I have to tell you a secret. When I was in the Philippines in 2013 embracing the digital nomad lifestyle, and thought about a small digital nomad meetup for around 40 or 50 people in betahaus Berlin, I had no idea that only 2 years later, I’d be in a position to connect and inspire thousands of people out there and be part of the global DNX movement…
The fact that it would grow into this amazing community of people who live their dreams, going out into the world to build ideas into sustainable and meaningful projects, went beyond my wildest dreams.
A few weeks ago, we were throwing our 7th DNX Digital Nomad Conference in Berlin and it’s been a hell of a blast! The DNX events are growing into festivals: 4 days of pre-events, lots of spontaneous meetups all over Berlin, a sold-out movie premiere of the first digital nomad documentary featuring me and some other thought leaders in the digital nomad movement. Lots of networking events, our DNX main event day, a big party in one of the hottest rooftop clubs in Berlin and the DNX workshop day. What a magical vibe!
Bringing together 500 like-minded people to meet, learn, inspire and spread new ideas on how to work and live differently. Priceless!
Now I want to share a day in my life with you: the day before DNX VII kicked off in May 2016 in Berlin.
MAKING EVERYDAY A WIN
For those of you who know me, it won’t come as a surprise: Even a day before one of our biggest events ever, I strictly stick to my morning routine! It’s been one of my biggest game changers in leading a happy and productive life…
My eyes are still closed, but I can hear the birds and feel the sun’s about to rise. It’s 5.08am. I get up, excited about the new day – a new opportunity to create awesome stuff! The first big achievement takes me less than a minute: I make my bed. Sounds like a minor thing? Maybe – but it is the first win of my day.
Next, I walk into the kitchen, take a spoon of native organic coconut oil and swish it in my mouth for about 20 minutes. Oil pulling is an ancient remedy with tons of positive health aspects, giving you a deep cleanse each morning. While doing that, I fill in my Five Minute Journal, writing down what I am most grateful for today.
1. Early wake up with sunrise
2. Feeling lots of power and energy in me
3. DNX days gonna start with lots of friends in town
Practising thankfulness and being aware of the positive things in my life every single day revolutionized the way I work. It makes me present and happy in the now. Fuelled with positive thoughts, it’s time to activate my body with by stretching with the 7 minute app. After working out my body, it’s a daily MUST to also work out my mind. I always do 15 minutes of guided meditation using the app Calm, which I’ve recently switched to and love it.
All these actions help me to own my day and turn it into something great. You should absolutely give it a try. I pull through this morning routine in any setting, no matter where I am and who’s around me.
MIT: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE TEAM
After cleansing and activating the physical and the mental “me”, I’d usually have a healthy breakfast, jump on the nearest desk with my laptop and pull off the MIT = most important task of the day.
Today is a bit special though: my MIT is to meet our whole DNX team to sort out some last to-do’s for the conference tomorrow… Can you believe that there are team members I’ve been working with for years, but never actually met in person? This is the power of choosing freedom: people who share your mindset, creating outstanding stuff for your business without sitting in the same room, the same office – or even the same country – as you!
So I grab my girlfriend, and DNX co-founder, Feli and we head off from our sublet flat in Berlin Mitte down to the famous coworking space betahaus in Kreuzberg where our workshop day of the conference takes place – they’ve been close partners and friends of DNX from day one.
We walk past the buzzing coworking crowd and steer straight to our own little “war room”, which we blocked for the last few days to be able to hustle on any last minute preparations for the big event. Meeting our event manager and support team is awesome and I’m blown away by their energy and motivation. It’s hard to describe the feeling when people you’ve only just met are burning for your ideas. It shows that what we’re doing is meaningful, and really has an impact on people out there…
We’re quickly done with coordinating and can leave them to it. A good moment to sit down with Christoph, the founder of betahaus and enjoy a healthy, delicious vegan lunch. The food there is pretty amazing. We chat about our next DNX CAMP which we’re running together with betahaus and Copass, on the remote Greek island of Lemnos with plenty of sun, fun and water sports.
Spinning ideas on the same level with other entrepreneurs, creative thinkers and thought leaders is always great fun for me. I take the chance and ask Christoph about his opinion for doing the next international DNX GLOBAL in Chiang Mai, Thailand or Lisbon, Portugal.
And we need to discuss our speaking gig at a panel at OuiShare Festival in Paris – talking about how we’re shaping the future of work at an event with 2,000 participants should mean we’re at least a little prepared, right?
ORGA STUFF & GROWING VISIBILITY
MIT done, meetings done – and it’s 3pm. Already feels like a super productive day. I stay at betahaus and turn towards the easier work, opening my gmail account for the first time today. I check Trello and Slack, the two main tools we’re using to coordinate and communicate with our fully remote team. Organizing tasks, answering questions, giving feedback and input, optimizing workflows, giving a ‘green light’ to accomplished projects… These tools are incredibly helpful to operate smoothly and make remote teamwork fun and productive.
At the same time I use Wunderlist to organize myself and coordinate work with my co-founder Feli. Even though we’re a couple, its boosted our productivity to get organized in this way instead of just chatting, which would quickly lead us to lose focus. We’re about to prepare a webinar that we’ll run the day right after our big conference. Never slow down!
The background: US giant Citrix asked us to share our visions and aims for the future of work. We can feel how much interest in the digital nomad movement is now beginning to come from big companies. Big players start to realize that we’re not a temporary trend: we’re helping to share the future of work. It’s exciting! And I’m truly grateful to be able to spearhead this change.
I finally feel ready to dive into the depths of social media and boy, is there a lot of noise out there! At the same time it’s fab and rewarding to connect with the DNX tribe, check out what’s moving them and see what other creators throw out into the world. And I have to admit: I’ve really started to love Snapchat!
But I can’t stay too long this time friends – Flux FM, a popular radio station in Berlin, invited me in for a live interview. I was there last year, but this time there’s a new twist of excitement. Since I started my own podcast, it’s pretty cool to check out all the recording tech they use! Chatting to the presenter and telling Berlin that we’re rocking the city the next day was lots of fun. Online marketing is where we’re rooted, but a fair proportion of “traditional media” and PR noise is super important to reach new audiences and raise the visibility of our movement in the outside world. Just as offline relations and talking to real people – like we do at our events – are invaluable!
Baaam, knocked this one of the list, too. Still on fire, I’m heading into my temporary home. Chilling out? No way. I’m a straight-up 100% Type A personality with way too much energy. I’m into practicing an Israeli self-defence system called Krav Maga and I’m excited to finally rock off a session in my old training dojo in Berlin Friedrichshain. The perfect way to channel my excessive energy, and help me relax later.
EVERY END IS A NEW START
If starting my day with routines feels awesome, then why not end it that way too? Our lives often feel like a roller coaster ride, and my routines help to keep me grounded.
I sit down again with my Five Minute Journal, feeling present in the moment and happy about the things that made my day special. Then I open Blinkist App and listen to the summary of “Mandelas way” – a biography I’ve been wanting to read for ages. It enables me to grasp the essence of some of the greatest authors and creative thinkers out there, one book a day. I also love to take a lesson with Duolingo to learn or improve a new language. To unfold the full potential of your brain power, you have to train it. We do it a lot with our bodies, but often forget about our minds.
To clear my head 100% of work-related thoughts, I tag my MIT for the next day in Wunderlist and follow a strict rule: no screens after 10pm. Before going to bed, I set the alarm for the next day with Sleep Better… and that’s it, no more apps or tools today; I’ll just close my eyes with a big smile on my face, already excited for the next sunrise…