Lose Your Flow? Free Your Mind with a Mobile Office
Photo by Ted Berry
By MATT GALLAGHER
Burn your desk. Donate it to Thrift Stores of Love. I did it. And I’ve never been happier.
Wednesday afternoon, 3 p.m. I’m sitting in an emerald forest, birds tweeting away their best Beethoven, a small creek trickling in accompaniment.
And I’m at my computer, tapping away at the keys like Bukowski’s piano, writing this blog, a Whitepaper, a press release for a client. As a freelance journalist/copywriter, I’m answering emails, plotting outlines, marketing in search of fresh nibbles. I’m in the wild, the woods – my natural habitat.
And every hiker who wanders by is kinda jealous.
And they should be. Because this is my office, my gettin’stuffdone, smack dab in the middle of nature, the very place they choose to enjoy recreation on their day off. But I’m a freelance online writer working in a forest for an office, free as the birds copping a Ludwig Van. The smell of the woods kicks my ass into gear like the strongest black coffee.
To me, going mobile has meant more than what just a phone or a tablet can deliver. It’s taking your entire office in your arms, like a landscape painter venturing into the wilderness, an easel under the arm, toting everything you need to meet the muse.”
Photo by Ted Berry
Freedom on the go.
Whether you’re a freelance writer, online coder, or even just an insurance stooge, escape your cubicle, the shackles of the office, for practically anyplace else. This can be a forest, the local park, happy hour at the neighborhood bar or cafe – anyplace that doesn’t bore the hell out of you. It’s a great way to find new inspiration and follow Hemingway’s sage advice: “Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the Romance of the unusual.”
Freedom for the muse to breathe.
When your office’s not chained to one location, you’re free. That’s why I’ve strapped my desk to my back and never looked behind. To me, going mobile has meant more than what just a phone or a tablet can deliver. It’s taking your entire office in your arms, like a landscape painter venturing into the wilderness, an easel under the arm, toting everything you need to meet the muse.
Some essential ingredients:
- A hot spot for an Internet connection.
- A lightweight computer with a long lasting battery. (I use a Chromebook, less than 3 pounds and about 8 hours of juice on a single charge.)
- Some sort of portable desk. (I find this stool through Amazon to be ideal. It needs to be light and easily attachable to a backpack).
- A ground blanket or tapestry. (To protect computer from dust and leaves and a cozy and familiar setting for work and creativity, very essential in the wildness of a forest.)
- A smartphone. (For both the hot spot and voice communication).
- Headphones, if your fingers type best to music.
- A small backpack to conveniently carry it all on your shoulders.
The same four walls, day after day, can be their own damn dam, holding back the thought river until there’s nothing but swamp. Keep it flowing with a liquid environment that embraces the green newness of change.”
Whether it’s a forest, a local park, or the corner bar, it’s important to keep your work space fresh and new. As Tyler Leslie points out in the Huffington Post, traveling to new places offers a fresh perspective on life through a new outlook. Switching up your work environment works the same way. It does wonders for inspiration, especially when it comes to online writing.
The same four walls, day after day, can be their own damn dam, holding back the thought river until there’s nothing but swamp. Keep it flowing with a liquid environment that embraces the green newness of change.
It’s a reverse of the Funkadelic lyric, yet true all the same: Free your ass, and your mind will follow. Shake it up and be out with the people, the birds, the flying squirrels. The writing life becomes not quite as lonely, the office infinitely less stoogy.
So knock down that cubicle, mobilize your office, and flow on….