There has been a deluge of scientific research in the last few years into how sedentary office workers are basically slowly destroying their bodies. Sitting all day in an office hunched over a keyword will make you fat, miserable and it can damage your brain too. We are facing an epidemic of obesity and diseases related to the sedentary lifestyle that starts from the moment we are forced as children to sit down all day in classrooms.
We need a paradigm shift in how we work, otherwise our standard of living will be crushed by skyrocketing health costs. A new documentary on America’s addiction to sugar Fed Up says that if current trends persist, 95% of the American population will be overweight in 20 years. This is tragic. The only way to permanently reverse these troubling trends is to dramatically reform how we teach our children and also transform the way adults work.
At the forefront of this shift are mobile entrepreneurs. In the last decade, I have met and worked with all kinds of digital nomads and mobile entrepreneurs who are quietly redefining the nature of work.
Many young people are realizing they don’t want the traditional corporate life. Our digital generation sees a new horizon of possibilities that ubiquitous mobile connectivity promises; where we can live, work and learn from anywhere in the world. The conventional status symbols that a well-paying corporate job buys like a luxury sedan, a mortgaged house with a backyard and tailored suits don’t have the same attraction they used to have.
Instead, what so many of us crave is an authentic sense of adventure, novelty and great experiences we can share with our friends and family — and working in the typical modern office cubicle doesn’t usually offer us any of this freedom or fulfillment.
Why I Became A Mobile Entrepreneur
I became a mobile entrepreneur because I knew I could be more productive and creative with a flexible schedule and a more refreshing workspace.
My last day job was at a digital agency and it was pretty ideal as far as offices go: a mountain view from the boardroom, carefree dogs lounging in the office, beers every Friday afternoon and I could show up in the morning whenever I’d liked. Yet, even with this much freedom, I still daydreamed of going traveling again and longed for the thrill of working in the atmosphere of a coffee shop or a co-working space where I could meet interesting new people during my breaks.
Today, my work day is very different from the way it used to be. I wake up early, meditate, eat breakfast and then I commute 2 blocks to my neighbourhood coffee shop to use the fast wi-fi and enjoy a cup of coffee while working. For the next 3-4 hours I will focus and get my best creative work of the day done with almost zero interruptions except for a quick break every hour to get up, stretch or go to the bathroom.
After my morning routine — provided the weather is decent — I will take a stroll back to my apartment along the beach and then have a healthy lunch at home or join a friend or business contact for lunch in a local cafe. After lunch, I’ll get back to work or read a work-related book for an hour or two until I notice my concentration starting to drop and then I go ride my mountain bike in nearby Stanley Park to refresh and recharge. After my ride, I’ll come home and continue to work.
Many days I’ll have dinner and continue to work late into the evening if I don’t have any other plans and I’m still feeling productive. I find that when I break up my day with hourly breaks and long periods of recreation and relaxation that I’m able to get a lot more meaningful work done. It also helps that I’m never sitting for long periods of time so I’m able to feel energized and focused throughout the day.
This biggest advantage of this mobile lifestyle — particularly where I’m from in the coastal rainforests of Vancouver, British Columbia — is that I can bear down and work really hard on rainy days (we get a lot of them in the winter) and then blow off the afternoons on the sunny days to go hiking, mountain biking, skiing or rock climbing with my friends.
An Experiment: Is A Mobile Office For You?
I’m not kidding myself by thinking everyone would thrive as an office-free mobile entrepreneur. We are all unique and we each want different things for ourselves and our families. But if the prospect of mobile entrepreneurship sounds intriguing to you then here is how you can test it out and see if it improves your creativity and productivity.
If you currently have an office job, I recommend you make a proposal to your boss to work from home one day a week. Say you want to test it out because you believe it could improve your results and overall satisfaction with your job. If your boss is completely against it, then maybe it’s time to quit your job. However, I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised, most good employers want to empower their employees and they are waking up to the enormous advantages of the mobile office.
On the first day of your mobile office experience I recommend you drop in at a local co-working space, coffee shop or you can work from a home office. During the day observe the difference in how you feel and how much work you get done. I’ll give you a few suggestions and some productivity tools that I think you will find useful:
3. Nothing is worse for your productivity (and sanity) than slow Internet! I use a mobile hotspot service in my city called Shaw Open but you can easily find the best wi-fi spots with the free Wi-Fi Finder app for iPhone or Android.
6. If you’re feeling under pressure or stressed by an upcoming deadline. Sit for 5 minutes to recharge by taking a free guided meditation from Calm.com.
7. Make an effort to break up your day with exercise. Go for short walks, drop by the gym, find a yoga class or take your bicycle for a spin. It will make a huge difference in your overall productivity and contentment.
I hope you’ll give the mobile entrepreneurship lifestyle a try! With more work becoming freelance or project-based and innovative companies wanting to encourage intrapreneurship within their organization means that mastering the focus, discipline and tools of the mobile office is a skillset worth building. You may never want to go back to your old office!