5 Tips to Help Conquer Work-From-Home Loneliness
I write and edit best in pure silence. If I could work in a vacuum chamber without exploding (or whatever would happen; I don’t know, I’m not a scientist!), I’d be thrilled. Instead, I work in a house full of loud human beings and canines. As a result, I find that I am much more efficient at night, so I’ll usually sleep in late and work into the early mornings. Solution found, right? Sure, but it generates something much worse: loneliness.
You don’t have to have an unconventional schedule to experience this feeling of isolation while working from home. Those who love the high energy of a buzzing office or hobnobbing around the water cooler often feel a real loss as a stay-at-home worker. On the other hand, working on your own terms is incredibly freeing, and most freelancers wouldn’t surrender that ability for anything. That leaves us to find ways to deal with the seclusion so that we can more fully enjoy the jobs we are blessed with. Consider these five tips to help you conquer work-from-home loneliness:
1. Stay Connected
By utilizing instant messaging platforms throughout the day, you can connect with friends, family and other freelancers to get the social fix you need. This can be an efficient way to communicate with others without getting wrapped up in a lengthy conversation you don’t have time for. When you need to work without interruptions, simply set your status to busy. Warning: Doing so takes serious willpower.
2. Stop Procrastinating
Procrastination is often the best friend of a work-at-home writer. It’s easy to get swept up in a non-work task for “just a few minutes” and then realize that an hour or more has passed. Your job has to get done no matter what, so if you spend half of your day looking at what’s trending, then you’ll end up cutting into the time you could be spending with family and friends. Stop dragging your feet and get to work so that you can stop sooner.
3. Institute a “Quitting Time”
If I’m not procrastinating, I’ve usually morphed into a workaholic. I’ve been known to slink away from a family gathering to work for a bit. But just because your office is down the hall doesn’t mean you need to always be in it. It’s important to find a work-life balance that is healthy, so try to schedule a time dedicated to writing and stick to it. In other words, when it’s quitting time, stop working! Your job is important, but so is your sanity. I’ve yet to master this art, but I’m trying.
4. Take Breaks
I’m not trying to give contradictory advice, but stay-at-home loneliness can often be overcome by stepping away from the source of the problem. Invite a friend to lunch, go for a walk, or dance to a power ballad. Just getting away for a few minutes can help reset your mind, which will increase productivity when you’re feeling better about yourself and your situation. If you easily lose track of time, set an alert to let you know when you should head back home, and re-read #2.
5. Forget Yourself
It feels good to wallow in self-pity — for about 5 minutes. After too long, wallowing can become detrimental. If you can’t shake freelancing melancholy, then try focusing on helping others. Sites like JustServe.org and VolunteerMatch.org can help you find a great cause to support. Doing so doesn’t only produce altruistic benefits. Forgetting yourself by providing service to others has been shown to increase self-esteem and psychological well-being. That seems like an excellent cure for contentment!
While being lonely can be one of the hazards of a work-at-home job, it doesn’t have to be. By following these tips, you can bypass the blues and focus on how great your job really is.
How do you avoid loneliness when you’re working alone? Comment below!