At the start of the year, I left my part-time office job to work from home and write. I haven’t missed the job, but I have missed my colleagues (a lot!). I met some amazing people there and I miss them. We catch up from time to time but we’re all busy and it isn’t as often as we would like.
I don’t know how many of you guys out there are stay at home parents, or work from home, but if, like me, you are, you may also feel the same. I’ve gone through whole days without speaking to anyone. Or if I have, it’s a few words exchanged at the school gates.
My insanely intuitive mother recently reminded me how important it is to keep up with friends, old and new, and it suddenly dawned on me how wrapped up in my own little bubble I had become. So I wanted to help any of you feeling the same way shake off the guilt and get those coffee dates in your diary!
Keep catching up
As lone workers, we shouldn’t be afraid to take time out and catch up with friends. Sharing our trials and tribulations with someone, as you would in an office, is an important part of daily life for most people. It should be the same for those of us who don’t go out to work. Going days without speaking to anyone apart from the postman, or the odd person I pass when walking the dog, isn’t healthy or good for the soul.
Don’t feel guilty
I’m sure this isn’t just limited to women, but I certainly seem to be able to make myself feel guilty about everything. If I’m working I’m neglecting the kids, husband, dog, housework, and if I’m concentrating on one of those things I feel guilty for not working!
Taking time out of our work day for a quick coffee (which, let’s be honest, doesn’t happen every day) isn’t that much different from taking a coffee or cigarette break at work. So don’t use guilt as an excuse. And if you do have a deadline to meet, or a high workload, enjoy the freedom of being able to work in the evenings, early mornings in your pj’s, or the middle of the night if that’s your thing!
Share your success
Sharing your successes online with your followers is fantastic and it’s wonderful to have a virtual community to do that with, whether it’s a writing site, Twitter, or through your website. But sharing your success with people you know, face to face, is just as important. Have that coffee and chat about what you’re working on, it might just help you talk through that annoying plot hole you’ve been trying to fix.
I met three friends on three different occasions this week and it was so nice to feel part of the real world again. I love my life and I love my job but my friends and I have helped each other through good and bad times and these friendships are important. Yours are too, so don’t let them drift away. If you have friends you’ve neglected, reach out and make things right. They may be waiting for your call!
Have you got any advice for home workers like me? What do you do to make sure you’re getting enough contact with friends and family? If you’re a writer, do you think you have a good work/life balance? Stop by and let me know in the comments!