’m just getting started as you can see here:

These are just some of the ways to make money online as a digital nomad. There are many more options and opportunities out there for you to explore and experiment with. The key is to find something that suits your skills, interests, goals, and lifestyle preferences.

Remember that making money online consistently is not easy or quick; it takes hard work, dedication, and patience. But if you are willing to learn and adapt along the way, you can achieve your dream of living as a digital nomad, especially if you understand how to scale and automate operations.

Step 5: Planning your digital nomad lifestyle

plan-your-digital-nomad-lifestyle

Digital nomad dream of working from anywhere in the world, exploring new cultures, and having more freedom and flexibility in their life, so utilising technology effectively to work remotely and live a location-independent lifestyle is key to achieving this dream.

Becoming a digital nomad is not as easy as it sounds. It requires careful planning, preparation, and adaptation. I will share some tips on how to plan and master the digital nomad lifestyle, based on my own experience and research.

1. Define your goals and expectations

Before you embark on your digital nomad journey, you need to have a clear idea of why you want to do it, what you hope to achieve, and what challenges you might face. For example, do you want to travel the world, learn new skills, or start your own business? How long do you plan to be a digital nomad? How will you balance work and leisure? How will you deal with loneliness, culture shock, or visa issues? Having realistic goals and expectations will help you stay motivated and focused.

2. Choose your destination(s) wisely

One of the perks of being a digital nomad is that you can choose where to live and work. However, not all destinations are equally suitable for digital nomads. You need to consider factors such as cost of living, internet speed, safety, climate, culture, language, and time zone. You also need to research the visa requirements and regulations for each country you want to visit.

Some popular destinations for digital nomads include Thailand, Bali, Portugal, Mexico, and Estonia, but I personally love Greece, Spain, Germany, the UK and most of Europe. I share some travel tips for digital nomads here:

3. Secure a reliable source of income

Unless you have a lot of savings or passive income, you will need to find a way to make money online as a digital nomad. There are many options for remote work, such as freelancing, consulting, blogging, podcasting, teaching, or running an e-commerce store as explained in more detail above and in some of my other guides. You can also look for remote jobs on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Remote.co, or FlexJobs. Whatever you choose, make sure you have a stable and diversified income stream that can cover your expenses and allow you to save for emergencies and future investments.

4. Pack light and smart

As a digital nomad, you will be moving around a lot, so you don't want to carry too much luggage with you. Ideally, you should be able to fit everything in a carry-on backpack or suitcase. You should only pack the essentials, such as clothes, toiletries, documents, and electronics. You can always buy or rent anything else you need locally. You should also invest in some quality travel gear, such as a laptop stand, a portable charger, a travel adapter, and a VPN service.

5. Build a network and community

build-a-network-and-community-for-digital-nomad

One of the biggest challenges of being a digital nomad is loneliness and isolation. You will be leaving behind your friends and family, and constantly meeting new people who may not share your lifestyle or values. That's why it's important to build a network and community of like-minded people who can support you, inspire you, and collaborate with you. You can join online groups and forums for digital nomads, such as Nomad List, Digital Nomad Network, or Reddit. You can also attend local events and meetups for digital nomads or expats in your destination.

6. Keep learning and growing

Being a digital nomad is not only about working and travelling; it's also about learning and growing as a person. You will have the opportunity to experience different cultures, languages, cuisines, and perspectives that will enrich your life and broaden your horizons. You will also face various challenges and difficulties that will test your resilience and adaptability. To make the most of your digital nomad journey, you should always keep an open mind and a curious attitude. You should also seek feedback and improve your skills and knowledge.

Fernando and I share our digital nomad journeys in this video for more inspiration:

Becoming a digital nomad is not for everyone; it requires a lot of planning, creativity, discipline, and courage. But if you are willing to take the leap and follow the above tips and ideas, you can enjoy a rewarding and fulfilling lifestyle that many people only dream of. If you think it’s for you, test it and see how you get on. You’ve got nothing to lose after all.

How a WordPress Blog Can Empower & Enrich a Woman’s Life?

How a WordPress Blog Can Empower & Enrich a Woman’s Life?

Reading and writing has always been empowerment for me. I remember how, as a 5-year-old, I couldn’t wait to finally read the TV newspaper to be able to plan what I was watching and when.

In primary school, we wrote poetry albums of friends and I started keeping a diary. When I look at these written testimonies many years later, I feel proud. Proud of the young woman I was then and proud of the woman I am today who still has some of these friends in her life. The diary and the albums documented this journey with images, colourings, photos, comments from friends, teachers and relatives and any other memories such as tickets to unforgettable events, for example.

A blog can do this and much more in a flexible online format.

