It's Location Independence Month on One Woman Shop!

Most of us tend to think of “routine” with a bit of a negative connotation. We start by thinking of all the responsibilities we have to cram into our day - emails, meetings, work, exercising, etc. It sounds monotonous and ordinary, and as a solopreneur, I think we can all agree that we’re anything but ordinary.

In the beginning of our location-independent solopreneur journeys, we rejected routine. We tossed it out the window, replacing it with constant movement, travel, adventure and change. That’s what location independence is all about, isn’t it?

After all, everything we knew about routine had come from previously working corporate and being in school for 16 years. Early morning alarm, breakfast, commute, work, lunch break, work, commute, workout, dinner, sleep…repeat. Routine left us feeling uninspired and tired and frankly - we wanted nothing to do with it.

Fast forward two years later, as two successful location-independent solopreneurs working online and traveling the world. We now not only embrace routine -- we love it. It all started with changing our negative perception of routine with what we now like to call “designing our ideal lifestyle” in each new city or country we travel to.

Why do we need routine as location-independent solopreneurs?

You’ve probably read before that the top productivity experts and entrepreneurs thrive on routine. Is it possible to combine that with the freedom of location independence and being in total control of how you spend your days? Absolutely.

While at home, you’re probably aware of your most productive working hours, the time of the day you’re most likely to hit a slump, where you find inspiration, and your favorite way to relax after a long day.

As a location-independent solopreneur, it is just as important, if not more, to incorporate these aspects into your daily routine in a new country or city. The overwhelm and excitement of a new place can easily hinder your progress in your online business, and routine seeks to prevent that from happening. In fact, routine is the key to not only enjoying your experience abroad, but also becoming as successful as possible in your solopreneur business.

As perpetual travelers, our routine looks a bit different in each city, but overall, integrating a routine is a constant. Through our experience over the past two years, we’ve come up with four key elements you can use to design your ideal lifestyle or “routine” as a location-independent solopreneur. Find them below, along with how we incorporated them into our daily life while we were in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The elements of a successful routine on the road

1. Work time + work space: Find your most productive work times and work spaces and rock them. Do you thrive in the early morning or late evening? Are you most productive working from home, your favorite local coffee shop or the cool co-working space in your new city? Do you prefer to use techniques like Pomodoro to tackle your work? Building a routine starts with figuring out the schedule and locations that are going to allow you to be as efficient as possible in getting your work done. Once you’ve decided on the best way for you to be the most productive and produce your best work, set your business up to match it.

For us in Chiang Mai, here’s what that looked like:

Work Time: Mornings 8am - 1pm, evenings (if necessary) 7pm - 10pm

Favorite workspaces: A'b Petite Cafe, Kaweh Cafe, Wake up Cafe

2. Healthy habits: Staying healthy looks different for everyone. If it’s about eating healthy, do your research ahead of time and ask locals to find where you can eat well in your new city: shopping at local markets, cooking from home, or choosing healthy restaurants? When it comes to exercise, find your go-to for your preferred activities: safe routes or parks to run through, a studio to practice yoga or pilates, a shop to rent a bike or surfboard. Maybe staying healthy is all about building in 30 minutes of meditation each day. Plan ahead and build these activities into your schedule to make them part of your routine.

For us in Chiang Mai, here’s what that looked like:

Eating Healthy: Salad Concept restaurant, Shopping at local night markets for fresh food

Exercising: Pilates classes

Other: Green Bamboo Massage

3. Social activities: Staying inspired in both business and life, for us, requires a certain level of social engagement. That’s why it’s crucial that it’s part of our routine. Think of different ways you can meet new people in your area: through co-working spaces, meetups, dance classes, and more. This not only plays a big part in your mental health and feeling satisfied with your life on the road, but also can improve your business. When you’re out engaging with new people, you’ll hear about all the amazing things other digital nomads are up to. This not only serves as inspiration -- it might even end up turning into new clients or collaborations.

For us in Chiang Mai, here’s what that looked like:

Meetups: Chiang Mai Digital Nomad Facebook Group, live jazz music night, co-working spaces, coffee shops

4. Trying something new: Incorporate things other than work into your routine that bring you joy! Especially because you’re in a new city, sign up to try something new at least once a week: cooking classes, language lessons, local activities and more. Trying something new pushes you outside of your comfort zone, where you learn things about yourself you didn’t even know existed. When you take risks in your life you’re more likely to take bolder, calculated risks in your business that will result in bigger wins for you.

For us in Chiang Mai, here’s what that looked like: Thai cooking classes, elephant caregivers, explore temples, local night markets etc.

Routine provides the foundation

Designing the routine behind your ideal lifestyle will be anything but boring, ordinary or monotonous!

When you’re constantly on the road as a digital nomad, sometimes the only way to stay sane and satisfy client requirements is to rely on your routine. At the end of the day, it’s all about making the commitment to incorporate these aspects into your “routine” to thrive in your business and life!

If you’re a soon-to-be location independent solopreneur or if you’re already on the road, use our free PDF worksheet at this link to start creating your ideal lifestyle!

Digital nomad and location independence resources

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Cassie & Shay are the founders of The Bucketlist Bombshells and creators of The Work Online and Travel the World Course. The 24-year-old sarcastic & sweet, caffeine buzzed, best-friend duo travel around the world as full-time digital nomads and girl bosses. Follow their adventures on Instagram!

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2 Comments on 4 Must-Have Elements to Rock a Location-Independent Routine

  1. Radhika - Fulltime Nomad
    August 8, 2015 at 10:46 am (4 years ago)

    Completely agree that it’s so important to have a routine if you want to be successful. I especially like what you say about healthy habits. Healthy eating and exercising are a huge part of my life and sometimes when I haven’t given it enough importance, it comes back to bite me. I either get sick or start burning out and immediately regret not sticking to my healthy routine.

    Reply
    • Cassie + Shay
      August 13, 2015 at 5:04 pm (4 years ago)

      Hey Radhika! YES! For us as well – healthy eating and exercising are KEY! It’s easy to let it slip when we’re so busy adventuring and working..but after 2 years on the road, it’s a total must in our weekly schedule for our body & mind!

      Hope you’re enjoying Nomad life wherever in the world you are xx

      Cassie + Shay

      Reply

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