You’re working for yourself. You get to work from home. Work with clients you choose. Work on projects you enjoy. Set your own hours. Have the flexibility to take care of family members. Even, spend the day in your pajamas. It’s everything you dreamed about when you worked for someone else.
But, you’re lonely. Because you’re working from home, you miss the energy of being around other people, connecting, and sharing ideas. This week, we’re exploring some ways to help you combat the loneliness of working for yourself.
Create a Plan for Your Time
Often the loneliest days are the ones where we don’t have a plan for our time. This is when we can fall into the trap of procrastination via social media, television, Netflix, and other things. Consider beginning each day by creating a plan for the day, blocking off time for client work, working on your business, social time, household projects, self-care, and other activities. When you have a plan for the day, you’re more likely to increase your productivity and feel more fulfillment.
Switch Up Your Work Environment
If you find yourself missing the company of others, try getting out of your home and working in an environment with more people, such as a coffee shop or co-working space (we recommend our partners Impact HUB Oakland and Impact HUB San Francisco). Aside from being around the buzz of other people, you might strike up a conversation with a stranger that could lead to a new friendship or client opportunity.
Meet Clients Face-to-Face
Having face-to-face meetings with clients can also satisfy what you miss from an office environment. With videoconferencing, you don’t have to leave your home to have a face-to-face meeting with a client. And, don’t forget to start your client meetings with some quick social time, catching up with your client and finding out how your client is doing as a person, not just diving straight into the work. Having that time together also helps you nurture deeper relationships with your clients.
Break Up Your Day with Social Time
There’s been more and more research on how taking breaks while working can make you happier and more productive. So, why not take a break and invite a friend, former colleague or mentor to come along? Grabbing coffee or tea or taking a walk together gives you a chance to reconnect, catch up, and brainstorm new ideas. You’ll be ready to come back to your work with a renewed energy and focus.
Going to events, such as such as trade association gatherings, meetups, networking events or workshops, is a great way to meet new people and learn something at the same time. But, it’s important not to force it. Think about how much time you are comfortable spending at these events, and set some goals for attending events each week or month. Be sure to find the events that you actually want to attend. And, take the sales pressure off yourself by going in with the mindset of just meeting some people and seeing what happens.
Make Time for Life Outside of Work
Perhaps one of the reasons you are working for yourself is to have better work/life balance. Even with more control over your schedule, it’s easy to slip into overwork because there’s often no separation between work and personal space. It’s important that you make time for life outside of work – spending time with family and friends, taking up a hobby or passion project, rejuvenating through self-care, or anything else that supports you to feel like a whole person. And, when you feel like a whole person, you bring your best self to work.