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14 Ways to Cope with the Unpredictability of Life in Asia

Living in Asia can be unpredictable at times.

Businesses seem to close randomly, holidays come out of nowhere effecting the ability to facilitate visa runs or extensions, and the same dish you eat every day might not taste the same twice.

Life is happening all around you in orderly chaos; the trick is to be able to immerse yourself into it while shedding a majority of your long held expectations of life.

You don’t need thicker skin, you just need to know when to go with the flow and allow yourself to do so.

In order to overcome the new onslaught of micro-problems that have potential to arise while trying to maintain a healthy live/work scenario, here are some tips to keep you sane and focused:

  1. Focus on end results, not how you arrive at anything; life in Asia isn’t as consistently timed as it is back home. Things happen when they happen, no matter what expectations anyone sets.
  2. Follow your body; What time zone is your body feeling like? I try to let my body drive my work hours. Sleepless nights call for a change in schedule and are great for prospecting new business over the phone. I only try to forcibly regulate my sleeping pattern when it doesn’t feel good anymore, or I need to.
  3. Stay healthy and explore new ways to exercise wherever you go for more than a week.
  4. Identify your most important income-generating tasks and do more of that. Force yourself to drop 1 – 5 tasks that are chewing up your time and have little to zero monetary reward.
  5. Stop multitasking, and block your tasks on a schedule. Don’t work from a never ending list, limit the tasks you set for yourself.
  6. Give tasks a clear beginning and end, and document ongoing tasks for their progress and noteworthy remarks.
  7. Keep up on appearances for clients and people of interest; appearing predictable will convey a greater sense of reliability.
  8. Know how much you can handle; I bite off much less than I can chew to ensure I don’t fall back into a stressful work/life balance.
  9. Automate as much as you can; James Schramko’s Superfast Business Podcast is a great place to begin. Save time, or ensure important tasks are being done when you’re indisposed.
  10. Stay on top of key dates and holidays with
  11. Travel like it’s 1994; shame on those who nerd out on Facebook way too often and waste away like they did back home. Looking at a screen limits the power of serendipity in spades. Soak in everything around you, become part of it.
  12. Enjoy yourself; there’s no better reminder why you’re doing all this than to take a stroll and do something awesome; whatever that is for you.
  13. If you start to pick people apart or complain in your mind, it’s time to keep moving.
  14. Keep moving.

What are your best tips for dealing with unpredictability and work/life balance? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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