Striking out on your own and going independent is many people’s dream come true. You get to set your own hours, work where you like, and be your own boss. However, all that time spent alone can quickly take an emotional toll and it’s easy to lose motivation and energy when you start to feel lonely.
If you miss the social interaction and accountability of an office environment, follow these five tips to stay positive and motivated throughout your workday.
1. Create a Schedule
Many independents love the freedom of working without a set schedule, but if you find yourself feeling listless and lethargic during the day, even if you have a lot of work to do, you may need to give your day more structure. By creating a schedule—and sticking to it—it will become easier to focus on the work at hand rather than letting loneliness bring you down. And as an added bonus, you’ll get your work done in a timelier manner, leaving you with more time to spend with friends or family.
2. Take Ownership of Your Personal Time
When working alone, it can be difficult to separate business time from personal time, so it’s important to keep a good balance. Exercise is one great example. There’s nothing quite like a quick walk around the block or 20-minute ride on a stationary bike to boost your mood. Exercise gets your blood flowing, bringing you energy and positivity, and making it easier to go back to work with a fresh outlook. Be sure to set aside time in your schedule each day to do something you enjoy that isn’t work-related.
3. Stay Social
Just because you work for yourself doesn’t mean you have to be a hermit. Schedule a virtual lunch date or coffee break with a friend or family member. Give another independent worker a call, see what they’ve been up to lately and bounce new ideas off each other. Running your own business takes a lot of time and energy, but don’t forget to give yourself some free time and be proactive about your social life in the hours you have off. That way, the time you spend working alone will feel less lonely and you’ll always have something to look forward to at the end of the workday.
4. Explore New Hobbies
As an independent, you already know that it’s never too late to try something new. Spending too much time working alone can cause your thoughts to circle around the same few topics over and over again—and that can be draining. Give your mind something new to think about by trying out a new interest or hobby. Experiencing new things is also a great way to meet new friends and get fresh inspiration when you return to work.
5. Remind Yourself What Others Are Doing
One great way to stay motivated is to take inspiration from others. Take an hour or two to take a look at what some of the professionals you admire in your industry are up to. What are they posting about on social media? Are they sharing any relevant blogs or articles they’ve written or contributed to? Stay up-to-date on news within your industry as well. Make a list of trends you feel are here to stay and ask yourself how they might impact the future of your own business. By taking some time to draw motivation from others, you can return to your work with a fresh pair of eyes and some new ideas in your back pocket as well.
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