Many of us dream of adventuring around the world, so why is it that most (55 percent of working Americans) don't even use all their vacation days? It's not that we have too much work to do. It's that we haven't discovered how to hack work to make it easier to travel.

For the past decade, I have traveled across the globe. At times, I did it while holding down a full-time job, working a side hustle and writing a book. It took a lot of work to set it up, but almost anyone can hack their productivity to travel as much as they want.

Here's how:

1. Lifestyle engineering.

You are building a digital nomad lifestyle. It will take time and require you to learn new skills like outsourcing, programming, writing, photography or managing a side business.You have to be dedicated because it takes most people years to master.

2. Surrounding yourself with digital nomads.

To do anything at a high level, it's important to learn from the best. You want to understand what they are doing and how they actually do it.

Spending time with experienced industry people will help you learn how they structure their lives. We can also help you understand what kind of business to structure and who you need to connect with in order to be successful.

3. Realizing that you are not that important.

You may think you are the only person that can do a certain task at your company. However, well-written instructions can often provide the same level of experience and knowledge that you have to another person. If you are organized, you can outsource work to someone else.

Two of my companies run almost exclusively with the help of a virtual team. Having a team of virtual specialists can help you achieve ten times the productivity, reduce your work hours and frankly, improve your work performance. For example, I'm a great big picture thinker and excel at strategy. There are personalities that are better at routine or detailed tasks than me.

Remember, at your company, it is your job to get your work done. It doesn't matter how you do it--as long as you are not breaking the law or company policies.

4. Thinking of it as a project, not a task.

Engineering a life of travel, exploration, and wild experiences is not a task. It can't happen in a weekend. Projects, on the other hand, have setbacks and breakthroughs, which is more realistic. Like a project, you need to set a goal and take incremental steps to reach it.

5. Understanding that everything is negotiable.

As our workforce becomes more capable of working remotely, traditional full-time roles that required you to show up at the office are becoming outsourced. This reduces the expense of office space, insurance, and company liability.

If you trust your boss, consider how you could restructure your job and responsibilities for reduced hours. This might mean less pay, but it might be worth it to get the freedom that you want.

Safety warning: Be aware that some bosses will not respond well to the idea, so make sure to be strategic about your conversations.

6. Asking friends

Get a diverse group of your smartest friends together and form what is sometimes known as a mastermind or reciprocity circle. Ask them for suggestions and strategies to help you accomplish your travel goals.

Whether you want to become an Instagram influencer or start a popular blog, insight from peers can help increase your chances of success. It also holds you accountable to take actionable steps toward those goals.

Exploring the world can give you a global perspective that you won't develop in an office. However, you don't have to choose between work and travel. In today's digital world, you can do both. You just need to develop the skills and mindset to do it successfully.

Published on: Jun 13, 2017