Working freelance often means working from home. The overhead is low because your office is your home. You shouldn't pay for two separate spaces if you don’t have to. This is a blessing and a curse. While you are saving money that you can feed back into your business, as well as getting to work in your pajamas, you are also often isolated from the world. This isolation can lead to several things including procrastination and depression. These are just a couple of the symptoms I have dealt with in my journey as a freelancer.
Over the next couple of weeks I will be writing about these challenges as a freelancer starting with breaking away from that isolation. It’s easy to build ourselves a little safe haven in our homes, complete with food, coffee, and all the gear we need to run our business, including our pets. However, it is important to have some time outside of the “office” if not to simply change your surroundings. A change of scenery can often boost our productivity by shifting our view on the world if even ever so slightly.
I start my mornings with the usual yoga and breakfast at home, but now I have shifted my day to include a short walk to the nearby Panera Bread for some coffee and free Wifi. I know Panera isn’t the sexiest of coffee shops and I could easily drive to a more hip joint with better coffee, but what I enjoy about coming here is that pure fact that it is the only place in walking distance from my home. That walk is probably the most important part of the entire experience.
The walk, albeit a short one coming in at just under half a mile, gets my body moving first thing in the morning. It energizes my mind well before the caffeine pumps through my veins. The sounds, smells, and sights of nature all around me connect me with something bigger than the four walls I usually stare at on a daily basis. This walk sparks those endorphins I greatly need to combat the often crippling depression I can find myself in when I spend weeks and months separated from the world. Of course there are days like the day I am writing this where the sky decided to open up and give us what the elderly woman at a nearby table called “much needed rain,” and I had to drive today. Even though I didn’t get to enjoy the walk, the rain covered windows of this chain restaurant perfectly touched with the right about of fog, gives me more than my lonely home office could have today.
I have historically never been a morning person, but now adding this ritual of yoga/breakfast/walk/coffee to my day, I wake up bright and early and excited to start my day. Now, my morning routine might not work for you, but the point is to find that thing that makes you want to start your day and get you out of the house. Even if it is just for an hour to recharge that drive of being your own boss and knowledge that you control your destiny, not the walls and isolation being a freelancer can bring.