“What do you do all day?”
I am regularly asked what my average day is like. It's always such a difficult question to answer, as there is no routine day for me. If you know me at all, then you know that I pretty much hate schedules, haha.
My hatred of schedules is probably one of the main reasons for why I love living the digital nomad lifestyle.
Telling people that I work online and travel is always an interesting conversation. Telling people “I'm a blogger” just leads to so many questions, which I completely understand. But, when they find out that I’m a full-time traveler too, they get even more confused!
Now, blogging is a lot of work. I may not work a ton everyday, but there are many days when I'll work 16 hours a day. There is almost always something that needs to be done when it comes to my blogging business, and I have a whole long list of things that I want to do when I have more time.
Plus, it took me time to build my business, just as any good business takes time. I now have a streamlined method for working so things go a lot more smoothly and efficiently.
Side note: Make sure you're following me on Instagram!
My average day can vary greatly. That’s one of the main things I love about running my own business and how it works with my digital nomad lifestyle – I can create my own schedule, and it can be as flexible as I want it to be.
Like I said, there are some days when I put in long hours and work from the moment I wake up until I go to bed, but there are other days when I am working for less than an hour.
I’m not perfect and will waste time on social media, pet my dogs for a crazy amount of time, and binge watch Netflix (we just got Netflix again and have been watching it so much, UGH!).
Also, now that we are living on the boat, there are a ton of boat tasks that I don’t even mention below, but trust me, we are doing something boat related at least once a day. Whether that is cleaning the boat, doing routine maintenance, sailing, or something else, something boat-related is being done every single day.
The next question that I am asked most often about my digital nomad lifestyle is probably, “How many hours do you work each day/week/month?” Since my average day varies so widely, it’s hard to say exactly how many hours I actually work each day or week. Sometimes, I may spend 100 hours a week working, and other times I may not work more than just a few hours – just enough to answer some emails. Similarly, there are some months where I may only work ten hours on the business, and there are other months that are full of 100 hour work weeks.
Anyway, below is my average work day as an online business owner and full-time traveler.
Related articles on the digital nomad lifestyle:
- How I Run A Business While Traveling 365 Days a Year
- 9 Work From Home and Travel Careers
- How I Successfully Built A $1,000,000+ Blog
- Why I Love Living In A Vehicle
Here’s my daily, digital nomad lifestyle:
8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. – Wake up
The time we wake up usually varies, but lately we've been waking up around 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. We will get ready, feed the dogs, and make smoothies. While everyone is eating, I usually check my email and respond to as many as I can.
Then, we take the dogs for a walk. Usually our morning walk is around 30 minutes, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter, such as if it's raining hard. We usually let them out at least five times a day, and that takes up a significant amount of our day, but we love them so it's worth it. Plus, they get us outside even more and help keep us healthy!
10:00 a.m. – Work a little
After the two main things of the morning are done, eating and walking the dogs, I then work a little bit. Usually, I don't work a ton during the day, as I like to use daylight hours for enjoying wherever we are, since we travel full-time while living a digital nomad lifestyle.
So, I may work for an hour, answer more emails, reply to comments, go over things that may need to be done with my assistant, read some blog posts from others that may have caught my eye, and complete other routine items that go along with running a website.
My average day includes at least a few hundred emails, and I pride myself in the fact that I answer every single email. While my replies may not be book length, I always try my best to answer reader emails and assist them in a realistic way. Sometimes that may be just referring them to a blog post that answers their specific question (I also turn a lot of reader questions into blog posts!), answering their question in an email, or it may consist of me doing some research for them.
11:00 a.m. – Podcasts and phone interviews
I usually try to schedule any podcasts or phone interviews for around this time, which keeps the rest of my day open to other things.
Now, I don't do an interview every single day. Some days I may have five interviews, and there are weeks where I don't schedule any due to lack of time.
It all just depends on what's going on, if I know I'll have cell service or wifi, and so on.
12:00 p.m. – Eat lunch
I'll usually break for lunch around this point. We may make lunch on the boat or go out to eat. We eat out more than normal due to us traveling full-time, and we really enjoy eating at the favorite places in whatever town we are visiting. We do snack throughout the day as well – we usually have three meals a day with some snacks in between.
Before or after lunch, we usually let the dogs out for another walk. Since we don't have a backyard, they get some pretty lengthy walks, and we try to go until we know that they are tired and happy.
1:00 p.m. – Enjoy where we are
Many days, we are enjoying whatever new area we are exploring.
This may entail a long bike ride (Wes loves to ride 50-100 miles in a single ride, whereas I'm more comfortable around 40-50 miles), a fun hike, finding a rock climbing gym in the area, going to a state or national park, or something else.
Some days we may explore, be outside, etc. for several hours. On those days, we usually walk the dogs extra long so that they are tired all day while we are gone.
We usually don't bring the dogs with us when we are out exploring because many state and national parks prohibit dogs. Also, they may not be able to do the hike, bike or climb, and honestly, they are older so they just like their sleep. On the days where they stay at home, we just look at the weather, adjust the temperature for the boat (the same for when we were in the RV), and make sure that they are happy. Now, some people may say, “You leave your dogs in the boat and leave?!” If you leave your dogs at a house, then it is no different. We have air conditioning, heat, and they have their beds. They are perfectly happy.
