Working alone can get lonely. And this then leads to a lack of productivity and even, at times, a loss of confidence. The less you’re out and about, the less you want to be out and about, and you can end up hiding away feeling nervous. The resulting lack of productivity can then mess with our progress and our sense of achievement.
What’s your routine when you’re working alone?
If you do work alone, what’s your general routine? Do you work from home? Do you find yourself procrastinating over tasks that you know need to get done, but you push them from day to day, week to week? Are you sometimes disappointed with how much you got done – or feel you wasted time? Do you find yourself missing the company of fellow employees at previous jobs where you had company day to day?
As an entrepreneur myself, I find all of these things have happened, and for a long time I battled against them. It wasn’t until I made conscious changes and tackled things in a different way, doing different things, that the situation improved. As they say, ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got’.
So, if we are working alone, how can we create a different reality? There are some simple steps you can take to help break up the time, get more productive, enjoy some company and make progress, which really does build confidence.
1) Change your working environment.
This is particularly relevant if you work alone or at home. It gets lonely – and it can get boring which definitely in my opinion and experience, leads to easy distraction and not getting things done! My ‘go to’ in situations like this is a coffee shop or hotel with a nice lounge. People milling around, and perhaps quiet music, really helps me concentrate and breaks up the day nicely. Sometimes I find I get so much more done, in a shorter space of time, just because I don’t have the distractions of being at home.
2) Find co-working events to join.
Co-working is becoming more and more popular. These events generally allow you to take along your laptop and anything you’re working on, but be surrounded by other solo workers and their own projects. A coffee, some general chat, the company of being with others – not to mention help with things you might be stuck on. All of these help to combat the loneliness, not to mention build your business!
3) Virtual co-working
Perhaps there aren’t any co-working events nearby that you can easily attend. How about some virtual co-working? When participants are doing our programme we have a ‘Zoom Room’ where they can go to work together at any time. So why not find a fellow solo worker and meet via a video platform, such as Zoom. Then you can work together any time.
4) Plan, and be strict with yourself
Plan out your days, get strict on your timings, and perhaps add in some non-work times. Often when working away on your own thing, you can let tasks slide into hours, days, weeks….with no end in sight. How about deciding how long you will spend on tasks, committing to the time slot, and then rewarding yourself with a different activity – such as seeing friends or family for company – with the time you have freed up?!
I know this one can seem enormously scary, and lots of us hate the idea of networking. But as someone who used to find that, I would encourage you to be brave, get outside your comfort zone and spend just a couple of hours here and there attending relevant networking groups. Everyone is in the same spot, everyone feels a little awkward. But, by making that move, taking a bold step, you could just meet some new contacts – even new friends!
The feeling for many with networking is that they are going to “sell” or pick up new clients. Not so. You’re there purely to build relationships, gain valuable contacts, build awareness that you are there. If no-one knows you are there it makes it so much harder to succeed!
Over to you!
I hope these tips get you thinking about how you could shake up your routine. Getting outside of your comfort zone and doing things like networking or co-working can be a game changer. So once you’ve had chance to digest, why not set yourself some goals to change up your own routine? Then let us know how you get one!