How to Deal with Overwhelm and Decision Fatigue

How to Deal with Overwhelm and Decision Fatigue

Recently I’ve been struggling with a common issue for business owners and digital nomads: Decision Fatigue! ?

I’d been trying to decide what kind of content I would like to regularly create for Digital Nomad Girls and I couldn’t decide whether that should be ? video content or a ? podcast.

You might’ve even heard me talk about this before because I’ve been going back and forth about this for literally years and I’m driving myself insane. ?

So instead of doing either videos or a podcast, I’ve been doing nothing because I’ve just been overthinking it, which led me to realize that this is something that I do quite often.

I get frozen by decision fatigue.

But luckily I have a few tools in my magic mindset box ? that I try to use when find myself in this situation.

So I thought, hang on, wouldn’t that be a great topic for a video?  So that’s what I did: I recorded my very first video where I share my top 4 tips on how I deal when I’m overwhelmed with decision fatigue.

 

If you prefer blog posts over videos, then keep on reading along!

Let’s face it, in business we have to make a lot of decisions all the time, 10 times a day, 100 times a day. ⏰ And as digital nomads even more when we’re planning the next destination, accommodation etc.

We have to decide so many things. A lot of them are really important and that means we often get stuck or at least I get stuck. ?

  • Should I do a podcast or should I do videos? ?‍♀️
  • Should I create a course or a membership site? ?
  • Should I write an ebook or create a PDF? ?

All of these things, every single day, there are so many decisions to make.

How to Stop Overwhelm and Decision Fatigue

So here are my top tips:

Tip #1 to beat Decision Fatigue: Awareness

The first thing is obviously being aware that this is happening, stop and catch yourself: “Oh my God, I’m in this decision fatigue loop. I’m in the downward spiral. I need to get myself out of here. I’m over-complicating everything.

So awareness is number one.

Tip #2: Experiment

The second thing that I like to do, which draws from my background as a scientist ?‍? a little bit, is to really see this as an experiment; because really everything is an experiment in business.

Everything we do, we have to do it for the first time at some point. So this includes, for example, me recording a video like the one above ? (you should totally watch it!).

But if I reframe that to myself, not as, “Oh my God, I have to record my first video” ? but, “Oh, today I have an experiment and that is recording my first video.” Then, there’s a mindset shift around it. ?

And it’s also important to recognise it as experiment #1 because there is always a row of experiments, and you learn more every time.

So as soon as I reframe it as an experiment ?, I’ll try it out, see if I like it, see what happens. This takes a lot of pressure off me.

Tip #3: MVPs or Leaps

Whenever I start overcomplicating things, I ask myself, what is the MVP here? MVP stands for minimum viable product, but I use it for anything I am working on.

So when I’m overthinking, I try to find a way to simplify the problem.

Am I trying to add too many bells and whistles? How can I bring this back to the simplest version that it can possibly be? And that often takes a lot of pressure away again. ?

Now one of my business and personal development heroes is Tara Mohr, who wrote the book Playing Big. And she has a really cool concept in there, which she calls the Leap.

taking the leap tara mohr decision fatigue

The Leap is something that helps you when you get stuck, when you’re over-complicating, when you have a massive project and you don’t even know where to start. ?

Designing a Leap can be really helpful.

A Leap is something that:

  • you can do in one or two weeks
  • is simple enough that you can actually get it done
  • is uncomfortable enough that you have to push yourself a little bit – you have to play big!
  • has to bring you in contact with other people like your ideal audience, readership etc.

So for example, my Leap was to record this video and share it with you and ask you for feedback ? (I’d love if you could leave some on YouTube!).

I really like this tool because it’s small – it stops me from overthinking.

Tip #4: Make it fun!

This one is really, really important: try to make it fun and remember why you’re actually trying to do this thing! ?

Business should be fun, otherwise what’s the point of being in business if you hate it? ?‍♀️ I love running my business and so many aspects of it are really, really fun.

So whenever I find myself in this, “what should I doooo??” panic phase, I’m like, hang on, that’s not fun.

Why am I doing this to myself? How can I make this fun again?

