3 Reasons Some Freelancers Should NOT Try Coworking

Tomorrow is International Coworking Day. That means a lot of over enthusiastic freelancers are probably going to convince you to give coworking a try. But change is hard, and often uncomfortable, so here are three reasons why you should just ignore them and go back to whatever it is you were doing.

1. Coworkers are WAY too motivated. Because freelancers who cowork find it easier to keep their professional and personal life separate, they’re actually excited to put their skills to work. And on the rare occasion when a coworker has writer’s block or suffers from a bad case of procrastination, their fellow freelancers are on hand to talk it out or provide a little nudge in the right direction. If you prefer watching daytime TV and cramming all your work into the three hours before a project’s due, avoid coworking at all costs.

2. Coworkers get dressed (and brush their teeth) every day. Don’t these people realize that pajama pants, bed head, and poor oral hygiene are the freelancer’s uniform? Be careful, getting too involved in a coworking community could result in morning time energy and a desire to be around other people. You may be persuaded to comb your hair, put on makeup and do laundry on a regular basis. If you prefer comfort over community, avoid coworking at all costs.

3. Coworking will force you to advance your career. Coworkers take the time to continue their education so they can stay at the top of their game. They attend workshops, seminars, and networking events. They ask questions of their peers and get instant feedback from community members that helps them provide superior services to their clients. They challenge each other to remain competitive in their respective fields. If you’re happy with the slow growth of your freelance business, and don’t want to start pulling in more money or clients just yet, please, AVOID COWORKING AT ALL COSTS!

(But! If you’re the kind of freelancer that craves the support of a vibrant, motivated community, and is ready to meet deadlines, put on pants, and take your career to the next level….please, GIVE COWORKING A TRY!)

Image Credit: Flickr – tofslie

Freelance Survival: How To Get Motivated After Taking Time Off

Tell me if this sounds familiar: (On Thursday) “Oh my god I can’t wait until the long weekend!!!!!” (On Tuesday) “Oh my god, I am so not motivated to do any of this work.”

Vacation hangover. I need a vacation from my vacation. Whatever you call it, it’s an issue for every freelancer on the planet.

Working for yourself takes mountains of motivation. Gobs of personal drive, and huge piles of determination. It’s not easy to get up and start your day early, when absolutely no one would yell at you for sleeping until noon. It’s tempting to put that to-do list off for another day when you’re still posting pictures of your beach vacation on Facebook.

If you’re coming off the long weekend and feeling like you’d rather work on your tan than your inbox, here are some motivational tips to keep in mind:

1. Leave No Loose Ends

Feeling good about returning to work starts by feeling good about how you left it. Take the time to alert your clients to your vacation time well in advance, if possible. Stop taking on new work at least a week before you’ll be away, so that you can have peace of mind that everything is well in hand before you leave.

2. Ease Into It

Plan a transition day into your vacation schedule. If you’re going away for 7 days, tell your clients that you’re leaving for eight. Take that half or quarter day as a time to slowly check emails or prioritizing your to-do list for the week ahead. Knowing that you don’t have to jump back in to your work with both feet can help reduce stress and resentment about the responsibilities ahead.

3.  Prioritize

For me, it’s the emails that make me most reluctant to return to work. After not opening my computer for two or three days, I know there will be a pile of messages to sift through. The sheer (often imagined) number, is daunting and scares me into procrastination.

Conquer the fear by setting small manageable goals for yourself: I will go through my inbox deleting spam and Twitter alerts, and filing the rest of the emails into their appropriate folders. After you’ve recovered from that task, pick one folder, and start answering the emails. You can do the same thing with any kind of task, just pick the smallest most non-threatening chunk, and go for it.

What advice can you give other freelancers about finding your mojo after taking time off? Share your ideas in a comment!


Image Credit: Flickr – joelK75

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