A common freelancer dilemma is: nobody tells you what to do, so you have to figure it out yourself and then get that thing done. But it gets even harder when you change your home weekly.
You may have heard of the term „TechNomad“ — people who are jetting around the globe, just bringing along their laptop and some hand luggage, working from almost everywhere as long as they have an internet connection, hanging out in backpacker hostels or hackerspaces and working as coders, designers or translators for clients from all over the world — and accepting payments for their work in bitcoin. [Source]
Today you may live in a capsule in Shinjuku, but tomorrow you’ll be sleeping at Narita Airport, because the cheapest flight you found departs at 4am. After that you are plannig to crash at a girls place for a couple of days in Taipei. And what comes after that? You don’t know yet. Sounds like an exciting life, but there is one problem: you have to keep your GitHub profile somewhat green:
Or in other words how do you keep yourself productive in a constantly changing environment?
Getting Things Done
A few years ago I read the million pages long book, called: Getting Things Done, what might be the most popular time management method to today.
Wikipedia — The GTD method rests on the idea of moving planned tasks and projects out of the mind by recording them externally and then breaking them into actionable work items. This allows one to focus attention on taking action on tasks, instead of on recalling them.
Even if I failed to apply the entire book to my life, I took away many things from it and I still use the system I came up with at that time.
Note I am not a self-management expert. I simply describe the system that works the best under my me, if circumstances are similar and you don’t know better, you might want to give it a try.
In this world nothing is certain, but death and that your smartphone will always be with you. So utilize the latter and drain your brain into it. Keep it simple, stupid!
(a) Qucik notes
What is the difference between a normal person and an entrepreneur? An entrepreneur has ideas? No, everyone has ideas, but the entrepreneur record them and acts on them.
My quick notes are not limited only to ideas, I basically note many vague thoughts those need to be dissolved.
(b) ToDo list
If the action of the thing that is in your mind is clear, you should consider add that to your ToDo list, instead of to the quick notes.
Also pay attention to write the note in an actionable form, like: “get visa to vietnam”, instead of just “vietnam visa”, remember this is not your vague quick notes list.
You might also want to break it into two lists: “asap” and “time or place dependent” records. For example the latter can be a list of things that you know you have to do but you can only do it in Vietnam, like “get viet data sim card”. If this item would be in your “asap” list, that would be just a distraction, especially when too many records pile up.
Helps you manage the time dimension. This may or may not overlap with your ToDo lists.
(d) “Morning” routine
When your sleeping habits are a clusterfuck it’s not very accurate to call it a morning routine, but let’s go with that. This is the first thing you do in the morning, before anything else. Every item here are aimed to either adapt to changes or maintain health, both mentally an physically. The order doesn’t matter:
- do bathroom stuff
- deal with internet stuff (github, bitcoin price, email, facebook, reddit or what have you…)
- review quick notes, todo and calendar
- do some self improvement stuff (I am currently reading a programming book and always do a short session of studying the local language)
- intake some stuff (like vitamins, protein, glass of milk, coffee or whatever I have access to)
Consistency is achievable
If you’re doing what you’re supposed to do 80% of the time, the other 20% doesn’t matter.