For example, I thought it would be really fun to just whack the webcam on and record this video and just see what happens. ?

Seriously, you should totally watch and subscribe to the DNG YouTube channel > >

So these are my top four tips to help you deal with overwhelm and decision fatigue!

I would absolutely love for you to give me some feedback below. Please let me know in the comments if you liked the video or the tips and if it was helpful!

I’d love to know if you think I should be doing more videos like this, sharing some business ? lessons, some mindset ? lessons, some inspirational stuff ✨, and maybe recapping some of my favourite personal development books and business books ? .

Subscribe to our brand new YouTube channel where I’ll be sharing weekly no-nonsense business and lifestyle advice and inspiration!

Why I stopped giving away my best stuff for free – and you should too

Why I stopped giving away my best stuff for free – and you should too

Ok this one’s gonna be a liiiiittle bit controversial, but I really, really hope you’ll hear me out. I’m going to share some of the “behind the scenes” ? of my community and business, and honestly, I’m a bit nervous. ?

How it all began

I started the DNG Facebook Community nearly 5 years ago after I had just begun working online as a freelancer. I was doing all sorts of jobs, from translation to social media management, web design to writing.

And I had SO many questions. ALL the questions.

And I’d had enough of being shut down by some bromads in business-related FB Groups (even some I had paid to be in). ?‍♀️

So I decided I would start my own Facebook Group, it would be just for girls ? and it would be different. It would be fun, friendly and supportive ?, and there would be no bullying allowed. ? Ever.

I called it Digital Nomad Girls, invited the girls I had met so far on the road and in coworking spaces – and encouraged them to invite their friends.

I didn’t have a massive plan with this group, none whatsoever actually. ?‍♀️ To be honest, I wasn’t even aware that I was building something here.

But I was.

The girls I invited, they invited their friends. And they invited theirs. ? And so we grew, organically and steadily, to nearly 30k members in 5 years. ? That number still blows my mind daily.

We could have grown MUCH faster, in fact, I’m sure we could have 50k, if not 100k members by now. But I’m really strict about who is approved and I remove members that don’t stick to the rules or are mean to others.

Because that’s how I make sure the group stays a safe, supportive and friendly space that isn’t flooded with spam, like so many other FB Groups.

I have a small but mighty team of moderators (my mum included) who help me approve posts and members and keep an eye on everything. It’s a full-time job in its own way. Just not a paid job.

All the free things

Honestly, for the longest time I’ve been hiding behind my community, as if it was an accidental achievement – as if I’d had nothing to do with it. Because I didn’t plan it all in advance.

But I had everything to do with it.

For almost 5 years I have nurtured this community ?, created daily content ?, highlighted & interviewed members ?, shared my own lessons ?‍?, and cheered on my friends and members ? along every step of their nomad & business journeys.

  • ? I organised local meetups and then helped members organise their own meetups abroad.
  • ? I shared jobs & resources, even created a newsletter where we curate all the jobs shared in the group every week.
  • ? I’ve invited experts to share their knowledge in FB Live Q&As.
  • ? I run an annual Virtual Advent Calendar with 25 surprises, one for each daily door.
  • ? I’ve created free workbooks, video series, challenges, checklists. Even pretty desktop wallpapers.

And I love all of these things. I love that I can be creative and come up with fun ideas and try them out.

I have learned so much, I have met so many amazing people, I have grown as a person and become 10x more patient, diplomatic and tolerant in the process.

But I have also done all of this for FREE.

She means business

Through sheer trial and error, determination and passion, I have turned this brand that I “accidentally” created into a business. One that pays my bills.

Because here’s the thing that most people, including most of my FB members, don’t realise: A Facebook Group is not a business. It’s a channel, a platform.

No matter how successful it looks from the outside, none of my 29k+ members pay a cent to be in the group.

free stuff

I’ve turned DNG into a business by running retreats for my members ? (four so far), by running our paid member’s club, the DNG Inner Circle, which is a Virtual Coworking Community & Social Club ?‍? ? (you should really join > >), and through my brand new course ?‍? for aspiring digital nomad girls, Stop Dreaming, Start Packing. ?

