It's true. Now that I work from home, I miss the water-cooler talk of the workplace and chatting to co-workers about the news, the weather, anything!
It can be difficult to sit down and work eight hours straight at home, alone. Working from home can zap creative energy and make you feel restless and unproductive.
My fellow PsPrint blogger Jennifer shared some of her ideas to boost your creative energy in her guest post on Fuel Your Creativity, including getting outside, attending conferences and volunteering. Below are some additional easy ways to re-energize your freelance routine and get the energy and inspiration flowing:
1. Stand up or sit on a exercise ball
Sitting in a chair all day is not optimal for keeping your blood flowing, energy high and ideas forthcoming. If you are a laptop user, try setting up or purchasing a standing work station (like the one shown below on Amazon.com) Alternate between sitting at your regular desk and standing throughout the day. If you want to sit, you can sit more actively by using an exercise ball as a chair. There are chair frames where an exercise ball fits in the middle (as shown below) or you can just sit on the ball itself, at your desk. Staying balanced and upright on an exercise ball will really work your leg and abdominal muscles, so warm up slowly by alternating your regular chair with the ball. If you are less than 5-foot 4-inches tall, you should shop for a 55 centimeter-sized ball, if you are between 5-foot 5-inches and 5-foot 11-inches get a 65-centimeter ball, and above 6-feet tall get a 75-centimeter ball.
2. Try out a coworking space
Coworking is a new trend or movement where creative freelancers open up commercial spaces and share access to the space (via membership) with likeminded self-employed folks. The spaces are usually big and wide open with web developers, designers, writers and other members of the creative class working at large shared desks or computer stations. They'll have coffee, kitchens, bike racks and sometimes conference rooms where you can even have a meeting with a client. These are great hubs for networking, getting out of the house, and meeting new friends while talking about the weather around the co-working watercooler! For more information check out this coworking blog, Google group and wiki.
3. Attend after-work industry events
There are so many professionally geared options for getting out of the house and socializing after a long day of work. Network with other professionals at Green Drinks, a global series of monthly meetups where people interested in sustainability can enjoy a cocktail and share ideas about their work or communities. Freelancers Union also has some paid and free events where freelancers can network and hone their skills. Find your local chapter of The Art Directors Club and AIGA, which both have events nationwide, such as panel discussions and informal lectures. Apple also hosts in-store software tutorials and other helpful lectures nationwide. You can search seminars.apple.com for upcoming events near you.