5:00 p.m. – Walk the dogs and dinner
After we get back from whatever activity we do during the day, we always make sure to give the dogs another long walk.
After that, we usually feed the dogs dinner, and we'll make dinner as well.
After dinner is usually when I start working for the day. I’m typically less distracted during the evening, and we like to use the daytime to explore.
For the next few hours, I'll brainstorm ideas for the blogging business, create images for Facebook and Pinterest, be active on Instagram (it's my favorite social media!), check in on what my assistants are doing, optimize articles both new and old, create emails to go out to my subscribers (I tend to send 1-3 a week), create sponsored content and communicate with brands, check in on social media, create new freebies (such as printables, cheat sheets, free courses, etc.) for readers, interact with readers in my two Facebook groups, manage any Facebook ads that I have running, and more.
Whew, that’s a lot!
9:00 p.m. – Go on a final walk
We walk the dogs a lot each day, even more than I mentioned above. A few hours after sunset, we usually go on one last walk with them while it's cooler and before they go to bed.
After we get back, this is usually when we wind down as well. Like I said, we just got Netflix again, so now we may watch an episode of our favorite show, or perhaps a Youtube video from one of our favorite vloggers.
This is a new routine, though. We used to NEVER watch TV. Like never ever, haha. We recently spent a few weeks having warranty repairs done to the RV, and we got Netflix again since we were in a small town without much to do. We've had it pretty much ever since, and now we’re addicted!
Where does writing come into play in the digital nomad lifestyle?
I write ALL of my articles here on Making Sense of Cents. I don't have a ghostwriter, and I don't plan on ever having one. I enjoy writing and talking about topics that interest me.
But, writing isn't normally in my average work day. I like to write well in advance, when I am in the writing mood.
This means that I usually batch write. I may get really into writing and crank out a few articles in one day, and maybe even ten or more in one week. Then, I won't write at all for a month or two.
Here is a list of what goes along with each new article that you see on Making Sense of Cents:
- Think of ideas for new articles. I have a long list of over 100 possible article topics that I keep on my laptop, as well as on my phone. I think of the many, many topics that you'll find on Making Sense of Cents through life experiences, reader questions, research and articles that I've come across (such as if I see a crazy statistic that I find interesting, I'll then turn it into a long article), and so on.
- Create a schedule for one month full of topics and their publish dates. I like to make sure I have a good variety of topics covered each week on Making Sense of Cents. For example, I don't usually like to have a week full of making money ideas. Instead, I like to vary it between making money, saving money, life improvement, and so on.
- Write content. I like to write an article from beginning to end with no breaks. It may take me an hour to write an article or I may be at it all day. Sometimes, content does span a few days, but for the most part, I like to finish a piece of content in one sitting. I then hand over the content to my editor, and she fixes everything, makes it flow better, etc. The only thing she doesn't edit is my monthly income report.
- Once I get the content back from my editor, I add images (one for Pinterest and one for Facebook), format it the way I want, and add links to related content on my website.
- Once the article is published on Making Sense of Cents, I share it to Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, StumbleUpon, Flipboard, and Twitter. I also schedule it to share for future dates on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
- Send an email to my subscribers about a new blog post being published.
What's a busy day like?
So, like I have said numerous times in this article, some days are more relaxed for someone like me living the digital nomad lifestyle. The schedule you read above is more relaxed than my busy days. Other days, I work from the moment I wake up until the time I go to bed.
I like to do batch work, as you can tell from the previous section. I may designate a whole day to writing content, a whole day to catching up on emails, a whole day to optimizing old articles, a whole day to being interviewed on podcasts and websites, and so on. Batch working allows me to focus on one task, really enjoy the task, and be an expert at it.
Those days are completely different from the above, and they go more like:
- Wake up, eat, walk dogs
- Work, work work
- Wes forces me to take a break and eat lunch
- Walk dogs
- Work, work, and work some more
- Wes forces me to take a break and eat dinner
- Walk dogs
- Work even more
- Walk dogs
- Work again
- Go to bed
I absolutely love what I do and being able to live the digital nomad lifestyle, so working all day long is actually something that I like, haha. That's why Wes has to force me to break and eat, otherwise I probably wouldn't, even though I love to eat!
What do my assistants do?
I used to do pretty much everything on Making Sense of Cents. I have since realized how crazy that was. Now, I have a great team of assistants helping me. This has shaved a lot of work time off of my day and allows me to have a better work life balance. Plus, I can't do everything 100% perfect, so, to me, having expert assistants is money well spent.
Some of the assistants I have completing tasks include:
- Editor – I use Ariel Gardner for all of the editing work on my blogging business. She edits my articles, lessons for Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, and whatever else I send her way. This saves me a ton of time so that I can focus on other tasks. Plus, I am horrible at editing my own work!
- Virtual assistant – I use Alexis, my sister, for a bunch of different blog tasks. Some of the tasks she's in charge of include verifying requests for the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Facebook group, moderating both of my Facebook groups and checking for spam, adding Pinterest images to old articles, scheduling social media posts for new and old articles, managing social media, replying to support emails for my course, and more.
- Lastly, I also pay for technical management for this blog. It's a fairly low cost to make sure that my blog is always up and running. I highly recommend Grayson if you are looking for someone to do this for you!
Did anything above surprise you? What would you do differently if you had a flexible schedule? What questions do you have about my average workday?
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