Like many adults, I have Attention Deficit Disorder.
However, what’s different about me is that even though I have A.D.D, I have also chosen to be a self-employed digital nomad…
This requires me to be focused, diligent, self-motivated, and consistently meet stringent deadlines – all things that my learning condition suggests I shouldn’t be able to do.
To combat my handicap I’ve had to learn how to stay on task, constantly be aware of approaching deadlines, and remain positive when I hit the inevitable setbacks that my A.D.D. causes.
I was able to learn how to how to cope and manage my A.D.D. primarily by trial and error, asking for help, and, of course, reading.
Below are several of the most important things I’ve learned so far in my journey to becoming a successful digital nomad with A.D.D.
If you’ve been wondering how to become a digital nomad and travel the world whilst working online but worried your A.D.D might get in the way of making it a reality, this is for you…
7 Helpful Tips On How to Become A Digital Nomad With A.D.D
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7. Get a Planner
As annoying and outdated as it seems to have a physical personal planner in the year 2017, getting one has had a positive impact on my productivity.
As you can see, I don’t necessarily use my planner for every hour of every day, even though I strive to.
Nevertheless, a few unscheduled hours here and there hardly negates from the positive that I receive by using it.
6. Use Financial Software
When I first started freelancing, I managed all of my finances on my own.
Initially, this was fine because I didn’t have a substantial amount of money coming in.
However, as soon as my income increased, I started to dread entering numbers into a spreadsheet, calculating what I was owed, and sending reminders to clients who hadn’t paid me on time.
Because I was so focused on money, I initially refused to spend any of it on financial software.
However, after failing to receive payments from several clients repeatedly and dealing with the frustration of doing my own taxes, I decided to purchase a monthly only subscription to Quickbooks.
Now, I am no longer stressed that I won’t get paid and I don’t worry about tax season.
5. Plan Breaks
Planning break time is very important, especially when you have A.D.D.
No matter how engaged or excited I am to work on a project, I know that I will inevitably get distracted and off task, which can lead to me surfing the web or reading about Donald Trump’s Executive orders for hours.
This is why it’s so important that I schedule breaks.
Whether I choose to or not, my mind is going to take a break from working.
I have learned that if this break is unplanned, I can be off task for hours and usually whatever it is that I am doing is unconstructive.
However, if I plan my own breaks, say 15 minutes of meditation, I can make sure that my breaks are constructive and it’s much easier for me to limit how long they last.
Also, I found that taking a break to do something that helps me make more money can be incredibly useful because it gives me the break I need, while allowing me to still feel productive.
There are so many quick ways to make extra money such as taking surveys, tests, or writing reviews.
This was especially helpful to me when I was first starting out as a digital nomad, as it put some cash in my pocket when I didn’t have very many clients.
4. Use Focus Software
I never used social media until I started backpacking and became a digital nomad.
When I was home, connecting with my friends and family online did not seem to make sense because I saw them in person so often.
However, when I moved to New Zealand, following my best friend Teddy on Twitter and checking out my little brother’s status on Facebook mattered to me.
Due to my need to connect, social media quickly became my biggest distraction…
As I mentioned previously, I can spend hours on Facebook accomplishing nothing.
Luckily for me, the digital age has also created software that prevents me from looking at social media.
Apps such as Stayfocused allow you to temporarily place blocks on certain websites and applications when you really need to focus.
You can also set up the app so it only allows you a certain amount of time per day on a particular website such as Facebook before you’re temporarily blocked from it.
3. Find Friends to Help Keep you Accountable
No other person has been more important to me and my productivity than my fiancé.
No matter where we are or what we are doing, she helps to keep me accountable to my work projects.
Sometimes I find this annoying since I just want to have fun as opposed to worrying about work.
But, since I am someone who is naturally inclined to procrastinate, I remind myself that she is only looking out for my best interests because without her help I am more likely to put off today what I can do tomorrow.
I understand that not everyone has a significant other who can be there to help keep you accountable.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to make sure that your work is getting done in a timely manner.
It will be very beneficial to you if you can have anyone, be it a friend, family member, or hired life coach that can help remind you to prioritize you work.
2. Try to Establish a Routine
Establishing a Routine can be the hardest thing to do when you are a digital nomad.
Part of the reason you left your regular job was so you could work where you want and when you want, even if that’s at 10 p.m. on a beach in Southeast Asia.
This was very hard for me, as well.
When I was in New Zealand, I often would sleep in, go hiking, and hang out with friends at the start of each day.
However, I quickly realised that I was leaving little time to get work done, which was making it extremely difficult to meet deadlines.
Something that has helped me to handle my A.D.D. exponentially is reading books about A.D.D.
First, the act of reading these books can be a great small break for me.
Second, they help me to keep my spirits up.
Frequently not accomplishing as much as I want to is often difficult, but reading these books reminds me that it is possible to succeed even when my lack of productivity makes me feel like a failure.
Lastly, these books are filled with tips and tricks on how to be more productive when you have A.D.D.
Several of the tips I provided in this article were inspired by reading about A.D.D.
I hope you found these tips and tricks helpful. However, I know that there are other strategies people with A.D.D. have utilized in order to be a successful digital nomad…
If you have any tips on how to become a digital nomad with A.D.D to share, please do so in the comments section below!