10 Ways Living Abroad Can Boost Your Productivity

Posted on - in Culture & Communication, Productivity Hacks
being productive when you live abroad

This is a guest post contributed by Sarah Ghanem. If you would also like to contribute to the blog, please review our writing guidelines here.

Almost every single person would be able to relate to the feeling that they aren’t being as productive as they are capable of. Don’t you feel the same? That you are too distracted? Or maybe you’re just too bored to be more productive. Or you could just be facing time management challenges which hinder your productivity. But do you know what the secret to productivity is for some of the most successful people around the world? It’s travelling and living abroad. So here are some amazing ways in which living abroad makes you more productive.

It Boosts Your Creativity

Overseas travels bring you across such unique people and experiences that it’s sure to stimulate your brain into some creative thinking. You are no longer bound to a 9-to-5 job, you can work anytime and anywhere you want and this freedom can maximise your productivity.

Your Tolerance Levels Increase

No matter what your occupation is, whether you are employed, self-employed or run your own business; tolerance is essential if you want to get ahead in life. When you are away from home, you are kind of forced to interact with unknown people, language and cultures and this really helps strengthen your ability to tolerate.

It Makes You More Organised

When living abroad, many of us find ourselves with more free time. There aren’t many family commitments or deadlines to keep in mind, which gives one enough time to plan their days. This is particularly helpful for those who struggle with time-management. You learn to plan ahead such as planning your day, planning what to eat, planning your budget. In the long run, this practice will help you stay productive by enabling you to anticipate obstacles and make better plans.

It Helps You Analyse and Assess Yourself

Being in a new land gives you ample space for self-assessment. I feel that at least once every one or two years, we all need a little break to think of where we are in life, is this where we wanted to be and where we should be in the time to come.

You Can Give Volunteer Work a Try

There are a number of unpaid and even paid volunteer work opportunities that you can explore when travelling and, trust me, this is one of the best ways to get ahead in your careers.

Volunteer work gives your heart a satisfaction and keeps you motivated. Sometimes, working with those who are less fortunate than you can even make you feel grateful for the things you have. You are able to realise how lucky you are and this makes you thankful for even the little things in life!

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It Strengthens Your Vision

What’s the point of productivity unless you have a vision? Living abroad helps you focus on what your goal is and how you will achieve it. It also makes you more open minded, willing to take different opportunities and makes you well-prepared to do risk-assessment in order to make sure that you are on the right track.

It Gives You Positivity and Confidence

This is especially true for those who travel alone. Or even if you are living abroad with your partner, being away from your old family and friends means that you have to manage everything yourself. You explore unfamiliar places and meet new people, while this may be panicking for some at the beginning, eventually it will all become a part of your nature.

You Get the Chance to Learn New Languages

In today’s globalised world, it’s always a good choice to learn new languages and where can you learn this language in a better way than when living with its native speakers. You can learn it and actually practice it with them and this experience might open up a whole new world of opportunities for you.

A Broad World View is Essential for Leadership

Living in a globalised world means that sooner or later, we all have to work with clients or employees from different cultural backgrounds, nationality or language. In such situations, having lived abroad prepares you well for these meetings. Almost all successful professionals today consider this to be the basis of leadership in twenty-first century.

It’s Good for Your CV/Resume and Career Choices

In today’s competitive job market, employers always look for what makes you unique. If you are able to get a degree or even do a short course when living abroad, it would make your resume really stand out from the crowd. Moreover, this experience will also help you build oversees connections and possibly some great work opportunities.

But then again, not all of us can afford to take time off and go live in a foreign land just for the sake of productivity, right? In such cases, you can always explore these options in your own country. I’m sure we can find opportunity to do volunteer work, learn new languages, or perhaps take up a new online course about something we love. In fact, I just recently read an Australian study for the Journal of Business and Psychology that said that watching cat videos actually made people more productive at work!

So I guess the point is that every now and then, you need to give yourself a little break and try something new, exciting or fun and it’s sure to take away your stress and make you more productive.

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Sarah is a happy Muslimah who is always eager to discover and rediscover the beauty of the world and make the most of the places she visits. In between her frequent travels, she stays productive designing trendy, yet modest Islamic wear for women. She’s a proud stylist and fashion consultant at Modanisa.

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