I force myself to stop working at 5pm and have a no laptop after 9pm rule. Otherwise I’d work too much and have no personal life. – Matt Kepnes
About Matt Kepnes
Matt Kepnes is a travel writer who teaches people how to travel on a budget and runs an award winning budget travel site, Nomadic Matt. After a trip to Thailand in 2005, Matt decided to quit his job, finish his MBA and head off into the world. His original trip was supposed to last a year. Over seven years later, he is still out exploring and roaming the world. He’s scuba dived in Fiji, was a poker player in Amsterdam, taught English in Thailand, got lost in a jungle in Central America, and broke down in the middle of Australia’s outback.
During my interview with Matt we talk how to get work done and push projects forward when your schedule lacks consistency and you’re constantly changing your environment. Why Matt considers Starbucks his global office and manufacturing consistency when your travel by dividing your day into blocks of time.
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Topics We Explored
- The biggest reason people don’t travel is because of money. But, in the age of the internet, you can look up and find how much anything costs in any country. There’s no reason not to know how much things cost before you go.
- When you travel, it’s just as important to know how much things cost as it is to know yourself. If you enjoy really expensive meals, over budget for that. If you don’t care where you sleep, budget for that.
- How to get work done and push projects forward when your schedule lacks consistency and you’re constantly changing your environment.
- Working at Starbucks even if you don’t drink coffee because all around the world they look the same, smell the same, have the same products no matter which country you’re in. It is Matt’s global office. He’s trained his brain that when he’s in Starbucks, it’s work time.
- Listening to the same album, song or playlist on repeat, over and over again to help create a consistent environment where flow can happen.
- Manufacture consistency when your travel by dividing your day into blocks of time. Example: Wake up, allotting one hour for shower and breakfast and one hour for checking email. Blocking off the afternoon to go outside and explore. Allotting another hour or two in the late afternoon to catchup on your work. Then go get dinner and drinks and a good nights sleep.
- If you have an “Internet job” and work from home or work while traveling, create artificial constraints to separate work time from personal time. End your workday at 5pm and have a no laptop after 9pm rule.
- If you have trouble writing at home or at your office because your distracted or you find it hard to focus, find a place outside your normal routine to write (like a local library, diner or coffee shop.) Although it’s a public place, it will likely be easier to focus on writing because you’ve distanced yourself from your habitual environment and triggers.
Resources and Books Mentioned
SelfControl– Free Mac app to help you avoid distracting websites