Entrepreneurship can get lonesome. Especially if you’re a solo-preneur.
This is a guest post from Joy of Pounding the Pavement, on 7 ways you can stay connected and kick those less than perky feelings to the curb.
You know all the reasons why running your own business is great—being your own boss, having a flexible schedule, less commuting.
One thing you might not have anticipated was how working alone can sometimes lead to a sense of isolation and just generally feeling bummed out.
It’s important to recognize these symptoms of loneliness and disengagement, and to nip them in the bud before they become overwhelming. Here are a few things you can do to keep your work/life balance in check, and to stay upbeat and productive.
1. Try a Shared Workspace
Working at home by yourself might be one major factor that’s leading to a sense of work malaise. While it’s convenient (you can take snack breaks whenever you want!) it can be very isolating.
Suddenly, it’s 5 in the afternoon, and you realize you haven’t left the house yet. Shared workspaces like Citizen Space in San Francisco create a great, casual work atmosphere that lets you connect with other worker bees like yourself.
2. Connect With a Local Professional Group
Joining a local professional group can be the best of both worlds—it lets you chat and meet new people with similar interests, without the same guilt you might have if you were putting off work to go to the movies or a concert. You’ll have a place to bounce ideas off of like-minded people, and you might just make a new friend or two. Meetup is a great place to find a group in your area.
3. Schedule Exercise
Unless you’re Susanne Somers, you’re probably not that excited about exercising after a long day of work. If you’re working for yourself, however, it’s also tempting to just keep working, even when you know you should be making time for yourself. Schedule a time for exercise, and write it into your iCal or day planner—don’t just keep it in your mind as something you “might” do later. The exercise endorphins will help lift your spirits and get you out of the house.
4. Create Sacred “No Work” Time Blocks
People who work for themselves have to fight the temptation to always be working. To avoid becoming a workaholic, it’s best to schedule chunks of time where you absolutely will not work. If you have to, download one of those nifty Internet turn off programs. Constantly working will only drain you and lower the quality of your output.
5. Take a Conference Vacation
Sometimes you just need to get away for a few days. For the relentless worker, a conference vacation can be a great way to get a bit of time out of the usual work zone. Check out when future conferences or meetings of professional groups are happening, and schedule a flight to one in a city you’ve always wanted to visit. You’ll get to meet similar businesspeople, gain knowledge about your industry, and lounge by the pool.
6. Ditch Your Friends
Sounds counter-intuitive if you’re feeling down and alone, right? I’ve met a few busy entrepreneurs, however, who schedule time with friends like they would a business meeting. People who partake in such high intensity hanging out can become burnt out, just like someone who works all the time. Remember that you’re not “wasting” your free time if you curl up in a comfy chair at home with a book and a glass of wine—you’re enjoying yourself!
7. Revamp Your Schedule
One of the benefits of working for yourself is that you can easily switch up your work day, to revive your spirit and become more productive. Try taking some free time in the morning, for example. Read a book, call a friend, do some yoga. Then start work at 9:30 or 10. Some people actually work better in the evening and they just don’t know it; starting the work day later could give you more hours of focus and productive work.
So how about you? Got ways YOU kick the blues? Little tricks to keep your level of cheer in tip-top shape? If so, or you have questions or comments, feel free to drop them in the comment section below. And if you enjoyed this post, please be sure to share it with your friends. Toodles!