And while I am now 100% financially supported by this business, it’s taken many years and I’m no way near bringing home that online business holy grail of a six-figure income… yet. ?

And I’m being honest about that because I want to see more honesty around these topics in online business.

Enter Coronavirus

As soon as the coronavirus sh*t really hit the fan I knew I had to step up for my community. I didn’t want anyone to feel lonely or too isolated. I wanted to be there for you. All of you.

So I went into overdrive.

  • “I should run free events every month! No, every week! No, better, every day!!!”
  • “I will create a free course for everyone!”
  • “I will run a 24-hour Zoomathon for charity!” (ok, that I’m still debating, it sounds fun)

Thankfully I stopped myself and decided to “only” run 2 free events every week. I wanted to do more, but I also had to look after my own time ? and mental health ?‍♀️ – after all, I’m already running several live events for my paid community every single week.

(If you’re not sure about what virtual coworking is and why it’s so great, I’ve got a whole blog post about it here > >)

So I ran 2 events every Friday. I met new members, we chatted. We played games. They met new people. And we had fun. It was lovely. ?

Then it ended. I always invited the girls to join the Inner Circle, in case they were really lonely and needed more support, which most of them said they really needed right now.

Yet, most of them didn’t join. They’d see me next week at the free event, they said. Cool, I said.

But I was also a little sad. I had a weird feeling about it all. ?

Then, of course, I felt guilty because I’m shouldn’t be in this for the money, I just want to help my community. Just like when I started DNG 5 years ago, right?

So I kept running the free weekly events. But some girls kept postponing – they said they’d come next week. After all, I’m doing them every week, right? Right.

After 6 weeks and 12 free events for my community, I had to take a break. ? I’d given up my only call-free day a week to host them, and I was a bit knackered and not even sure what I was doing it for anymore.

why I stopped giving away my best stuff for free

And if I’m 100% honest, which I want to be, I was a little disappointed.

Because I thought that some of the girls who joined and loved the free events would also like to join the Inner Circle. They said they were looking for something just like that. Yet, they didn’t join.

Don’t get me wrong, I really love nothing more than running virtual events ? (it’s why I started my members’ club!), but I’m also running a business, and I need to earn money. Otherwise, it’s just an expensive hobby. #truthbomb

Then, as chance would have it, I came across a podcast called “How to Handle Baby Birds”, which was about why you should NOT give away all your best content for free, and why it’s not actually serving your audience.

What? It’s not??

I was flabbergasted! ? For years I was taught you should give, give, give.

Your best content. Great value, more value. More freebies. Workbooks, challenges, events.

And I did it all. Whenever I felt stuck in my business, I gave away even more.

I mean, 25 days of free content in the DNG Advent Calendar. Hello!?

too much free content

Because if they like my free stuff, they’ll come and pay me for my paid stuff right?

Well, yes. But also no, not if you give everything for free and then hope someone will pay you.

Then it hit me.

The podcaster was right. I really wasn’t serving my members best. And here’s why.

 

Why I’ve stopped giving my best stuff away for free

It’s not been an easy decision to make – I’ve thought long and hard about this. But here’s why I stopped giving my best stuff away for free (and why I’m happy with that decision).

1. I’m burning out.

First of all, I’m exhausted. ? It takes a lot of energy to run an active and engaged FB group, and keep it happy and engaged. Countless women have told me over the past 5 years that it’s their favourite FB Group by far. Achieving that has taken a lot of time and energy.

And if I burn out from giving more and more for free, I won’t be able to sustain this long-term, which won’t serve my free or paid communities. Or me.

Now, more than ever, I have to put my oxygen mask on first.

why I stopped giving away my best stuff for free

2. I want to be a good example

I want to walk the walk and show up for myself in the same way that I do for my business besties. ? If they were giving everything away for free, I’d tell them that enough is enough – that they’re offering so much value and creating something special, and they should be paid for that. ?

So that’s what I want to do for myself. It’s always been super important to me to be as transparent and honest as I possible about my business. Because I know a lot of you are a few steps behind me and I don’t want to be another “guru” ? who sells the dream without showing the ups and downs. ?

