Originally published on Inc.com.
You have work to do. You have a laptop. But something’s missing.
You want that spark, a little excitement, something more than going to the same desk every day, staring at the same four walls. You need creativity. A change of scenery. You are joining the ranks of the digital nomad so you can work from anywhere and earn a living using technology, just a few apps while enjoying the experience of work and life.
For some of you, that may sound counter-productive. But for others, it may sound perfect.
So what traits do you need to have to be successful as a digital nomad? Where do you want to live? What work do you need to do? Here are some answers.
There are the technology basics, of course. Chargers, extra batteries, pens, paper and generally often used office supplies are a must.
But beyond that, you must embody personal traits that will allow nomadic life to energize you instead of drain you.
If you can display these seven traits, you can be successful at living the laptop lifestyle:
1. Embrace Flexibility
You find the perfect place to work. It’s a beautiful coffee shop with a great view. The Wi-Fi is fast.
You open your laptop, get ready to start and… the power goes out, and they tell everyone to leave. Time to find a new place.
Unexpected and frustrating things out of your control will happen. When you accept that in advance, it’s easier to deal with when it actually happens.
2. Use Creativity
Your battery is getting low so you look for the nearest power outlet. The outlet is close, but the cord is too short.
Luckily, you packed your retractable extension cord. Problem solved.
Oh, you don’t have a retractable extension cord? Go get one.
3. Show Discipline
Sit down. Get to work. Get it done. That is all.
4. Have a Sense of Adventure
Success happens when you stay adventurous and positive about anything that happens (like the power going out).
Remember being a kid, filled with wonder and anticipation about the good that’s about to happen? Yes, it’s inconvenient that the power went out and you had to move. But maybe something better is just around the corner.
5. Stay Open-Minded
Goals and plans are best where there is enough room for variation in the process. Keep your mind on your goal.
Whenever you want to say an absolute “no” to a possibility, ask yourself, “What might happen if I say yes?”
You’ll be amazed at how many opportunities have been trying to reach you–opportunities you never noticed before and never would have thought of alone.
6. Stay Vigilant
New surroundings, new people and new circumstances can make anyone a little out of balance. Be aware. Observe. Notice people and places around you. Follow your intuition-if something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. Be smart so you stay safe.
7. Be Resilient
You will have ups and downs, frustrations and problems while living the laptop lifestyle.
Things you thought would be easy turn out to be hard. Technology doesn’t work the same way in different place. Internet speeds vary. Weather varies.
Through it all, remember when you choose to be a digital nomad, you are choosing freedom and flexibility so you can experience life in a new and different way.
If you have or want to develop these traits, here are some suggestions to get started:
Start small. Take a project to a local coffee shop and work there for two hours every day for a week. Don’t like the coffee shop idea? Go to the library, a park or find a collaborative work-space in your area.
Take care of yourself. Get your basic needs met. Schedule your digital nomadic life around your needs for sleep, food and exercise. Keeping a focus on these three things will help you stay strong and healthy.
Have fun! Unexpected things happen when you start roaming to get your work done. You’ll meet fascinating people who might help you along the way. You’ll learn more about yourself than you ever knew. Above all, you’ll be able to learn to relax and enjoy life–your way.
These are just a few of the behavioral traits you’ll need if you are thinking about starting or expanding your digital nomad and laptop lifestyle. Please feel free to recommend your favorite tips or comment.
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