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92 Pieces of Advice on Being Productive No Matter Where You Are, Working Remotely, and Digital Nomading

Oct 19, 2017 9 min readOpen
Photo of Hailley Griffis
Hailley Griffis

Head of Communications & Content @ Buffer

Have you ever been curious about other people’s processes? How they start their day, how they work remotely, or how they focus their energy levels?

I definitely have, and I know so many people who feel the same way. After all, what better way to learn than by looking at what is working for others!

We’re fortunate to have access to an incredible community at Buffer, and over the years we’ve collected actionable advice from this community during our weekly bufferchat on Twitter. While these pieces of advice are all available in the weekly recap blog posts, I’ve collected some favorites here, based on three categories of the way we work.

This post is broken into three advice sections:

  • Being productive
  • Working remotely
  • Digital nomading

Happy reading! We’d love to hear from you in the comments about which piece of advice most resonated with you. ?

Advice on Being Productive No Matter Where You Are


1. “Keep schedule in large blocks of time (8AM–10AM, 3PM–6PM) keeps me free to work toward goals without schedule paralysis.” @bradleebartlett

2. “Mornings are absolutely sacred! Before lunch, no meetings/calls – just heads down work. Afternoons are for admin & meetings.” @flaviacat03

3. “To-do lists never go out of style. Start from the top priority & most energy-consuming task.” @AMBAcomms

4. “I always try to get the most out of my morning –> mediate, watch something inspirational (TED Talk) and look at my day.” @mattiheubner

5. “During the day I work in theme blocks like blog content, analytics, social, support and more (helps to avoid multitasking).” @mattiheubner


6. “I let myself knock out what interests me most first (feels like a treat!), followed by what’s most pressing.” @kathryndlewis

7. “I start w/ list then prioritize using an urgent / important matrix to clearly see what needs doing when.”~~@~~NeilMilliken via @merylkevans

8. “Heavy lifting things go first. Things that take the most focus or time. Small things + busy work, better for late w/music.” @bellametaphor

Good habits

9. “An awesome habit is using the Pomodoro method because it forces good habits like single-tasking and taking breaks.” @mattiheubner

10. “Plan your day the night before. Plan your week on Sunday night. It helps a lottttt.” @JuiceboxCA

11. “I give myself a treat – like reading my Feedly – after successfully completing (a set of) tasks.” @abbraga

12. “Set aside specific times for email. Responding immediately is often not necessary… NOT EVERYTHING IS URGENT!!” @GNAdv


13. “We make coffee, take walks, move our work to another location. Sometimes all we need is a change of scenery.” @YellingMule

14. “A mandatory fruit break at 11 and ten mins meditation in the afternoon.” @Passport_Liz

15. “My schedule tells me! I make sure I take them anytime I feel stuck, frustrated or blocked. Even just for a glass of water.” @MichaelLindauer


16. “Single-tasking gives me way more focus! Sometimes I fall back to multi-tasking and my productivity immediately decreases.” @mattiheubner

17. “You get more done when you focus. Doing too many things at once means you are working harder, not smarter.” @larshelgeson

18. “If I’m writing, no internet connection, less people around = better flow. Its important to be the most present in each task.” @GlitterOtter

19. “It helps focus, makes daunting projects seem like more manageable tasks. I focus with music and no other tabs open!” @jstew24


20. “Don’t take your schedule too seriously. Life happens, so be flexible about it and try to make the best out of the situation.” @mattiheubner

21. “You can’t plan an entire day out moment by moment – adapt and react, relocate if necessary. Music always helps!” @malocloum

22. “Reminding myself what I’ve managed to complete rather than what I haven’t. Plans can always change!” @Tweet_Cheyenne

23. “Look at your goal for the day – measure your current progress. Pickup the next step. GO.” @jakejordan


24. “Take breaks regularly, listen to energizing music (I couldn’t work without my tunes).” @mattiheubner

25. “Also getting input from outside of work helps me a lot. Like meeting friends or read a book. It totally freshens up my mind.” @mattiheubner

26. “Always remember to shut work off after hours. If it’s not a 911. It can wait. Burning yourself out is a no no! @etakappadiamond

27. “Walking and exercising and eating healthy is so important, I have a balance ball at my desk instead of a chair :-)” @70mq

