A system. You need a system. A system is what makes location independent entrepreneurs efficient, I was told when I started looking into becoming more productive as digital nomad.
A system, in plain English, is a routine. But routines are boring, and for 9-to-5 people, and digital nomads got swag, so we need a system, not a routine.
System are generally also location independent, so not tied to one particular place. But they still are kind of a roster, a time schedule, that you can follow throughout your day to make the most of those 24 hours.
It probably comes as a major surprise to you now that all people are different, so everybody develops his/her own systems. Even so, I’m happy to share my perfect Sunday with you, as it happened to happen on July 23, 2017 – it might inspire you to try something similar.
Contents of A Perfectly Productive Day
I wake up at 7:25am. No alarm clock, no phone, just my body telling me it’s time to wake up. I still don’t have a phone to wake me up.
I drink 250ml of water, that’s all that’s left in my 750ml bottle I filled up last night before heading to bed. Drinking water is important, and at times I feel like I have become half a water addict. Which is fine, I think. Two to three liters a day are quite normal, even without exercising.
Bathroom. Toilet. Floss. My secret to (almost) daily flossing: Have that floss right next to your toilet. Instead of taking your smart phone, sit there and floss. Think the day through. Or replay your dreams in your head, if they were exciting…
Push-ups. Haven’t done that in a month. Had my thumbs injured by playing on the phone too much. Feels awesome.
Breakfast isn’t for another hour. So I set out for a run. 45 minutes, including stretching and a bit of walking. Enjoying the nature. No major achievement today, certainly no marathon, but that isn’t the intention anyway. The idea is to rather run a little bit than not at all. And I haven’t run for about 2 months now. I feel great.
2nd set of push-ups back home. Can’t recall when I last did two sets in a day. Possibly last year.
Shower. Two minutes. Save the environment. Thank you.
I quickly scribble down some thoughts while they’re still fresh in my mind. Running gets the gears turning – would be a shame to waste the results.
Breakfast And Family Time
Breakfast. Long and slow. Roughly one full hour, talking with the family. Family are the most important people you have, and hence were my main motivation to return from Thailand after five years and spend the summer in Germany.
Nobody grows younger. And, trust me, you don’t want to say farewell to your parents one day thinking ‘Oh if only I had spent more time with them’.
Of all the sad words men ever said
The saddest are clearly ‘If only I had’.
Inspired by John Greenleaf Whittier
It’s all about time. One thing I learned about time: In the end, it always runs out. Go spend more time with your family.
30 minutes table tennis with my sister. Don’t see her too often lately, which is a shame. Good to see her now. And good to see her more regularly this summer.
Then they all leave. Off to Freiburg. I stay at home, ready to get some work done. Looks like the day will remain overcast, which is the perfect weather for some typing, proof-reading, keyword research and the likes. It’s 10am. Let’s get cracking.
Getting Into The Flow
Indeed somehow the flow finds me. I research keywords for Phone Detox – How I Involuntarily Saved 1/7th Of My Time And Could Have Earned 75k.
And finally I finish the text on The Best Web Host for Startups, Nomads and Freelancers.
Then I allow myself to goof around for half an hour by judging logo drafts, before getting back to work.
For some reason, I don’t feel like listening to music today, and am not really hungry either. Somehow I’m in the flow. It feels fantastic!
Above mentioned three articles all go live, one after the other. Haven’t uploaded three articles on the same day in a very long time…
Afternoon. Time To Slack Off.
Around 4:30pm I slack off and open Facebook for the first time today. I get lost in digital nomad groups and watching funny YouTube videos. Then I check my messages. I never check my timeline.
An hour passes in an instant. It’s great to not feel bad about goofing around online, since enough work has been done already.
I head to the kitchen for some food.
Upon return to my room I don’t feel like computer work any longer, and start clearing out clutter. Tons of childhood memories, that I didn’t need and didn’t miss over the past five years in Thailand. Time to say goodbye.
One complete rack gets emptied out. It does feel extremely deliberating to throw stuff away. I firmly believe that possessions do not make people happy.
Evening With The Family
The family returns. Time for another table-tennis battle with my sister. And a great discussion about salary negotiations. She does grow up…
At 9:30pm we opt for a very late family dinner, to then watch The Intouchables at 10pm. Hilarious film, yet still extremely heart-warming. Gotta love it. Watch it, if you haven’t already.
Midnight I head back to my room, Skype with my friend Julie in Australia, where the workweek has already begun again, play around on Facebook for a couple more minutes and finish off this article.
Just to top things off, I upload An A-Class Airport Adventure, which I’m still not too sure about whether that was a good idea or not. But hey, we only regret the things we have not done, right?
Then it’s time to go to bed.
Summary Of Achievements
- Total ca 2 hours of sports: Running, push-ups, table-tennis.
- 7.5 hours mostly productive laptop time, resulting in the upload of 5 articles in one single day. Certainly a first for me. Probably fueled by the desire to write something cool in this post.
- Cleared out the clutter of that rack. Was planning to do that for months.
- Spent about 7 hours with family, friends and connecting with friends (via Skype; I don’t count Facebook as really ‘connecting’)
Yep. I’m heading to bed a satisfied man.
But before let me ask you: What was your most productive day? What are your daily routines to remain efficient? What are the main challenges you face when it comes to staying productive?
Drop a line in the comments below.
And: Good night!