A Laptop lifestyle is increasingly becoming an icon for ‘living the dream’, and many do make that dream come true.
I’m sharing my top tips on how to live the best laptop lifestyle, learnt from personal experience as a Freedom Coach solo-touring Europe in a campervan for one year.
You may be an entrepreneur and own your business(es), work remotely for an employer or as a freelancer, or a combination of all three. Laptop lifestyle means you can carry-out your work from anywhere with just a laptop and a WIFI connection.
Working our b*tts off to join the 9-5 race is no longer trending. A growing number of people prefer opting for the exact opposite, especially with technology continuously opening up new doors for more professions to work remotely.
Even where laptop lifestyle could mean risking working longer hours and earning less, especially at the start, doing what you love and living with freedom is a winning combination.
HEALTH & SAFETY FIRST
Like in all responsible workplaces, health & safety comes first. Laptop lifestyle has no 24/7 security or H&SE team to check you’re using all your desk-chair levers correctly.
So it goes without saying: stay safe and prioritise your health wherever you are. Take good care of yourself at least twice as much as you care for your business.
When working in the flow, we easily lose track of time and can become oblivious of our surroundings. Sunsets are great to admire from your flexi-desk, but make sure you can get back home safely in the dark. Of course, the same rules apply at home but when we’re in new territories, we may become more vulnerable. That said, I believe we attract the energy we put out, so don’t go filling your mind with worse-case scenarios either.
Replacing the office with sun loungers sounds great, but keep your posture in check and look after your gorgeous eyes too. Avoiding sun glaring (invest in a good laptop screen) and over exposure to blue light!
MAINTAIN GOOD HABITS
We are creatures of habit, whether consciously or subconsciously. So let’s practice good habits over the bad one.
It may be okay to slip-up on holiday and your life feels like a permanent vacation, but ignoring your health for too long won’t work in your favour. Routine tends to go out of the window when travelling a lot, and maintaining good habits can prove harder, but vital to your wellbeing and to keep that energy up.
Where there’s no access to a fitness centre, the web is packed with all sorts of DIY exercise videos and nature offers plenty of free training grounds. Walking is an easy way to get moving and it encourages creative thinking. Connecting with nature also has a calming effect and many other benefits. Even if you’re in a city, a walk around the block will spark more motivation.
Eating well when regularly tempted by local delicacies can also be difficult. There’s no point living the dream if you can’t explore new culinary delights, so do treat yourself but make smart choices in between the naughty treats. Stocking up on seasonal food from the local stores can entice you to cooking more of your own healthy meals.
WORK – LIFE BALANCE.
Being your own Boss means reporting to yourself 24/7. When you’re passionate about what you do and find your work-flow, time passes without you noticing. Be the Boss you always wanted and support yourself to create a perfect work-life balance.
You can be an owl and work crazy hours from anywhere, but don’t forget to schedule in regular breaks to detach and enjoy other things in life. Treat yourself to “me-time”, remember to be human and socialise, grab a book about something totally unrelated to your business or go try a new activity.
We’re not designed to all be at our best between 9am and 5pm. Identify your optimal working time, and focus the important matters in these key hours. Prioritise the most valuable input you have on your business, do what you love and bring in the results, then outsource anything else or as much as you can. As entrepreneurs, we often feel we have to do it all, but avoid trading your valuable time for invaluable tasks.
As free-to-roam entrepreneurs and freelancers, staying connected is basically your bread and butter. Depending on where you travel, these may be more or less available. In Europe, one SIM deal can cover the whole continent and some go much further afield. If you’re travelling outside a covered area, it’s pretty easy to sign up local contracts or PAYG. A dual SIM mobile device works wonders or investing on a portable WIFI dongle as back up, so you don’t risk interrupting your Zoom call at a critical moment.
Unless you’re into wild travelling, most cafés and restaurant happily share their WIFI if you drink and eat there. Most camping sites have it too. Alternatively, there are many cool sharing workspaces you can check out, if you prefer a temporary office (especially for longer stays in one location), or if you need access to more intricate equipment or simply crave banter by the watercooler. Which will likely be set in a funky ambience, by comfy sofas or hammocks,and near a fancy coffee-machine.
No WIFI? No panic! Offline moments are fab opportunities for cracking on with admin work or get inspiration away from the distracting net.
I mentioned the benefits of walking and nature already but there are tons of activities that help you reconnect with yourself and let the imagination flow. Driving has given me great insights. Find a cool spot to simply be, and stay still. Do something creative, like painting or visit a random local art shop. Quiet the mind and meditate.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
It’s so freeing to attend meetings in your PJs and deal with emails and orders in your bikini at the beach. Whatever you wear, always make sure you feel great.
There is no bad-hair day. If it’s playing up, put it up and wear a powerful lippy colour to show up as the badass woman that you are. Just because you don’t have to pop to the office or turn up for a physical meeting, doesn’t mean you can neglect yourself. The more you love yourself, the more love you can put into what you do and your clients.
Dress for success so you can shine with confidence wherever you are, even if you’re having a day alone. Get up each day shouting out: “I am powerful and I am beautiful. Today is a brand-new powerful and beautiful day, just like me!”. Write cheerful affirmations on your mirror, give yourself a nice pep-talk every day and see the magic unfold. Book in a treatment, a massage, or whatever you need to feel amazing. Positive energy will change your day and emerge throughout your work!
Yes, you’re ‘away’ but you’re not on a different planet. Not yet, at least (still waiting, Virgin Galactic!). Don’t hide, and get involved. You won’t make it to the events back in your home city, but you can make it to events somewhere near you. Online or in person, find ways to keep learning and staying in the loop. Connect to your community and expand your network as wide as you can.
Laptop lifestyle can offer more ways to network than when in an office, if you’re willing to be open to opportunities and stay curious. Socialise and chat away about what you do, you never know who may be sitting next to you. Your next big deal may be stretching on the yoga mat next to yours or staying in your hostel!
KEEP IT REAL & FUN
Our minds create our reality, through our unique perceptions. The happier the mind, the happier the thoughts it will generate for you. The reality of Laptop Lifestyle will include tough challenges, but if you welcome these as part of your adventurous journey, you’ll be good.
There’s no denying you may feel alone at times, relationships may be harder to build when people come and go, packing and moving regularly may be over-tiring, clients may not always show up, and competition may be high on the web. There are highs and lows in whatever lifestyle you choose, but that’s the beauty of life. We are constantly dared to grow and learn, and not necessarily in the easiest way either.
And what’s the worse-case scenario? You’re your own (best and most supportive) Boss, so if you don’t know how to live a happy laptop lifestyle? Have a quiet talk with yourself.
Change happens only when we’re willing to try something different.