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Securing small improvements

When everything is in disarray, it's easy to get overwhelmed. This happened to me several times during last week. Whenever the situation became too much to deal with, I set aside the overwhelm and focused on securing small improvements.

I think I learnt this idea in The One Thing:

What's the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

Digital nomad routine

I've been leading a digital nomad lifestyle for the last year and this last week I moved from Chiang Mai (Thailand) to Da Nang (Vietnam). Moving to a new place always creates a bit of stress, specially when you want to keep costs down and want to remain as productive as possible.

On the other hand, having to establish myself and my routine every several months in a new place has enabled me to gain some awareness of the process and of the kinds of things I find important. It's been a great way to explore.

It was a tough week and I really pushed myself to get things done. I was staying at a friend's place and was a bit dependent on his help. It meant that I couldn't do things on my terms or as I saw fit. I had to remain flexible and accept the things that were out of my control.

I'm grateful for my friend's help, but his place wasn't the best or in the most hygienic condition. It was actually quite bad ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ˜‚. Basically a mattress and a mattress cover in a smelly, humid, moldy, dirty room.

One day I managed to get the AC working with the help of the TV remote control batteries (the ones in the AC remote control were dead). After that my evenings were slightly more pleasant since I could keep the heat and humidity in check.

Another day I figured out I could build a semi-decent pillow by rolling up a thick blanket and covering it up with a pillow cover. My nights and sleep improved and every morning I was a bit less tired.

The next evening I cleaned up the wardrobe in my room and was able to set out my clothes. After that, my morning routine became a bit easier, my days a little less overwhelming.

Another day I used some bleach on the bathroom floor. Taking a shower felt a little more pleasant after that, not having to worry that I'd develop some fungal infection on the soles of my feet.

This kept going on throughout the week. Every day some small improvement was secured. Every day I fixed or alleviated some snag in my routine, making my life easier and reducing friction.

Now I feel much more comfortable in this new town. I'm starting to know my way around it, I've found a place of my own, I've found a co-working space I like, I know which ATMs charge the lowest fee, I know were to get my food...

One percent better

Whenever you feel overwhelmed by your current situation, take a deep breath, take a step back and ask yourself, what's a small improvement that you can claim that will make everything else easier or unnecessary?

You'll regain a sense of hope and control and your small wins will start compounding. Your day to day will become easier and you'll be on track to making progress on the things that matter to you ๐Ÿ’ช.