When you work for a company you have clear expectations for performance. If you become your own boss, for example as a digital nomad, you operate in an system that doesn’t have the same structures to enforce you focus and deliver. In many ways this is exactly what people seeking the digital nomad life want, but it also can bring challenges.
If you find yourself having difficulty getting yourself to work without a boss what can you do?
Doing what you are passionate about is important. As an entrepreneur working for yourself, if you feel work is a chore that you want to avoid, you can easily to avoid it.
But it is likely it isn’t that you want to avoid work, you just don’t have the urgency to “deliver” working solutions quickly without some extrinsic pressure (boss or…).
To do lists work for some people. You focus yourself with specific targets. If that doesn’t work, a virtual assistant to track progress and serve as a personal re-enforcement mechanism can work, for some people. Publicly making a commitment can work for others (on your blog, or on fb or to your customer or to your spouse or parent…).
The virtual assistant is partially a combination of a to do list and a public commitment along with someone to enforce evaluating progress on the to do list.
Habits are a powerful influence on behavior. For some people all that is needed is creating the habit of working in the morning for 4 hours and then enjoying the rest of the day. They can then focus every day for a specific period of time and don’t waste time procrastinating or being distracted with other matters.
For some people setting up rewards for themselves can work. Once I achieve x then I can (get a new game, take a weekend trip to the beach…).
What is important is finding a solution that works for your psychology. Some digital nomads don’t need any of these tactics, but for some these tactics can be useful.
It is possible that the reason you have trouble focusing on work is that you just don’t care about what you are working on now, so you should look at the bigger picture and find something your are passionate about. But I think, in most cases, this type of issue with motivation or difficulty with procrastination is more likely to be a smaller matter of just creating a bit of urgency to deliver.
So the question is how do you do create an urgency to deliver in a way that works for you and leaves you with a situation you enjoy. Certain tactics would drive some people crazy. But what matters if not some perfect solution for everyone, but finding one that works for you.