Working from home has many benefits, but let’s face it, considerable challenges also. The most common of which is overcoming the isolation.
Over the last three years, for better or for worse, I have mostly been a one-woman show. When things are rolling it’s the most exhilarating experience but when the going gets tough it can be the loneliest workplace on Earth.
There are so many freelancers out there, working alone from their homes on self managed projects and there’s a real need to share actionable tips to help us keep our sanity and motivation so we can continue loving our business and run it to the best of our ability.
1. Get Ready For Work
Instead of rolling out of bed and into my home workspace I now take the time to shower, put on day clothes and even make up. Neglecting my appearance in the past has lead to lower energy levels and hurting my confidence. It is something that can creep up without you noticing until suddenly you feel demotivated and out of sorts for no apparent reason.
Implementing that simple daily routine has changed the whole dynamic of my day. I am feeling more energized and ready to tackle the tasks I have scheduled. Looking clean and decent also motivates me to take a coffee break outside the house which helps me refresh my brain and creativity.
2. Early Phone Calls
Make business calls first thing in the morning so you’re immediately hooked into life outside the house. It can also help you plan priorities for the day.
3. Join a Co-working Space
Surround yourself with like minded people. Co-working spaces are opening across British Columbia and most offer flexible and low-commitment options at an affordable price. Even if you attend sparingly, you’ll feel supported and part of a community.
4. Get Out of the House
You’ve spent three days working from home in your sweatpants without a shower, take your laptop and spend time outside the house. It could be in the local park, a coffee shop, hotel lobby, library or any public space with free WiFi. Life is better outside!
All the things about working outside the home that can often be a source of annoyance – the commute, office banter, going out to get a sandwich at lunchtime and so on – are also bombarding you with images, ideas and personalities that you just don’t get when you work at home and they can be a source of inspiration or at least entertainment.
5. Attend Events Regularly
Attend conferences, networking and training sessions with the mindset of meeting people and build a supportive network. I have adopted the routine of attending one event a week and it has made a huge difference. To me quality is more important that quantity. If over three months, I have truly connected with one single person then I consider that getting out of the house and attend those events was way worth it.
6. Work Intentionally
Determine your hours of operations. It is very hard to stop working when you are running a small business. There is constantly something that needs to be attended to.
Few weeks ago I bought a big calendar and I now assign tasks to each workday. When all the tasks are ticked off then my workday is over.
This simple process made a massive difference to my emotional well being. It gives me incentive to finish my work in a timely manner and it allows me to take time off the business and relax guilt-free.
Exercise has always been a huge part of my lifestyle and I’ve always considered it as my therapy. It has never been more true now that I am solo entrepreneur. Exercising regularly allows me to switch off completely from the business and dedicate time to myself. After each training session, I always feel rejuvenated. It helps declutter my brain and sharpen my focus.
So get dressed, pick up the phone, attend an event, get out of the house, and don’t let that isolation creep into your life as an entrepreneur.