FOMO is a real thing. Although its effects vary from person to person, it’s especially strong with me. Why is that, you might ask?
Well, for the past year I’ve been making the most of working remotely by living in different places around the world. This has been incredibly rewarding but has made balancing fun with productivity a bit of a challenge.
If, however, you can master the FOMO you will benefit in a ton of ways, one of my favorite being the feeling you get when you say “no.” It’s great, I swear. Without further ado, I give to you my tried and tested ways to resist the FOMO as a digital nomad.
This may sound like the easiest option and that’s why I am putting it first. The truth is, it’s one of the most difficult so long as you follow my rules.
1.) You have to say “yes” to everything (yes, everything). Tenth shot of tequila at a dive bar, “Yes!” The 2 am hike to the top of the local mountain to see the sunrise, “Yes!” Hitchhiking across the country, “Yes!”
2.) You get your work done. No slacking off, even when you’ve had one too many shots. If you follow these rules, I can guarantee the FOMO will fade, and fast.
If you’re not comfortable with giving into everything then you can try the responsible route…
Believe me when I say they exist, but you’re not going to find them in a bar. I used to think that these productive people – aside from me of course – were a myth. This is because I seemed to be the only one working wherever I went – cafes, hostels. As soon as I started going to coworking and co-living spaces my whole world changed. For the most part, I’ve met people that are more productive than I am, which makes me work a whole lot harder.
This week I have been waking up every morning at 6 am, going for a run, meditating and taking a cold shower all before I start work at 8 am. Now, I know these particular habits aren’t for everyone but what I’ve noticed is that this frees up a lot of my time and space to enjoy things more. I used to be the kind of person who would sleep in past my alarm clock or hit the snooze button to the point my phone would give up. Now there’s more time to do the things I love without sacrificing productivity.
One of the things that has helped me the most: planning as far into the future as I can. Leaving things until the last minute is a trademark of the spontaneous soul but it can lead to some serious FOMO. Booking your travel in advance makes saying no a breeze. If you’re not able to do something because of a previous booking then voila, problem solved. The following is a real conversation: “Hey Sam, there’s this amazing music festival next week, do you want to come?” Me: “Sorry, I can’t, I’ll be on a plane back to Europe, but I’ll see you next time.” The first thing you should do is mark it down for the following year. This will reduce the FOMO while at the same time likely lowering the costs. It may be hard at first to train your mind to think in this way but the results will show sooner than you think.
I used to have a ton of FOMO when I was looking at what other people were doing but failed to recognize that a lot of people FOMO what I am doing. Think about it. How lucky are you to have the freedom to be able to work online and live anywhere you want to live? Does it matter if you aren’t able to go surfing every day or have to go home before the band goes on because you have an early call? You’re living many a person’s dreams so don’t feel bad if you have to pass on that weekend getaway.
I’m curious to hear if you’ve tried out similar tactics. Have you tried out one since reading this article and want to share your experience? Aspiring digital nomad or established one that has a hot topic you want to write about? Give me a shout (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let’s talk!