Working as a freelancer, for some, is the dream. The ability to choose the hours worked, be there for the family when need be and still earn an income and be independent. Now, who wouldn’t want that!
So you made the jump and started up the business. You made sure to create the boundaries to ensure success – setting up a dedicated workspace, setting office hours, making sure clients know best practices when it comes to workload sharing and communications each day.
But after 3 months, 6 months, even a year – you are noticing that you are becoming “stagnant” in your environment. Almost becoming something of a recluse as you do the cycle of life: Eat, Sleep, Work, Family Time and Repeat (don’t forget to shower in there!).
The question is – how do you keep your work-life interesting when you are working from home full time!
Here are 5 tips that might help you from becoming a Howard Hughes recluse and lose touch with friends and life at large:
Switch Up your Workspace!
Now, this could be a large scale upgrade or a small scale one – it comes down to time and money. You could start simple and just clean up your workspace. Filing away docs that you don’t need anymore – add new artwork or if possible, move where your desk sits/faces!
It can breathe a breath of fresh air in your space, not to mention, reinvigorate your creativity! If you are unlucky enough not to be able to move your desk around – why not just move around your pictures, pick up a cute new pen holder at the dollar store (thrifty doesn’t mean lack of quality!) By just doing some small POV changes, this can reset your brain and not completely upset your workflow or your budget!
Try working in a Co-working Space or in a Restaurant with WIFI
There are lots of places (not just Starbucks) that offer free wifi now – you could even go to your local library and work there for a while. Just by getting out and about people, it can give your mindset the shift it needs to recognize that you don’t have to work alone ALL the time.
Sometimes, you might meet like-minded work from home workers and create an atmosphere of camaraderie or support. You could bounce ideas off of others that you normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to do!
Zoom Co-Working Times – use Tech for a new purpose!
Now we all know about Zoom/GoMeet/Skype – they are amazing conference software that makes the telecommute a lot more bearable! But have you ever considered using it as if you are working in a Co-working or Office space?
Find a small group of freelance workers and see if they would be interested in a 30-min co-working session. You could just keep your camera on, the mic on mute and just work together for a bit. That way if you are working on a project that you want to bounce an idea off of someone, you could share your screen and brainstorm!
This is a way to “meet” at the water cooler without losing precious productivity time!
There are groups out there that do that – check it out! Might just help keep your work-life more interesting!
Music – more than just something in the background!
Have you ever thought about creating a playlist that you play for certain tasks?! With apps like Spotify or Apple iTunes – you can create lists for cooking, relaxation, exercise – why not make a playlist for work?
Not just the easy listening either? Have you noticed that some songs or styles give you inspiration? Why not use this music as motivation! It gives you more validation as to why you have paid for that subscription!
Get away from your desk – make sure you take days off and breaks!
It sounds simple, but make life interesting by just getting away from your desk! Let’s face it, the appeal of working from home includes the ability to schedule your day the way you need to.
That doesn’t mean that week after week you have to do the same routine. If you want to go to the Zoo with your family, go. If you want to have a spa day with the girls or a pub crawl with friends – do it. Take a long trail walk with your loved ones!
Simple or complicated, remember as long as your meeting client deadlines and the quality of work is there – you are your own boss! Remember, this is why you decided to become a telecommuter/freelancer/work from home professional!
Now, this not an exclusive list! But know what is right for you, your business and your life! I would love to hear more about what you do to achieve the elusive “balance” of work and life! Maybe it could be something I could try!