This is a real business lesson and it deserves to be shared.

And finally, by far the most important reason:

3. I want to give you the absolute best I can

I’ve always tried to go above and beyond to create great experiences ?, whether that’s at my DNG retreats, in the Inner Circle events, or even in our free Advent Calendar.

It’s the same for the free events I’ve been hosting since coronavirus struck.

But sadly, I wasn’t doing that.

Because what I was offering was a series of unconnected, one-off events. Yes, they were fun, the girls really enjoyed them. But then they went away and never saw the other members they met again. Or they’d show up again next week to a whole new set of people.

That can be fun and a great distraction, but it’s not compatible with my core values, which include creating meaningful experiences for my community.

The difference between these free events and the events that I host for my paid members in the Inner Circle is that the paid members can hang out with each other every week. Or even every day if they like. ?

I create dozens of different settings and events for them to really get to know each other (from book club ? to feedback sessions ?‍♀️, Happy hours ? to Ted Talk nights ?, Virtual coworking sessions ?‍? to crafting hangouts ?, and lots more!).

They get to hire each other. Refer each other to clients. Start projects together. Travel together. And, you know, become real friends. ? Build a real network.

I simply can’t offer this through free one-off events for the whole 29k+ community on Facebook. It’s not possible and I want to deliver the best I can.

(Let’s not even get started on the Facebook algorithms and the fact that most people weren’t even notified of the weekly free events)

why I stopped giving away my best stuff for free

 

When I launched the DNG Inner Circle, I knew what I was doing. I had a real vision for what this space would be like. And that’s what it has become. A true community, our online family. ? We support each other through ups and downs. We cheer each other on. We’re friends.

A 29k+ member FB Group can’t compete with that.

There’ll still be resources and job posts and FB Lives with experts and all sorts of other fun stuff.

But I won’t be hosting free weekly events anymore. I’m not saying that I will never host free events again, in fact, I’ve always enjoyed hosting free coworking sessions, but that used to be maybe 3-4 times a year. And they served as a sneak-peek into the Inner Circle so you could see how awesome it is.

I know not everyone will agree with me on why I stopped giving away my best stuff for free, and some might even get annoyed. But that’s ok. Because I’m sticking with my values and I choose to show up for my community – and myself – in the right way.

How to deal with overwhelm when working remotely

How to deal with overwhelm when working remotely

I don’t know about you, but as a business owner and digital nomad, I often feel totally overwhelmed and out of my depth. So today I thought I’d share some tips on how I deal with overwhelm when it hits.

So, yesterday I shared a little poll in the DNG Facebook Group because I wanted to write a blog post to get back into a content creation routine, but I was totally confused, overwhelmed and overthinking what to write about. Here’s what I shared:

OMG I’m in a total overthinking loop right now!! Help me!  ? I want to start blogging again and can’t decide what to write about first, ugh! Which blog post would you like to read?”

I gave a few options and then my friend Sonia Jaeger (who is an online therapist and long-time nomad) added the poll option “OMG I’m in a total overthinking loop right now – and how to get out of it”.

I see what she did there ?

And guess what, lots of people voted on that option.

In the meantime, I had tried to write about a different topic (how to create structure while working at home – despite hating structure; coming soon!).

But my thoughts were so all over the place ? and the imposter syndrome was so strong ?‍♀️ and…. well I got totally overwhelmed. ?

I did finish the post but I had all these doubts swirling in my head:

  • Who am I to share this?
  • I’m too late, everyone knows this already.
  • I should probably think of something more important to write about.

And on an on. My Inner Critic was having a field day, I’m pretty sure she was wolfing down popcorn while enjoying the show.

How to deal with overwhelm & overthinking when working remotely - popcorn

I was almost ready to give up when I realised, hey, that’s all BS, I am overthinking, overworrying, overwhelmed.

And to be super honest I’ve been feeling like that for weeks now.

That’s why I haven’t written all those helpful, valuable blog posts before, the ones I felt I should be writing. ?‍♀️

And that’s exactly the problem right now, I shouldn’t be doing anything at all apart from looking after myself and being there for my loved ones and members.

