Sally shares a bit of her story with travel, work, productivity, and how she manages to stay on top of her commitments.
I’m Sally! I was born in London where I spent almost a decade working in the fashion industry before deciding to sell everything and see the world! Once I was far from home, (somewhere in Cambodia to be precise) I realised that going back to my old life wasn’t an option. So I retrained as a writer.
Nowadays, I’m still on the road but prefer to spend a few months getting to know a place and its people rather than darting from town to town all the time. For work, I’m a freelance copywriter. I specialise in writing websites and content on the topics of fashion, e-commerce, sustainability and the environment.
Having spent a long time in Asia and Africa I was excited to try life in a European city, but I wasn’t willing to compromise on the weather. I was pleasantly surprised to find such a thriving digital nomad community in Las Palmas!
What does productivity mean to you?
Productivity for me means making the most of the time I set aside for work so that I have time to explore the country I’m visiting. I gave up the 9 to 5 in order to have more freedom, choose how and when I work and to explore more of the world. Enjoying all of those things relies on me being productive during “office hours.”
Do you feel like you are the most productive you could be? How do you approach productivity for yourself?
I don’t know anyone who is working at maximum productivity! But I feel like I do a relatively good job because I am motivated by the freedom and the exploration that I want to fit in around my work. I’m lucky that I love my job and when I’m in a good state of flow I can get a lot done.
What is the most common barrier to staying productive for you?
My mobile phone! Being away from home means having to work hard to stay in touch with family and friends so that you don’t feel too far away. When my phone lights up, it’s hard to resist the temptation to reach out and connect with somebody I’m missing.
Can you share with us your productivity tips or rituals you might have?
Leaving my phone in another room is Rule 1. (I rarely stick to this.) I also keep track of how many hours I spend on each task and how many hours I work per day, that helps me to stay focused and also allows me to see how productive I have been in any given week or day. I can quickly see if I’m slacking off and wasting valuable beach time.
A quiet, industrious co-working space is also a great way to get a change of scene and being around other focused people is great for my motivation.
Who is your productivity idol if you had to pick one?
Living in London is a relentless hamster-wheel existence. In between working ridiculous overtime, keeping a tidy house, exercising, cooking healthy food, seeing friends and family and turning up to work social events, everyone who lives and works there has to run a very tight ship. They all have my ultimate respect as I’m not sure I could keep up any more!
What never fails to get you out of a work slump?
A walk in nature is my ultimate jump start if I’m feeling tired, sluggish or uninspired. When the blank white page won’t stop staring at me I take myself to the nearest beach, mountain or field for a timeout. My apartment in Las Palmas has a roof terrace and though we’re in the middle of the city we can see all the way across the rooftops to the mountains. Ten minutes staring out there and I soon find my flow again!
Thanks for reading, and remember, if you would also like to be a part of our Productivity Series, by sharing your story or some useful tips, get in touch with us as firstname.lastname@example.org.