28. “Make sure you enjoy what you’re doing! When work doesn’t feel like “work”, you’ll be much happier and energised!” @terezadickson

29. “Know thyself. Know when you are most & least productive. Plan accordingly.” @ErinMcHanaburgh

30. “I prioritize & regulate my energy for the tasks at hand. You can accomplish a lot with strategically allocated energy!” @lizeischen

31. “Managing energy can be all about your mindset. Find excitement and positivity in everything you do and you’ll be unstoppable” @Adtegrity

32. “I create to-do list the night before that are prioritized by what needs to be completed the next day vs what doesn’t.” @ChiokeMcRae

33. “& my newest lesson: don’t be too harsh on urself & overstress. This can lead to wasting time instead of acting accurately” @Typ0Queen

Save time

34. “Avoiding wasting time with overwhelm and overload. I try not to let the to do list paralyze me. Just get started” @michaelthenoker

35. “Give yourself deadlines, and keep to them! You’ll be surprised what you achieve when you push yourself.” @MattMadeContent

36. “Look ahead. Know what’s on ur calendar. This ensures ur prepared & can plan for things coming ur way” @mwilton13

37. “Don’t be afraid to take a break from something and come back to it – better than not being able to make any progress on it.” @BasicBon

38. “I’m learning to say no. It’s tough.” @jenhoverstad

Starting routines

39. “It all starts with your mindset and making a decision. You don’t have to be 100% or wait for the right time” @chriswinfield

40. “It’s about starting small. Don’t try to do too much at once, you’ll get overwhelmed & want to give up.” @chriswinfield

41. “Make your routine DOABLE. Life is about taking a whole lot of small steps to create big things!” @lisettevdvalk

42. “Get organised. Make lists. See if you can get others in your organisation on board as well. It helps!” @msljim

43. “Like a marathon you have to train yourself to get to the place you want 2 be. All of us will have different methods.” @deespeciale

Keeping routines

44. “It’s all about being realistic & realizing what’s actually possible based on circumstances.” @chriswinfield

45. “Plan ahead, especially when you’re on a trip. Leave plenty of time to get to place and through lineups” @sales_prodigy

46. “Certain routines become natural parts of your day no matter what, while others may require some flexibility when it’s busy.” @nataliebergen

47. “Sometimes my To Do list is longer than my day & I have to pause and re-prioritize. What’s most important? What can wait?” @imhappyimsam

Advice On Working Remotely

Starting work at home

48. “Start early & don’t look at your phone before you begin your morning routine or you will be sucked into the digital vortex!” @ZenYinger

49. “Create a routine. Wake up 1–2 hours before you start and use it as “me” time—have breakfast, work out, grab coffee.” @AboutDanielle

50. “I look at our priorities organized in Trello, put on my trigger song that gets me in work mode, and get to work.” @clarusclientbst


51. “I take a break when I’m feeling stuck. Scheduling breaks seems to get in the way of momentum for me.” @ideabloke

52. “Work in Pomodoro shifts of 25 minutes with 5 minute breaks in between. After 4 shifts I take a half our break.” @EntHacks

53. “Depends on what I’m working on, but when I can I try to break 10–15min hourly, it keeps my brain from working against me.” @andrew_c_becker

Minimizing distractions

54. “Close all tabs (especially social media sites) other than the ones you need for research and switch off notifications.” @thatcontentshed

55. “Stick my headphones on. With a good playlist, I’m ready to conquer the world…Well my work at least.” @etakappadiamond

56. “I think minimizing distractions all starts with having clearly defined goals when you start the day. Trains run on tracks.” @iAmDarthJones

Staying on track

57. “The secret ingredient is to schedule work around your energy, instead of time.” @TCInstituteNY

58. “I always “eat the frog” first. Do that ONE big task, before email or anything else. Feels great to have it done.” @drewplaysdrums

59. “Productivity tip: estimate how long you think it’ll take. If you’ve done it before, multiple x1.5. If you haven’t x2.” @bgtrotter


60. “Getting dressed in real clothes definitely helps me prepare for my day and get in a different mindset than rest.” @dmtors

61. “When performing a skype meeting, it’s all about a dress shirt and sweatpants! #LaptopLifestyle.” @kevinwiens

62. “I’m usually in workout clothes because they’re comfy! My attire has no impact on how productive I am, my mentality does. ?” @KhadyaHale_VA

