Master Time Management as a Digital Nomad: Proven Strategies

person in taipei city, taiwan
Travel Writer

Last Updated:


I may make commissions from purchases made through links. Read here for more information. And as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This guide will cover a few tips and strategies I’ve used to help optimize time management while remotely working. Keep reading to learn more.

As a work-from-home person, I’ve had a lot of trouble concentrating. I want to share a few techniques and tips that have helped me optimize my productivity.

The Pomodoro Technique: A Time Management Tool

I want to cover a popular time management that many use (including myself). The following sections will cover what Pomodoro is, the benefits, and how to implement it.

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

Developed in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro Technique breaks work into 25-minute intervals called “Pomodoros.” Followed by short breaks.

The name comes from the tomato-shaped kitchen timer Cirillo used [1].

Key components of this technique include:

  • Set a goal: Define the task you want to complete.
  • Start a Pomodoro: Work for 25 minutes without interruption.
  • Take a break: Rest for 5 minutes after a Pomodoro.
  • Longer break: After 4 Pomodoros, take a 15-30 minute break.

By using this technique, you’ll find yourself more focused and efficient throughout the day.

On to the benefits.

Benefits of the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique offers numerous advantages to improve your productivity and mental wellbeing. Its effectiveness lies in its simplicity, making it easy to implement.

Some notable benefits are:

  • Increased focus: Short bursts of work promote better concentration.
  • Reduced burnout: Regular breaks prevent mental fatigue.
  • Time management: Helps you prioritize tasks & allocate time effectively.
  • Sense of accomplishment: Completing Pomodoros gives you a sense of progress.

Implementing the Pomodoro Technique in your daily routine leads to better work-life balance, allowing you to be more productive while still enjoying your leisure time.

Breaks after each Pomodoro interval also give you an opportunity to stand and stretch. Both great habits that’ll help your health while working remotely.

Implementing the Pomodoro Technique as a Digital Nomad

To get started:

  • Choose a task-tracking tool: Pick a digital timer or app that works for you.
  • Set up a work zone: Designate a dedicated workspace, even in changing locations.
  • Embrace flexibility: Adjust the Pomodoro intervals to fit your personal preferences.
  • Limit distractions: Turn off notifications and communicate your work intervals to others.

I use LifeUp Pro (paid app) to start and finish my Pomodoro intervals, though the feature’s still in beta. And the feature frequently shuts down. But I use the app to turn my life into a role playing game (RPG). Because I earn “points” for each task I complete.

Whenever I complete Pomodoros where I fully focused on my work, I also get points that I put toward purchasing self-rewards.

Whenever LifeUp Pro doesn’t work, I use my phone’s default clock. Though it’s a pain to set up sometimes.

Don’t want to use LifeUp Pro?

Here’s a list of web and mobile apps to try:

NamePlatformPriceKey Features
ForestiOS, AndroidFreeGamified experience, tree-planting rewards, blocklist
Be FocusediOS, macOSFreeCustomizable intervals, task manager, detailed statistics
PomodoneWindows, macOSFreemiumIntegration with task management apps, time tracking
TomatoTimerWebFreeMinimalistic design, adjustable timer settings
Focus To-DoiOS, AndroidFreemiumTask management, reminders, data sync, reports
Pomodoro TrackerWebFreeCustomizable timer, task tracking, simple analytics
Marinara TimerWebFreeMultiple timer modes, shareable timer links
Focus KeeperiOSFreemiumColor themes, customizable timer settings, statistics
PomoDone AppWindows, macOSFreemiumIntegrations with popular task managers, customizable timer
EngrossAndroidFreemiumSession history, customizable timer, task management
KanbanFlowWebFreemiumKanban board, timer integration, analytics
Clockwork TomatoAndroidFreeCustomizable timer, clock display, task tracking
List of Pomodoro timer apps.

I haven’t downloaded and tested almost all these apps. Before downloading, observe their download page to see what personal data they store.

Finding the Right Workspace: Co-working Spaces

The following isn’t a tip for everyone. As co-working spaces can cost a lot. But if you find yourself working at one of these, you’ll reap many benefits and likely build professional (and personal) connections.

The following sections will cover the benefits of using co-working stations and how to find an excellent workspace.