A Blog – an Online Presence for Self-Presentation and Realization

In the 21st century, the Internet allows us to use new media or implement old methods in new ways. In my opinion, a blog is a kind of online diary, but it offers much more than a traditional diary. A blog offers versatile design options such as

  • written design through websites with text, articles with text, images with text
  • visual design through images, graphics, any artistic illustration, video
  • auditory design through videos, podcasts, music clips, musical accompaniment, etc.
  • Links to other media, posts, channels, etc.

Due to this incredible wealth of design options, it is essential to define the purpose and motivation behind a blog in advance. There are now millions of blogs and basically you can divide them all into 2 main categories:

  1. Niche blogs – A niche blog focuses on a specific topic. Usually, the blog articles and content are aimed at a specific target group, such as families, professionals in different professional groups, sports fans, etc. Blog topics can thus cover everything from the minimalist blog to the financial blog. Niche blogs are therefore also mostly represented in the business world and companies use blogs to inform and entertain about their products or services.
  2. Personal blogs – A personal blog focuses on a person and their topics. Bloggers can document their lives from different angles such as the information aspect or the entertainment aspect. Many bloggers share with their readers where and how they travel, what they eat and cook, what they do for a living or how they live out and realize their hobbies. A personal blog can be designed relatively freely, as long as no generally applicable laws are violated.

In this article, I will focus mainly on a personal blog, but show ways in which it can also be used professionally as a CV or portfolio for example, with the main goal of presenting the potential of a blog.

What can a WordPress Blog do for a Superwoman?

superwoman-blog-to-fulfil-potentialIn the digital age, most people search for information via the Internet, more precisely, through search engines such as Google or Bing. In 2020, 81% of global internet users have searched online for products or services, according to SmartInsights.com. Whether this is done with the smartphone, the tablet or the computer, it is the fastest, easiest and often cheapest way to get information and answers fast.

If you want to reach people as a private or public person, a blog offers an ideal platform to make your voice heard, since a blog:

  • is easy to create and manage (I explain this step by step in my article “How To Start A Blog” and at the SeekaHost University, which I co-manage and where you can find  blogging online courses with short tutorials).
  • can be created and used cost-effectively.
  • offers endless design possibilities.
  • is a relatively independent mouthpiece that can be built up and designed creatively and on your own.

WordPress is the most popular CMS (content management system) among all blog platforms, as it is open-source and freely available to everyone, offering the greatest freedom of design. Compared to other blogging platforms like SquareSpace or Wix, which are used by about 1% of all bloggers, WordPress is used by about 35% of all bloggers worldwide in 2020, according to W3Techs.com.

For my personal blog, manuelawillbold.com, I use WordPress, as well as for all the other blogs I manage like the UK Education Blog or the Green Living Blog. To show how differently I have built and designed these 3 blogs, I share the homepage of each one here:

My personal blog manuelawillbold.com:

personal-blog-for-exposure-as-expert

My UK Education Blog:

wordpress-blog-about-uk-education-and-edtech

WordPress blog about UK educations and edtech

 My Green Living Blog:

lifestyle-or-better-living-blog-for-inspiration

I think one thing becomes clear here: A blog can convey at first glance what it is about through its presentation and content – the message is loud, powerful, and clear visually.

And in my opinion, this is the great potential for every female blogger and their empowerment.

Self-presentation of many Aspects of a Superwoman through Blogging

Based on my three blog examples, it will hopefully be clear that a strong woman blogger is not only one-dimensional, and therefore should not present herself only one-sided online.

With my blogs I present my passions: writing/blogging, education, and the environment.

Through my personal blog under my own name, I present myself as a private and professional person, blogger and digital nomad. The blog offers me the opportunity:

  • to present myself as a person and my personality through photos, videos and articles
  • to present and convey my interests and skills creatively
  • to share my knowledge, talents, tips and experiences and thus help others
  • to position myself with regards to trending topics and current affairs that are relevant

Through my UK Education Blog, I share my professional expertise and present myself as an education expert. The blog offers me the opportunity:

  • to present and share my experience of many years in early childhood and school education
  • to share my knowledge, expertise, emerging scientific facts, news and developments in education
  • to share advice, insights and tips in education on relevant topics

Through my Green Living blog, I share my private passion for environmental protection. Here I have the opportunity:

  • to convey my own findings and concerns on the subject of environmental protection
  • to make my contribution to environmental protection through information and education
  • To educate myself through writing and researching

What hopefully meets the eye is that I represent parts of myself as a woman through all three online presences. I expand my own awareness, knowledge, know-how and competence and at the same time realize my hobbies, passions, and main interests.

This is incredibly fulfilling. And when you receive encouragement from acquaintances and strangers and see how the blog grows in popularity, then this is an almost indescribable feeling of satisfaction and happiness. In the following video I explain this in more detail and show how my life has changed based on my blogs:

What is the Potential of a Blog for a Superwoman?