And I’ve been doing that.

So then I thought, if I’m feeling all this crazy overwhelm around my business and how to show up for my community, how to add value in a crazy time like this….then you might be feeling similar.

And maybe it’s most helpful right now to talk about THAT.

So that’s what I’ll be doing, I’m going to share how to deal with overwhelm and how I get myself out of those total overthinking loops when they happen (all the time fyi).

And maybe one or two things will resonate with you. And they don’t always happen in the same order either, so feel free to pick and choose.

Recognise what’s happening

I’ve spent countless days over the past years (and especially in the last month) overthinking everything I’m doing. I can go round and round in circles driving myself virtually insane. ?

But eventually, I will realise what’s going on. Like I finally take a step outside this vortex of crazy and realise I’ve been in one of those situations. ?‍♀️

How to deal with overwhelm & overthinking when working remotely - see the inner critic

As soon as that happens, I can name it:

“Oh, it’s the crazy overthinking spiral of doom! Hello old friend!” or maybe

“Aha, it’s the Inner Critic in cahoots with Lady Imposter Syndrome. What a team.” ?

Once I name it, it takes away some of the power it has over me. Then it’s time to…

Take a step back

Yep, it’s time to literally take a breath. A deep breath or 17. In through the nose, out through the mouth.

I know you might be rolling your eyes right now, I used to roll mine so hard when people told me to breathe. But that shit works.

I’ve used the Calm app which has this cool breathing bubble tool that helps you count your breath, or sometimes I just sit up, close my eyes and breathe. ?‍♀️

How to deal with overwhelm & overthinking when working remotely - breath

Call SOS

Asking for help can be difficult, especially in our businesses. Especially when we think we have to show up as a strong leadership kinda person, you know.

But we all need help, and the sooner we realise that and get on board, the sooner we can create much more meaningful lives, businesses and ultimately a better world.

How to deal with overwhelm & overthinking when working remotely

Woah, that went big quickly hey?  ?

But in all seriousness, whenever I’m stuck with anything, there always comes a point where it hits me. Oh, I haven’t asked for help yet. Why don’t I ask my community what they actually want to read? ? Duh.

Or why don’t I ask my members what virtual events they’d like to attend this month?

And it works every single time. Like with this blog post, I knew I’d get a nudge in the right direction. (Thank you, Sonia!)

Btw, if you’re looking for some awesome women to help you when you’re feeling totally ovwhelmed, then join the DNG Inner Circle, it’s our Virtual Coworking & Social Club! The doors are open right now and we’d love to meet you!! > >

Stop Shaving the Yak

stop shaving the yak

What the heck, Jenny? Why are you shaving a yak???

Ok, not a real yak of course, a metaphorical one. Bare with me.

I read about this on Seth Godin’s blog and I love the visual of this.

Shaving the yak means feeling like you have to take 8 steps back before you can take one forward.

The example goes something like this: you want to clean your car, but the hose is broken, so you need to fix it, but you don’t have the tool, so you could ask to borrow your neighbour’s toolbox, but you already borrowed their beanbag and you have to replace the stuffing because it fell out….

So the next thing you know, you’re at the zoo, shaving a yak because you wanted to wash your car. ?

I do this in my business all the time and it’s one of the main causes of overwhelm.

Once I notice the yak, I can stop and take a look around.

What is the MVP?

If I don’t want to end up shaving the yak, I need to find something that I can do ? right now, that will take me in the right direction ?  and is achievable without me going down the spiral of doom again.

So I think what’s the MVP, the minimum viable product here? Or in other words, what is the simplest version that I can do right now?

If I want to write a blog post, I can either overthink and try to write the next viral hit, or I can keep it simple and think about what do I know right now, that I can share and add value to my potential readers. Something small, a bit helpful or entertaining.

Then do that.

Do what’s fun right now

At the same time, I also really like listening to my gut in those moments. Like with writing a blog post yesterday, it all just felt wrong. Then when I saw Sonia’s idea for THIS blog post, it felt light, and a bit fun too. ?

I run my business because I love the freedom that comes with it, love my members and creating content for them.

