If you have been following our journey to every known digital nomad hotspot, you will know that we have recently been living in Turkey. Yes, we saw the protests. No we didn’t get hit by teargas – although perhaps that would have made for some riveting reading if we had!
Our time in Turkey was pretty peaceful so to spice things up and for the sake of experimenting, we made a conscious effort to try to change our living environments drastically to see how much this would effect us. As digital nomads, we tend to change our location/country monthly, but even this can bring a kind of routine in itself and we really wanted to shake the boat to see how well it floated.
So over the five weeks we have been…
- Flat sharing with a nice Turkish couple in Antalya.
- Experimenting with Helpx in Fethiye and living free in a hotel in exchange for helping with breakfast/cleaning rooms
- Living in a tree-house in Olympos.
- Being tourists in Kas.
- Spending a whole day working on an organic farm (mainly to find out what it would be like if we started our own free digital nomad commune, we will post out thoughts on this soon!!)
Our extreme change in lifestyle has definitely had an affect on the way in which we work and the way we approach things. In our last post we spoke about how we wanted to spend less time working and we have since realised how working out of routine can be beneficial for us.
The first routine to be blown to pieces was in relation to our body clocks. Living in the free hotel for ten days meant that we had to be waking up at 8am every morning to help with breakfast. Can you believe! To relate, imagine waking up three hours earlier than you usually do for ten days straight. This really hit us hard, but also gave us the opportunity to experience life from a different perspective.
Some of our best ideas came about minutes after we had been napping in the middle of the day. Napping! Who would have thought that sleep could trigger ideas? Well it does. This is where the phrase ‘sleep on it’ comes about when you don’t know which way to turn. Let your brain unconsciously sort out your thoughts out while you sit back and relax. Nice. They didn’t teach me this at university!
Living with other People
One of the main changes we made this month was in sharing our flat space with other people. In Antalya we were sharing with a Turkish couple and in the hotel we were sharing the communal spaces with six other volunteers and the occasional guest.
As you can imagine, this brought our costs to a record low but meant we were constantly ‘on call’ as it were and found it more difficult to emerge ourselves in our work without feeling like we were somehow letting people down by not constantly hanging around in the ‘social areas’. We did have lots of fun though and met some great people there.
Obscene Amount of Heat
Turkey was hot! We have lived in Spain, Thailand, Australia and other hot places but this was another level. This meant from 11am – 3pm or later we were home bound. Luckily in the hotel we had a swimming pool, which was very refreshing, but we couldn’t stay in it too long for fear of burning.
This new constraint on our time worked in our favour as we would use this time to have naps and to plan out future projects. Before Turkey we found ourselves naturally working much later in the day and believed this must be the best time to be productive and stuck to this quite systematically.
This All Begs the Question: How Much of a Routine do you Need?
The lack of regular routine didn’t seem to have a negative effect on our lives or our work. We actually came up with some great ideas for a new project which we are now working on that I am not sure we would have thought of had we been in a different situation and environment.
So is routine only there to keep us all from slacking? If you need routine to be productive then are you perhaps not so interested in the work?
We have found that routine can help with the monotonous parts of work, the parts of the job that we are less fond of such as checking emails and the likes. But when it comes to creative work, there is nothing like the smack in the face of constant change to keep you on your toes! I don’t hear many musicians who work from 9am-5pm creating new songs so why should any other type of creative work be any different?
Do you stick to a routine? If so, how do you manage it and does changing locations have a positive or negative effect on your work?