Blogging is often seen as a purely technical or writing process. However, blogging can be an extremely creative, challenging, and fun process. The prerequisite is, of course, a certain level of digital knowledge and skills, such as being able to use Microsoft programs, as well as being familiar with Internet browsers, computer systems and web applications like the web hosting control panel.

For me, running a blog as a strong woman has the following advantages and benefits that can empower every woman:

  • You can teach yourself and others a lot, such as digital skills, research results in specific subject areas, new and innovative concepts, etc.blogging-and-remote-working-for-healthy-work-life-balance
  • You can give free rein to your creativity and write articles and content according to your own ideas and wishes with the use of various media such as images, videos, text, podcasts, etc.
  • You can boost your self-confidence by highlighting and sharing your strengths and talents, using them to help or inspire other people. And by presenting and positioning yourself in a way you feel comfortable.
  • You can establish yourself as a person and combine pleasure with work through your online presence. When a blog is successful and attracts hundreds to thousands of readers monthly, new paths to success open up and a blogger can become a powerful woman influencer.
  • Women who pause their professional careers due to their role as mothers can use a blog as a “break filler” and thus continue to be active in their field of expertise during parental leave. The blog can then also be used as a portfolio or online CV for future applications or as a figurehead for independent work projects.
  • You can network with others and work on collaborations through the blog and through new, exciting projects that arise from the blogging.
  • You can enjoy more freedom and self-governance while working remotely under your own terms.

A skill that is essential if you want to make your blog successful is SEO (search engine optimization). It is learnable via SEO online courses and brings the important visibility via search engines that you need to expand your readership.  SEO content and many guest posts and infographics have allowed me to place the UK Education Blog at the top of Google (snapshot taken on 04/10/20):

How did I do that? In my reader friendly writing article I share tips and tricks and in my SEO copywriting online course as well.

Admittedly, it’s not easy to build a blog for success and it took me almost 3 years to rank my blogs on Google and Bing among certain keywords on the top rankings and thus reach the milestone of almost 1000 monthly visitors after over a year:

BUT I did this on the side while working 40 hours a week as an early years educator at a private school in London’s Notting Hill. This should encourage every powerful woman and at the end I would like to give all women the following message:

If the motivation is big enough and you are on fire for your blog project, then it will be a success, because where there is a will, there is a way!

I would like to help every woman to build an online presence via blogs and answer any questions about blogging and digital marketing at any time via my email: manuela@seekahost.org.

 

 

My Home Office Setup for Remote Work During The Emergency Lockdown

My Home Office Setup for Remote Work During The Emergency Lockdown

It’s a time of change, it’s a time of novelty.

Now that working from home, telecommuting or working remotely is a new reality for many due to social distancing and lockdowns, I am preparing myself to teach and blog from my living room for the foreseeable near future.

Recent studies show that remote employees that work online from anywhere are far more productive than in a standard office as they require less time to get ready or commute to work.

Let’s see if I can put this theory to the test while creating a comfy home office with hopefully the best home office layout design I can come up with.

Analysis of my Current Work Situation at School and Home

Teacher-working-with-parents-and-students-in-classroom-and-school

So far, I have mainly taught in the classroom on a daily basis so this was my main work place. Here, I would have a desk with a laptop and I would spend probably one to two quarters of my day documenting, communicating and sharing my classroom work on the computer. The rest of the work day would be actively teaching, preparing activities, cleaning or tidying and of course most importantly interacting.

I have therefore never really set up a so called home office. I usually work on my laptop when blogging, sitting on my sofa, my bed or my bean bag when I am at home. With the majority of my time being spent using the computer during this isolation period, I probably will have to change that. Because apparently posture and efficiency are better in a properly set up home office.

How to rearrange the Home and Routine for a better Home Office Experience?

Remote-worker-setting-up-home-office-for-more-online-work-efficiency

Online orders have shot up during national lockdowns and so it is only natural that I start to browse Amazon and Co. for some home office equipment. However, I don’t want to rearrange my whole living room, so I try to look into options to use the furniture I already have and how to optimise it.

What can I change in my living room/main home office space?

I have a dining table and an office chair. It’s a good height and provides sufficient space. During the first few daysadjustable-standing-and-sitting-home-office-desk-for-blogging I work from here. I feel good, I hold video conference calls and write documents, emails, articles, but somehow I don’t enjoy facing the wall opposite me.

I remember that I have an empty space next to my big balcony window with a view out to Canary Wharf. I purchase a foldable home office desk with two slim tables that are adjustable in height and wheels so that it is mobile.

I create space for all my things and I feel better looking out the window every now and then and enjoying the light coming in. Another plus is that I’m not next to the fridge any longer, which is tempting to eat more and take more short breaks. Maybe because I am “locked in”, I have more of a desire to look out.

