WORKPLACE / NOV. 14, 2013
version 3, draft 3

Learn to Love Working Alone

“Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.” Sir Francis Bacon

Initially one of the main draws that I found to be ushering me towards a freelance existence, solitude (or loneliness, seclusion, privacy- depending on your particular standpoint) is a fairly prominent, not to mention an utterly unavoidable aspect of life on this track.

Sometimes a day of uninterrupted getting-on-with-it can be nothing short of a godsend, on other days however- it can push the overloaded mind of a hapless victim of the 21 century to the very brink of mania, without sounding too overdramatic.

We live in a time where the biggest fear of most is missing out. From the minute we wake to the second we drift off to sleep at night, we’re able to interact with one another- whether in a professional and at least mildly competent sense or simply in order to exchange hilarious pictures or observations- and, my lord, do we ever make the most of it.

In this sense then, does true solitude exist for those who make no major point of pursuing it?

Either way, if you happen to be feeling the strain of literally not speaking for hours at a time and/or drinking far more tea than you need to be drinking, then read on and see if I may alleviate some of your bladder straining discontent…

Take a Walk

The oldest and 100% most unoriginal trick in the book, taking a walk to clear the old brain box is such a common tip for one simple reason: it works.

Structure, or rather the enforcement of structure, is something completely alien to most freelance professionals. Left to our own devices we spend most of our time treating the internet as a giant playground as opposed to a workplace, which is cool, but if you’re trying to make money- can also prove to be ridiculously counterproductive.

Try setting yourself certain targets to meet, meeting the first couple and then breaking your day up with a stroll. You’ll return to your desk refreshed, exercised and ready to  get on with more work.

Music, Music, Music

An intrinsic part of the lives of most, music in my opinion is unmatched in its abilities to stimulate and inspire. You can even go as far as tailoring your playlist to suit the days tasks and priorities, or just do what I do and think of a band you really like- then devour their entire back catalogue throughout the day.

Eventually, you’ll begin to find some middle-ground between enjoying the music and getting on with the stuff you need to be getting on with.

Take up a Hobby

Whilst I’m not insinuating you don’t already have a rewarding spectrum of hobbies in your life, there are some pass-times that are more ideal than others when confined to your laptop, PC or Mac for hours on end.

Learn or improve your prowess on a musical instrument; take on a new language via one of the many highly effective online courses out there, or simply sit and do copious amounts of research on an area likely to increase your capacity as a professional within your particular field (for me: SEO, SEO and more SEO. Urgh).

So then, feel free to either take my advice, completely disregard everything I have said- or even share some of your own methods for taking the edge off of the eternal loneliness of the freelance lifestyle. (Again, a little overdramatic?).

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