If like myself you’re self-employed and the majority of your time is spent working alone then you know you need to be highly motivated with your day to day routine and to do lists. And luckily being an entrepreneur, we tend to have this skill set embedded within us. Let’s face it anyone who sets up their own business needs to be highly focused! Whilst there are lots of amazing aspects to being self-employed (we wouldn’t do it if there wasn’t, right?) What about those days when it does all seem a bit of a struggle? When you’re having ‘one of them days’ you are not alone! We all have them from time to time! One of the pitfalls of working from home is it can sometimes leave you feeling quite lonely and isolated, sound familiar?
Today I wanted to share with you some tips and advice on how to get the best out of working alone. To help combat those lonely overthinking everything and self-doubting moments that creep in from time to time…
If you are lucky enough to have your own office then make it pretty! An inspirational space to work in could work wonders for not only your productivity but for creative thinking too. A room where every time you walk in it, it makes you feel happy. You spend enough time in there so why not make it one of your favourite rooms of the house? Decorate it to your taste, pin-up inspirational quotes and phrases that help to keep you motivated. Get organised, a tidy and uncluttered office makes for a calm and clear mind. Put up shelves for your paperwork and stylish storage boxes to keep important bits and bobs in. Light neutral tones create a clean, fresh and calming atmosphere which you can then add splashes of pattern and colour too with your office accessories or you could even include a feature wall.
If you don’t have your own office, wherever you do work whether it be your dining room table, for example, make it your own creative hub! Surrounding yourself with objects you love and things that inspire you. Such as gorgeous stationery, notebooks and planners that make you feel happy. A desk tidy to keep all your pens in one place, inspirational quotes stuck to your desk planner all make for creating a happy and inspiring environment. Incorporate setting up your desk into your morning routine, lay out all your stationary/quotes etc. every morning before you start work so that you are getting organised and setting yourself up ready for the day ahead. Buy a stylish storage box to tuck all your bits away neatly overnight ready for the next day.
Change Your Environment
A change of scenery can be just what you need, particularly if you are a creative person as it helps to stimulate and conjure up ideas. So why not work outside of the office once or twice a week? Make yourself snug in your favourite local coffee shop whilst beavering away with the hustle and bustle of in the background whilst sipping on your latte? I guarantee you will relish in the change of environment and feel less lonely. Variety is the spice of life as they say so why not spend some of your working week at home and some in your local coffee shop? Being self-employed means, you have the power to decide how and where you work!
Another option could be to become a member of a co-working space (it’s actually something I have been thinking of doing myself this year). There are lots of spaces popping up all over London so have a google and see if any are located near to you. Different companies offer different services but some of the benefits to becoming a co-working member include; access to thriving business centres, the opportunity to work alongside other creative entrepreneurs within an inspirational environment, a structured work environment where you can be at your most productive, flexible workstations and desk spaces along with access to calendar events (great for networking and socialising).
At the start of every year, I create a vision board. In case you’re not familiar with the term a vision board acts in a similar way to a mood board accept it is a collection of inspiring images/quotes & phrases that sum up what your dreams and goals are for the year ahead. You can make these as fun and creative as you like! I came across this handy blog post which is a step by step guide for creating your own vision board. Once you have your board make sure you refer to it on a daily or weekly basis. It helps to stay positive and focused on your dreams and goals, which is especially important for when we are having ‘one of those days’.
Limit Social Media
Social media is amazing an amazing tool in so many ways, particularly for businesses there is no denying that. However, it has also been scientifically proven that too much time on social media can have a negative impact on our mental health. Too much time comparing ourselves to others is not a good thing ‘comparison is the thief of joy’ as they say and can lead to feelings of not feeling like we measure up or that we are not good enough. My advice is limit your time on social media! This can be easier said then done I know as it can be quite addictive! However, I would allow yourself 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon perhaps when you have stopped to have a mid-afternoon tea break? The rest of the time keep your phone locked in a drawer or keep it in another room so you won’t be tempted to look. You will probably find you feel much happier and get more work done as you haven’t been distracted every 10 minutes!
Office Play List
Sometimes I honestly don’t think I would get through my working day was it not for Spotify keeping me company! Listening to music can uplift us, calm us or make for a more productive day (depending on what we listen to). It also helps to feel less alone whilst working, if you haven’t already done so why not create an office playlist? A collection of your favourite songs to listen or even sing along to throughout your day. The good thing about working alone is you can sing as loud or as badly as you like and no one judge or tell you off!
On those days when you are locked to your computer screen and haven’t spoken to another soul make sure you take time to get outdoors! Go for a walk in your local park or even around the block to get some fresh air. It really clears your mind and helps you to refocus. If it’s a sunny day why not have an alfresco lunch outside and spend half an hour reading a book or your favourite magazine? Just a little bit of time outside will work wonders for your mood and productivity and will help to combat those cabin fever feelings of being cooped up indoors.
How do you get the best out of working alone? I hope you have found some of these ideas useful, and that you’re planning to incorporate into your weekly routine? We would love to hear your thoughts.
Photography: Raw Pixel | Andrew Neel | Claire Graham Photography | Clarisse Meyer
My background is as a wedding & lifestyle photographer, shooting both digital and film to create authentic, soft and natural fine art photographs. Working primarily with natural light to give my work a beautiful, light and airy touch infused with soft tones.
I have always appreciated and valued the simple things in life and finding the interesting in the ordinary. Coco Lane was founded as I wanted to create something that is about an experience, the slower pace of life, cosiness and candlelight, cuddling up on the sofa with loved ones, being with the people you love, sharing food with close friends, a feeling of home, nurturing a chosen career, wanderlust travels, savouring the small moments in everyday life and just being you and enjoying a cup of tea.
I'm excited to bring you stories that promote all those moments in life that give us value and meaning; inspiring us to live beautifully.
"I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is. Go at it full speed. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it, and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good" - Roald Dahl