Top tip for working from home

63. “Create a dedicated space for working, even if you don’t have a home office. Find a spot and make it yours.” @ExpWriters

64. “Even though you work from home doesn’t mean you have to work whenever you are home. Set boundaries for your work day.” @kalynochka

65. “Become aware of yourself- knowing what distracts you, what times you work best at, etc. Practice constraint.” @blossmweb

66. “Practice! Working productively is a skill. It’s ok if it isn’t perfect right away. Tweak, repeat, find what works.” @dan_kaufhold

67. “Start the day by looking at what you need to accomplish by EOD, prioritizing, and doing things one at a time. Find a groove!” @TheMikeyDunn

Advice on Digital Nomading 


68. “Depends on where we are! Usually slow mornings bc we like to sleep in, working at a coffee shop before meeting new friends!” @dontforgettomove

69. “Usually we work from an apartment we rent from AirBnB, usually in our sweatpants, haha. We love making our own hours.” @dontforgettomove

70. “Coffee/tea & exploration with notebook/tablet in hand for ideas – lots of new places/travel – writing in late AM/early PM.” @BettaBeYou

71. “I wake up at 5am, do my morning routine, then I go wherever the food is fresh and the coffee is hot!” @_Jason_Michael

72. “A morning workout to wake up > head to a ~~#~~coworking space for the day > then explore my surroundings and/or find a meetup.” @twotravelabroad

Productivity while traveling

73. “Setting certain work hours helps and keeping on top of deadlines with programs like Asana.” @dontforgettomove

74. “Working w/ other digital nomads in co-working spaces is helpful because you can share ideas and keep each other motivated.” @dontforgettomove

75. “I try to plan my week out in advance so I know what needs to be done. Keeping my calendar synced helps a ton.” @MindofaDiva

76. “I do the most critical activities 1st at my most productive time in a quiet spot with coffee.” @RaulARovira

77. “I keep a list on my Trello of what I need to get done. A spare 5 minutes is often a full task or at last the beginning of one.” @EverydayAims

Work locations

78. “Googling “best cafes to work at in X” is a good start. There’s a lot of co-working places popping up that are perfect!” @dontforgettomove

79. “Walking around town you can usually find a few cafes w/ wifi and don’t mind you staying for a while w/ your laptop.” @dontforgettomove

80. “NomadList and googling co-working insert city here. They are always well equipped and you meet amazing people!” @ForresterHinds

81. “When I traveled more I would make a list of local coffee shops. also, being brave enough to ask locals about cool locations!” @bradleebartlett

82. “Lots of research and mapping! I check out lifestyle bloggers and find out where they’re working in cities I plan on visiting.” @kaitlynuy

Meeting people

83. “Start at the main digital nomad hubs like Chiang Mai and Medellin to meet fellow digital nomads who you can travel with!” @dontforgettomove

84. “ and are awesome websites for connecting with others in your area over shared interests.” @dontforgettomove

85. “I spent 5 mo in Brazil & signed up for photo classes. Met people w/ shared hobby, learned language, & discovered new places.” @ARoberts021

86. “Ask people where the best places to work are! and coworking spaces are great ways to meet people on the go!” @MaggieBizz

87. “Participate in SoMe communities like ~~#~~SocialRoadTrip, a great way to meet online folks IRL & gets you out of your backyard!” @ideabloke

Preventing travel burnout

88. “Slow down! Take a month, rent an apartment and get to know one place for a while. Traveling fast = burn out.” @dontforgettomove

89. “Remember: you can’t see everything. Pick places that interest you the most and give yourself enough time to explore them.” @dontforgettomove

90.“SLEEP! It’s so under-rated and so important when traveling. Never let your sleep debt get bigger than your overdraft!” @bucketsdotco

91. “Take some “you time” – work balance can be off chart. Take a swim, take a walk around town, grab a coffee by yourself.” @robchristianson

92. “Don’t hop around so much that it’s overwhelming. Practice gratitude daily, journal, seek beauty wherever you are.” @JackieMJensen

There’s lots more advice where this came from! Every week we host Bufferchat where our community shares thoughts on tons of topics. Remote work, productivity, and digital nomading are just the beginning.

Here are the full blog posts that these advice pieces were pulled from:

Photo by Kevin Bhagat

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