I improve my posture by alternating between working while sitting and standing up whenever I feel a need to. This also helps me from getting a stiff neck and back, which I tend to get easily. In between I can stretch or do a few yoga poses to refresh my body and mind.

What else to consider apart from the office space?

Since I won’t spend much at this stage, I want to focus on the basics plus the non-material aspects.

Lighthome-office-space-organisation-for-good-light

Looking at the light, I feel having the desk by the window is a good choice as I’m utilising the natural light as much as possible. I won’t really need a desk lamp for most of the day and by that I also save energy. The sunlight streaming in doesn’t cause any disruption as my desk is in front of the wall, so not directly in the sun. We all know that natural sunlight has a lot of health benefits like being a good source of Vitamin D or increasing energy levels and productivity, so I’m happy with this decision.

Space Organisation

Taking a look at the organisation of the space around my desk, I have everything I might need to grab or get near me on my shelves. By that I’m avoiding time loss to fetch documents, gadgets or office tools. It’s not cluttered, but organised in different drawers and shelves, so it’s easily available.

Nutrition and noise

My living room is open plan and the kitchen is part of it. The good thing about it is that I Healthy-foods-for-remote-workers-working-from-homedon’t have to go far to grab a drink or food. The bad thing is that it can be tempting to take more snack breaks. However, staying hydrated throughout the day is important for a good performance level. And obviously eating healthy and light meals, so having fruits and vegetables handy should do the job.

The other aspect is noise. There aren’t many loud noises around me usually, but of course, preparing food in the kitchen can be distracting. If that was the case, I could consider wearing headphones, playing my music playlist on Spotify or my audio book on Audible. Another tip for people who work better with white noise are sites like Coffitivity or Noisli for background noise that improves focus and productivity.

Movement

As already mentioned, my adjustable desk allows me to stand up instead of sitting when I feel like it. While standing I could make calls, hold video chats and virtual meetings or record videos such as tutorials. Writing also works while standing, but works slightly better when being seated I feel in terms of my posture. Because my office desk is mobile, I can move it around in my living room, which enables me to watch something on my laptop while cooking for example. However, it is also important for me to allocate time slots where I stretch, do some yoga or a quick workout.

Scheduling

I realise that I need to structure my day more effectively. The morning is probably the best time to be active and use the energy to hold meetings, record videos, delegate tasks and make phone calls. The afternoon is more suitable for writing and editing tasks, where I have to be focused and should avoid interruptions through messages and phone calls. It’s obviously not always possible to stick to the schedule, but to have a rough outline of the work day helps to get things done effectively with a goal in mind.

Breaks should also be part of this. I usually take a snack break and a movement break every 2-3 hours. I have also found it useful to set myself goals for the day in the morning that are achievable in a day, which lead to achieving my long-term goals set out for the month or year. I use my Paulo Coelho planner for this and prefer to note it down in a handwritten manner.

Me-time

I start the day with a 10 minute meditation and a physical exercise to get ready for work. Mostly I do 30Being-active-for-best-posture-when-working-online-on-computer minutes of yoga or HIIT exercises. This wakes me up, prepares me and helps me plan the day ahead. I just have a coffee and a smoothie before getting started with work. My couch is next to my desk so if I feel like taking a little time out, I can just briefly lie down or take my bean bag to the balcony to catch a bit of sun for a breather.

3 Lessons Learned From Remote Working during Lockdown #1

Lesson #1

Working from home has been challenging at times, especially with regards to delivering education in the same format and way as in the classroom at school and there are certainly many limitations to overcome in the future to provide remote learning and teaching at a high level that is satisfactory for everyone involved. I have covered these challenges in more detail on the UK Education Blog:

8 Most Pressing Challenges in Education Arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Lesson #2

Overall, it has been a pleasant experience though for me personally. I felt I could be more productive while using the additional time I had for outstanding tasks, because I didn’t have to commute. I also had more time to exercise and communicate with others via video chat and messaging platforms and was therefore able to devote more time to pastoral or team-related matters. This was vital during this period of complete isolation from colleagues, students and all other social contacts.

Lesson #3

I can certify that improving my home office has helped me feeling better working on the computer all day long and has improved my focus and enjoyment while working. I would highly recommend an adjustable and mobile desk to alternate between standing, sitting and moving around. There’s a reason why Microsoft Eyes Guard reminds us to take short breaks every 30 minutes or so. One should also bear this in mind when scheduling meetings to ensure they have 5 minute breaks in between each. I have written articles about home office improvement options:

15 Smart Tips For The Remote Worker’s Home Office Setup

Activities one can do during a lockdown in London:

10 Best Activities to do in Lockdown London this Autumn

And possible home business ideas in case you are inspired or are considering moving into online work: 48 Home Business Ideas Guide

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