8760 hours — 54

Broken laptops, visa runs, card fraud, airport stress, getting ripped off, failing clients, being unmotivated, losing clients and letting people down. Life as a Digital Nomad

‘It ain’t all rosey, you know’

For 90% of it, being nomadic and working remote is fantastic. Of course, as in most things, there are downsides to everything.

Over the last month we’ve felt those. Whether it means eating on the uber cheap because of long processing times. Or eating on the cheap because of fraud. Or eating on the cheap because of a laptop breaking. It’s been a bit of a journey. It’s approaching 2 years on the road now and it feels as though I need to ‘settle down’ a little. At least for a little bit of time, to recoup money, the hairline and my work ethic.

When you only have to work 2 days a week to cover expenses, which happens very easily at a standard London/Valley day rate, you can become very lazy. Honestly, laziness is the only way to put it. I could put the blame on being comfortable, or work life balance. But, it’s actually just laziness. That’s what it turns into.

Which is a really unfortunate realisation and a tough pill to swallow. Now it may just be to unfortunate circumstances. A series of unfortunate events, if you will. But I’m not going to let it be. In the majority of us, we all believe we’re somewhat special. It’s inherent, we’re destined for great things. That’s what we tell ourselves. I genuinely reckon myself and some of my closest friends are going to achieve those heights. I’m going to see them at the top.

But not currently, not like this. You see, it’s a bitch. 2 years to get to this point and now that I’m here, I’m not satisfied.

I thought the dream was to work a tiny amount of hours to pursue cool things. But actually, it’s the work I enjoy. Truly. I like putting in the hours. I can’t sit still for 10 minutes never mind laying on a beach for hours on end.

Don’t get me wrong. The freedoms, waking up when I want, when I want. Being able to pick and choose clients and who I work with. When I work. Where I work. What country I’m going to be in next week.

It’s all amazing, truly. That is what is so great. But only if I’m still achieving. Right now I’ve found an incredible project which I’m currently working on and I have laser focus on it. That’s how it’s going to have to be from now on. Not spreading myself thin.

Yes, Bali’s energy is insane

Balance

The new theme in my life.

  • Client work
  • My projects
  • New entrepreneurial endeavours
  • Learning new skills
  • Learning a new language
  • Going to gym/fitness
  • Socialising
  • Spending time with people near and dear
  • Writing
  • Reading online
  • Reading books
  • Staying in touch with friends

And of course, sleep.

It’s annoying to me that everything seems like a constant trade off. Opportunity cost at every turn.

At least, that’s what I thought. Until I opened this -

This is from around Mid 2014. I found it by accident. This is an app called RescueTime, for those who are wondering.

That means that in almost 3 years, I’ve spent 104 days online. At least. Mind, it doesn’t take into account mobile usage or cross-browser usage, up until around 1 month ago.

The most hard to look at thing here is ‘Total Distracting Time’.

Wow. As a ratio, that’s 1:3. Or roughly 3 days of no work for every day of work. On average. Considering the bulk of this is during Uni, that really does make sense.

What the hell have I been doing, I’ve been asking myself.

Then it hit me, I’m a professional lazy person. I designed for myself this incredible lifestyle, living up to true 4 hour work week standards, only to find out it’s not for me. I designed my life so I’m only working 1 day a week, 2 at most. It all makes sense.

But this isn’t what I want. It’s what I thought I wanted. It’s just not quite right.

What are the next steps?

Laser, fucking, focus.

A mentor and good friend once said to me, and I’m paraphrasing ‘Shad you’re all over the place, you need to focus if you want to do it properly’.

At the time I was juggling a job at an agency, with freelance work and my ‘own projects’. The projects would switch week by week and still do, even.

And that’s just the problem.

When asked about his success, Munger says, “I succeeded because I have a long attention span.”

Now the advice is a banal platitude, you’re right to point out. It is. But with most things in life and as I get older, it becomes more apparent that cliches and banal platitudes are there for a reason. They make sense and they usually point you in the right direction.

So, from now on:

Laser fucking focus.

1 work to generate money, studying 1 thing at a time, 1 project at a time, 1 thing to keep me fit at a time.

That is it.

4 things in life.

Shadi


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