But I also love it because it’s fun. And I think it also should be fun.

have fun - a party pineapple

When I’m in one of those terrible overthinking moods, nothing feels light and fun anymore. It’s all heavy and too much. ? How can I expect myself to create something valuable in that mood? I can’t.

So I look for the fun part. I recommend you try it some times.

Or I give up

Yeah, that’s right, sometimes I just have to accept that it’s not gonna happen right now. I can’t force myself to create something of value and maybe I just need to do something completely different for a while.

Like hula hooping, yoga, water colouring, doodling, chatting to a friend, going for a walk, reading, binging Fairytale Weddings ? on Disney+ (my guilty pleasure right now) …. you know, the usual. If you need some ideas on how to spend your time during lockdown, I have a blog post about that here > >

Taking a break and coming back with a fresh mind a few hours later or the next day can do wonders. And in this insanely difficult and confusing time we find ourselves in (in lockdown during the corona crisis in case you’re from the future) we simply have to cut ourselves some slack.

 

And that’s it. Usually, after a combination of the above, I eventually find my groove again and get into a clearer headspace to actually do good work. But I also know the next overwhelm/overthinking phase is just around the corner, but I’ll totally take on that yak ? when it arrives.

I hope you found some of these tips on how to deal with overwhelm helpful and I would love to hear your own tips in the comments!

Stopping travel during coronavirus? Here are 10 ways to make the best of it!

Stopping travel during coronavirus? Here are 10 ways to make the best of it!

Did you have to cancel any travel plans or stopping travel during coronavirus? Here are 10 ways to make the best of it!

Well it’s safe to say that coronavirus is totally dominating the news and has thrown a total spanner into many a nomadic travel plan.

A few days ago I asked whether anyone had changed or cancelled their plans in the DNG Facebook Group and I had to stop reading all the comments once they hit 500+.

So yeah, it’s definitely a big topic for most digital nomads right now.

I hesitated for a long time to share my own thoughts, but as the leader of our community, I thought I had a responsibility. But because I want to keep this post focused on how we can make the best of this challenging time, I’ll keep it really short:

  • I think we’re all global citizens with a global responsibility
  • Restricting movement means slowing down the virus, which means lessening the strain on our fragile health systems and potentially saving a lot of lives
  • As digital nomads we love being on the move, but thanks to our ability to work from anywhere online, I think now’s the time to slow down, settle in for a bit and avoid all unnecessary travels.

stopping travel during coronavirus

Now, this might be controversial and I can’t tell every digital nomad what to do. But from the response in our community, I can tell that most of you agree with me and are slowing down or stopping travel during coronavirus, for the time being at least, to stay with family or find a temporary home base.

The question is, what do we do now? How do we not go crazy from our itchy feet?

How to spend your time when you’re stopping travel during coronavirus

Here are some ideas to spend our time in voluntary self-isolation or quarantine:

Chill out and do nothing

Yep, that’s my first suggestion: do nothing. And instead of feeling guilty or unproductive, just enjoy it. It might be a really concerning reason, but the coronavirus outbreak has weirdly forced us all to slow down.

So slow down, chill out and relax for a while. You’d be surprised how inspiring and necessary it it.

Read a book (or 5)

reading at home digital nomad

Have you ever thought, “I would just loooove to spend a whole week reading and doing nothing else?” No, just me? I’m kidding, I know you have!

Ok, so you probably still have client work or other business tasks to do. But chances are that you have some spare time on your hands to read a few new books. Make a list, download them on your Kindle and make a cup of tea. It’s time to get bookwormy.

Finally tackle that big project

Been wanting to write a book forever?

Or finally start that food podcast with your friend you’ve been talking about since high school?

Whatever it is you’ve been dreaming of doing “one day when you have time” – now’s the time! When will you have so much uninterrupted quiet time again to fully focus on a shiny new project?

Make new friends in the DNG Inner Circle

Being stuck and not able to travel really sucks. But you’re not alone! Why not join an amazing community of digital nomad girls and expand your personal and professional network?

