Staying Social In Self-Employment

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Have you chosen the self-employment route? Congratulations on taking a step that will bring you independence and the thrill of owning your own business. You’ll learn a lot about running your own business, as well as new ways of working.

One of the issues that many people face with self-employment is loneliness. Working by yourself can mean that you lack the social interaction you get in an office space, but there are things you can do to help ensure you don’t miss out on the social side of work.

Want to stay social in self-employment? Take a look at some of the things you can do below.

Get out during the day

When you work from home, cabin fever can soon set in. Spending hour after hour in the same place can take its toll, leaving you feeling unmotivated and lonely. To stay healthy when working from home, it’s a good idea to get out and about during the day. Go for a lunchtime stroll, or try going outside for some exercise. While it might not be possible to leave your home office every day, try to get into the habit of getting out when you can.

Always take meetings off-site

Many people spend most of their days commuting by email or instant messenger; even phone calls are rare these days! But by meeting people face to face, it can get you out of the house and helps you get some beneficial social interaction. Whether you meet for lunch or for a coffee, it can be a good way to maintain that close contact with others and make your meetings more productive too. 

Try a co-working space

Co-working spaces are very popular as a way to help you stay self-employed while being able to share a space with others. There’s a lot to consider when choosing a traditional or co-working office, but you’ll get a great chance to network and continue to feel connected to others too. Some co-working spaces allow you to enjoy a flexible package, allowing you to pick and choose when you want to work near others, and when you want to work alone. 

Keep your evenings and weekends busy

When you work by yourself at home, your work/life balance can suffer. There’s always the temptation to keep working until late, but it’s important for your mental health that you know when to put your work down and finish for the night. Try to keep your evenings and weekends busy to help you find the right work/life balance when you’re a solopreneur. You also need to plan some vacation days – a break from work is important, and it will stop you from burning out.

Being self-employed comes with many great perks, but it’s important to find ways to combat the lonely side of the working alone. By maintaining the right balance, you can enjoy all of the benefits of working for yourself, without having to give up your social life.

Getting Your Solopreneur Work-Life Balance Just Right

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So many of us dream of working alone. We’ve worked for the man, we’ve faced massive commutes and long hours. We’ve had jobs that leave little time for a social life, that mean that we have to work weekends and holidays, and our relationships and health have suffered for work. We imagine that working for ourselves will be completely different. 

We think that we’ll work when we want to, when it suits our lifestyles. And that we’ll always take time off work when something important, or fun comes up, that we want to do instead. We know that we’ll work shorter hours, take more time for ourselves, and get a lot more rest. That our stress levels will be low, our relationships will flourish, we’ll be healthy and happy, and that our previously elusive work-life balance will be perfect. 

This is rarely the case. Most solopreneurs find that they become workaholics. They can’t stop. They never take full-days off, they always put work first, telling themselves that it’s ok because they love what they do, and they can’t go ten minutes without checking work emails or updating social media plages. Many solopreneurs are terribly stressed out, and their work has spilled into their lives, leaving no balance at all. Here are some tips to help you to claw that balance back.

Stop Being Solo

Sometimes, the only way to get back a little time for ourselves is to accept that we can’t do it all alone and ask for help. This applies to most areas of life, not just businesses. But, that doesn’t mean that you have to hire staff to work side by side with you, which isn’t always possible if you work from home. You could outsource your IT Solutions, or hire a freelance VA to help with admin and social media. You can still feel like you work solo, without having to do all of the work. 

Make the Most of Flexibility

One of the reasons that you went solo was probably a search for more flexibility. You have it now if you want it. There’s no one making you work, but you. Remind yourself of this when you need to. 

Write Down Your Priorities

What are your priorities? Why did you start working alone? What did you most want from the arrangement? Did you want to spend more time with your family? Or spend time with friends? Would you like to exercise more? Or spend more time outside? It’s all too easy to forget our priorities in life when we’re so busy, so write yours down and leave them somewhere that you can see. 

Write Things Down

Writing things down has another benefit. Writing to-do lists can help you to manage your time more effectively, making it easier to stick to a schedule, clock off when your list is completed (don’t keep adding to it!), and take entire days off. 

Make Plans for Life

Sometimes we need firm plans in place to give ourselves permission to take time off work. Make plans with friends, and make bookings so that you are less likely to cancel.