Benefits of Co-working Spaces for Digital Nomads

Here are some key advantages of using co-working spaces:

  • Professional atmosphere: Enhances focus & boosts productivity.
  • Networking opportunities: Meet like-minded individuals & expand your connections.
  • Cost-effective: Often cheaper than renting office space or working from cafes.
  • Amenities: Access to essential resources like Wi-Fi, printers, & meeting rooms.
  • Flexibility: Co-working spaces cater to various work schedules & commitments.

By choosing coworking spaces, you’ll enjoy a balanced work-life experience. Allowing you to explore new places while maintaining a successful professional life.

How to Find the Perfect Co-working Space

Locating the ideal co-working space might seem daunting. Following these steps will make the process easier and more enjoyable:

  1. Research online: Browse coworking directories & read reviews to identify top-rated spaces.
  2. Prioritize location: Choose a space close to accommodations, transportation, & amenities.
  3. Consider costs: Compare pricing plans & identify the one that best suits your budget.
  4. Visit in person: Tour potential spaces, assess the atmosphere, & note the available facilities.
  5. Evaluate the community: Interact with other members to determine if it’s a good fit for your personality & work style.

Keep in mind the following factors when comparing co-working spaces:

LocationProximity to accommodations, transportation, & local attractions
CostMembership plans, additional fees for meeting rooms, & other facilities
AmenitiesReliable Wi-Fi, printing, meeting rooms, & communal areas
Workspace optionsOpen floor plans, dedicated desks, & private offices
CommunityNetworking events, workshops, & social gatherings
Factors to consider when searching for a co-working space.

By considering these factors and following the steps outlined, you’ll find the perfect co-working space for your needs and preferences.

Avoiding the Freedom Trap: Setting Boundaries and Staying Disciplined

The following isn’t a time management tip, but it’s an excellent way to prevent you from wasting time. I’ll talk about what the freedom trap is and tips for maintaining structure and discipline as a remote worker.

Understanding the Freedom Trap

The “freedom trap” is a pitfall that entrepreneurs, freelancers, and digital nomads face when pursuing a self-directed lifestyle. You might believe that having total control over your time and work would lead to increased productivity and happiness.

But sometimes it results in the opposite.

Here’s how the freedom trap works

  1. With no set schedule or expectations, you struggle to establish a work routine.
  2. Procrastination sets in, leading to decreased productivity.
  3. Overwhelmed by the lack of structure, you end up working long hours without a work-life balance.
  4. The initial excitement of freedom fades, replaced by stress & dissatisfaction.

To avoid this trap:

  • Set boundaries: Define your work hours & stick to them.
  • Prioritize tasks: Focus on high-impact tasks that align with your goals.
  • Take breaks: Schedule regular breaks & time off to recharge.
  • Cultivate discipline: Develop a routine & hold yourself accountable.

By recognizing the freedom trap and implementing these strategies, you’ll successfully navigate the challenges of a self-directed lifestyle and enjoy the benefits it offers.

Tips for Maintaining Discipline and Structure

Mastering time management is essential for digital nomads, as it helps maintain discipline and structure amidst the freedom of a location-independent lifestyle.

Consider these tips:

  1. Establish a routine: Define your work hours, & try to stick to a consistent schedule.
  2. Set SMART goals: Ensure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, & Time-bound.
  3. Prioritize tasks: Focus on high-impact tasks first using methods like the Eisenhower Matrix.
  4. Limit distractions: Create a dedicated workspace, & use tools like website blockers or noise-canceling headphones.
  5. Use productivity techniques: Implement strategies like the Pomodoro Technique to optimize your work sessions.
  6. Leverage technology: Utilize time tracking apps & project management tools to stay organized.
  7. Schedule breaks & leisure: Allocate time for relaxation & exploration to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

By incorporating these time management tips, you’ll increase productivity, reduce stress, and maximize the benefits of your digital nomad lifestyle.

More Guides for Digital Nomads

Even More Guides

How to Build a Digital Nomad Emergency Fund

8 Best Digital Nomad Destinations in Asia

Best 9 US Cities for Digital Nomads

Ways to Connect to the Internet as a Digital Nomad

Remote Employees’ Guide to Staying Organized & On Track

How to Save on Currency Conversion

Best Mobile Apps for Digital Nomads on the Go

vector image of a house

13 Airbnb Alternatives and Why They’re Better

person standing on top of Taipei 101 tower in Taiwan City, Taiwan

About Theo

Theodore began first experienced the wonders of traveling when visiting Vietnam. Afterward, he went crazy and ventured to at least… More about Theo