Our guest-writer, Jeff, shares his experience being semi-retired in Mexico, working remotely while also having time to socialize, and how moving to Mexico helped him to lose 40 pounds.
Vacation is quickly over after you’ve had time to settle in your new life in Mexico. But now you’ve had a taste of what this great country is all about. And you want more! In Playa del Carmen you have incredible weather, great restaurants, fun happy hours on the beach.
Unfortunately, unless you are independently wealthy the majority of us will still need to work to pay for our new digs. The big question is how do you work remotely and still have time to socialize?
Finding Work-Life Balance
In my case, my US Employer, was not too keen on my early retirement plans and many times tried to persuade me to stay “a few more years”. Frankly, I was a workaholic, they knew it, and they loved it. Up at 4:30 am and home by 8:30 pm. 6 days a week.
I had zero social life.
My weight exploded upward and before I knew it I was a 42 waist and sadly approaching 44” from eating fast food and whatever was quick and easy.
Having never worked remotely it was at first a difficult transition. Staying focused and motivated was a new challenge as distractions were everywhere. Coming from New York- where the weather is nice about 5 months out if the whole year- it was now Summer every day, tropical flowers and palm trees just outside my door, the pool at my complex, the blue Caribbean moments away, everything and everywhere was calling my name to go out and play.
That entire aspect of my former life would worry me as I prepared for my move to Mexico. I worried that I might move to a country I knew I wanted to explore a lot of, but I might not have time to do it with my old work schedule. However, I knew my new role as a Consultant for the same firm would change my entire way of life living here in Mexico. Both professionally as well as socially. But having never worked remotely, it was difficult at first.
Staying focused and motivated was a new challenge as distractions were everywhere.
Everything was calling my name to go out and play.
I Work. But…. I Also Make Time For Fun!
And thank god I work remotely.
I have a much lighter workload than in my old office setting. And that gives me the flexibility to get my work done and actually have a personal life. I immediately realized that I had a lot more free time to pursue other interests and have a healthy personal life. I became deeply involved with mentoring in the Expat Community here in Playa Del Carmen. Which led to meeting many new friends with whom I get together on a regular basis. We get together, travel, and enjoy each other’s company. I finally have a social life and I’m loving it!
The trick is balance.
It was easy to lose focus on work but I knew I had an obligation not only to my employer but to myself as well. When it’s crunch time I dig in and get my work done, when it’s leisure time I absolutely take advantage of it. I spend time with my local neighbors, my Spanish improved 1000% and I even took a cooking class.
Tips To Help You As A Remote Employee in Mexico
Here are a few proven tips that will help you get your work time and free time in balance
- It’s all about priorities, planning, scheduling, communication and productivity.
- Get ready for work every day like you’re going to your old office. If you started at 8 am, start at 8 am here if the time zones permit.
- Be consistent, get a routine going.
- Set your work space up away from your day to day living area. It will be less distracting and easier to stay motivated to get the job done. I used to have my computer on the dining room table with all my paperwork around me. I found I was working longer than my set hours because it was always staring me in the face.
- Take a lunch. You did when you worked in your old office, you should do it here. It’s easy to just work through but it’s important for you to maintain your focus regardless where you set up shop at home as I do, or a co-working space.
- Use personal errands to take breaks during the day.
- Utilize email and social media to communicate. All my clients know I can be reached via email, so if I’m having lunch with friends or sipping a margarita at a local restaurant I can still be productive.
- Most importantly, make plans for your after-work hours, My social schedule is so full these days I have to use a date planner to keep track of where my afterhours plans will take me.
Work is sometimes a necessary evil, but you moved to Mexico for a reason…to enjoy your life and that should be your priority.
A Bonus Of Moving To Mexico I didn’t Expect – I lost 40 Pounds!
One aspect of my former life that changed drastically after moving to were my unhealthy eating habits and relying on Fast Food.
My newly found leisure time and lower stress levels gave me the free time to enjoy cooking my own meals again. Who needs Fast Food when you have time to shop the local markets and buy fresh meats, fruits, and vegetables year-round?
As an unexpected benefit during my first year here in Playa, I lost over 40 pounds without really trying. My friends and family begged me to tell them my secret, lol. My answer was “live and work in Mexico!”
Private Relocation Tour With Jeff
Leave all your stress behind, and let Jeff show you around during a private relocation tour of Playa del Carmen!
Jeff is originally from the New York Metro area. He’s been visiting the Riviera Maya since 2014 and is a full-time resident since 2019. Jeff is semi-retired and continues to work remotely for his employer in New York.
As a homeowner and Mexican Resident, Jeff can show you the various neighborhoods located in and outside of Playa, their pros and cons.
With him, you can explore what real daily life is like for an Expat living in the Riviera Maya, including how to live, shop, dine like a local and perform all the necessities such as banking, food shopping, home furnishings, health insurance, government interaction and many other insights into living in Mexico. He can also arrange to introduce you to the Tourist and Cultural side of the Riviera Maya with visits to the famous 5th Avenue, local Mayan ruins, cenotes, local attractions, and more.