In the DNG Inner Circle, we meet daily for Virtual Coworking (great to stay productive AND make new friends) and we host lots of fun monthly events from our Book Club to Monthly Goal Setting Workshops, Feedback Sessions, Coffee Roulettes and even our new Money Club.

It seriously is the best way to stay connected and feel less lonely during these crazy times, when you’re stopping travel during coronavirus. Join us here!

Take a course and learn a new skill

As more and more schools are shutting down because of Coronavirus, students around the world are suddenly attending lessons via Zoom. Online learning has never been more popular and of course, us digital nomads love ourselves a good online course. You can learn literally anything from coding to email marketing to the Art of Clowning (yep that’s a thing).

Why not take this time to freshen up some skills or learn some new ones. Many courses are free or really affordable.

If you’re still dreaming of becoming a digital nomad yourself, then check out my brand new course for aspiring digital nomad girls ,“Stop Dreaming, Start Packing”.

Try yoga

yoga at home digital nomad

Just because we’re stuck inside most of the time doesn’t mean we can’s stay healthy. Thanks to about 1 bajillion Youtube yoga classes, you can become a yogi in no time. My personal favourite is of course Yoga with Adriene, but there are other teachers out there.

Not into yoga? Then try pilates, or hula hooping, or tap dancing, or anything else really, I bet it’s out there.

Learn a nuevo language

Been too busy exploring and trying the local cuisine to learn the language? Then now’s the time! Download Duolingo or Babbel on your phone, pick your favourite language and get learning. If you want more personal support you can hire an online language teacher or find a language exchange buddy to practice with via Zoom.

Try a new hobby (crochet anyone?)

Hobbies are often neglected when we’re travelling. Either we don’t have time or we can’t schlepp the necessary equipment around with us. So here’s your chance to dust off your ukulele, pick up your knitting needles or try your hand at calligraphy.

Not sure how to get started? Youtube is your best friend, I’ve learned anything from hula hooping to crochet on there!

Catch up with your global friends virtually

I bet you’ve accumulated friends all around the globe by now. And while it’s always more fun to see them in person, why not set up some virtual catchup sessions while you’re stuck inside? And if you’re worried you get bored by a simple Skype call, spice it up a little and turn it into a wine date or boardgame night! You can even plan a movie night together or binge stream the same Netflix show virtually. It’s fun!

Join the weekly DNG Virtual Events that I’ll be hosting

And last but not least, I’ve decided to do whatever I can to make sure you don’t feel too lonely during this crisis. For the next few weeks at least I’ll be hosting a Virtual Event every Friday, free to join for all DNG members.

I want to make sure nobody feels too isolated and that we make the best of this time with the tools available to us. Sign up here to find out about the weekly events. 

 

Here you go, 10 fun ways to keep yourself busy while stopping travel during coronavirus. And remember, stay safe, wash your hands and look after each other!

How to take time off work as a Digital Nomad Girl (guilt-free!)

How to take time off work as a Digital Nomad Girl (guilt-free!)

Today we talk about an important topic, how to take time off work as a digital nomad girl (guilt-free!).

This past month has been quite turbulent as I’ve moved from Munich to the UK after 3 months, did a pit stop Disney vacation in Paris, then off to the International Rebellion in London for a week. I also onboarded 2 new team members at the same time. Oh and did I mention there was Oktoberfest?

Needless to say, I had to take some time off work.

Now the good part is that I feel less and less guilty for taking time off. Although it’s taken me years to get there and I’m still not 100% guilt free and consistent. Baby steps amirite?

So the other day I mentioned struggling with this and asked whether any of the girls had some advice for me on how to take time off as a digital nomad girl.

As usual, our brilliant members came to my rescue and sent me some brilliant advice, which really, would be selfish to keep to myself.

So I put together some of the great tips I got for you. I hope you enjoy it and find it helpful for the next time you take time off work as a digital nomad girl!

digital nomad girls take time off work

Simple, Practical Tips on How to Take Time off as a Digital Nomad Girl

Ines had some short but sweet advice: “I find that planning your come-back before actually taking time off is really useful.

I already set a to-do of the things I will have to tackle when I get back (including some extra time for new stuff that will come up while on vacay – and to remember all these without actually working on it, I just dedicate a note to that where I can dump them). This reduces the overwhelm.”

Plan in Advance

Lyda Michopoulou who is a business coach and trainer shared some brilliant tips that she’s learned over the years:

“In the past let’s say that I didn’t take time off and was afraid that if I leave, my clients will prefer someone else to continue and not me. In the last two years, I’ve got over this unreal fear/self-doubt.

So now, before taking time off I go through a specific process.

First of all, at the beginning of each new year, I figure out my vacation days & digital detox weekends and put them in my calendar. Then, I inform my clients two months ahead of the vacation week/digital detox weekend so they know that I won’t be there to reply to their emails/posts/requests/DMs/whatever.

digital nomad girls book time off work calendar

For my personal work, I try to finish all urgent and important things before I leave and finally, I leave my laptop at home, with friends if I’m travelling or at a safety deposit box, if I haven’t made such close friends at the location I am at that moment.

And then, off I go!

Important here, during that week/weekend I don’t check my email accounts or any related work chats so I don’t have to think about work. Cause our brains need a vacation too!

And when I come back, I take it slowly. Easing myself back to everyday life and not trying to answer to all my emails on the first day back. Having specific time-slots where I answer my emails, helps a lot.”

Create a ‘Status of Projects’ Document for Clients

Ashley Scoby who is a freelance writer had some awesome advice which highlights the need for a good process:

“Something I started doing for one of my clients and that I do now for almost everyone I work with before I take time off is creating a “status of projects” document.

This is a list of everything I’m working on, what the status is (waiting on review from X, will be working on when I get back, ahead of schedule so on hold, etc), as well as any other info that someone would need to know (who to contact in my absence, if it’s a team setting; pieces of info I need from the client, etc).

At the top of the doc, I include the EXACT dates I’ll be gone, what days I’ll be completely 100% off the grid, what my availability is on other days (if I plan on working for an hour each morning, for example, this is where I would include it) + the time zone that I’ll be in.

I’ve found that this method helps me a lot not only stay organized with everything I need to do before taking time off, but it’s also a great tool to provide a client so they can have easy access to what’s up when I’m gone (instead of sending me emails or texts 🙂 )”

Underpromise, Over Deliver!

Sally Townsend, co-founder and editor of The Bride’s Tree, had some great advice for me, specifically about the Christmas holiday season: “My clients are small-medium business owners, they’re advertisers. Advertisers are demanding, man!

But I have found they all generally want to take the time off, or at least slow down, as well. I schedule content ahead of time and I make it really clear in advance that I’m taking some time off.

digital nomad girls woman in snow

Personally I feel most challenges in business relationships can be solved by following this one principle: under-promise, over-deliver. So I’ll sneak in an unexpected e-newsletter and/or schedule some helpful advice content in our private Facebook group as well.

So not only do they get their promotion to my audience, they still hear from me personally about their business and it shows that I’ve not forgotten them and I care. I also sometimes write them a Christmas poem, because I am a cheesy geek ?

Key to success for this: I start basically now, adding a little scheduled content each week so it’s not a big rush before I take my time off. Definitely do it – it’s so important to take a break yourself and recharge! You started this so you could design your life, right? Well, make sure that you’re taking care of you by design.

Schedule and Automate

Also – automate EVERYTHING. Email responder on and forget. REALLY forget. It’s like this thing I heard once early on in my working life: there’s no point taking a personal day if you’re going to spend it feeling guilty. Make the call, then push aside any associated guilt, because it’s done now, and it’s a waste if you ruin it for yourself.”

Thank you to all the girls who sent me their great advice. What I’ve learned over the past few years is that the key to taking time off successfully and guilt free as a digital nomad girl is to allow yourself to actually do so fully (no checking emails, no quickly posting on Instagram etc) and to plan ahead accordingly.

We’re in this lifestyle for the long run, so we definitely need to learn how to take time off to recharge and come back to our businesses with new inspiration and energy.

If you’ve got any tips on how to take time off work as a Digital Nomad Girl, please comment below and I might add them.

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