Before freelancing, I made a huge miscalculation about my personality type.
I’ve always labeled myself as an introvert, so I was jumping for joy when I started working from home.
But to my surprise, I discovered that being alone is far more draining to me than being around people.
I dug a little further into the personality types and had the revelation that I’m either a very awkward and shy extrovert (yes, shyness and introversion are different) or an ambivert (someone who’s balanced between extroversion and introversion).
The accuracy of personality tests and theory is something you may or may not believe in. And some even suggest we should quit with the whole introvert or extrovert conversation entirely because it’s a non-binary issue.
Regardless, if you’re more energized by being with people than being alone, here’s how to work from home without wanting to pull your hair out.
Add Socializing to Your Business Budget
Money may be tight, but you should set aside cash for socializing or co-working.
Seriously, it’s non-negotiable.
As an extrovert, not being around people can cripple your creativity and can lead to depression.
It’s difficult to market yourself, be productive, grow your business, and do your best work when you’re feeling low.
Just sitting at a coffee shop can feel more inspiring than working alone in your office.
If you can’t afford a co-working space or other social events right now, set up a Skype meeting with “coworkers” or business buddies a few days a week.
Do what you can to interact with people frequently.
Don’t Forget About Your Other Hobbies
A business can consume a lot of your time and thoughts. Don’t become so overly consumed that you neglect other things and people.
Someone who works 40 hours a week at a traditional job spends 200+ hours per week around people including random interactions like eating lunch with coworkers or commuting on public transportation.
A freelancer can spend all of this time in one place with no person to person contact. This lifestyle can become pretty isolating.
Keep exercising, playing sports, sewing, bowling, or whatever it is that you enjoy. You’re also in a unique position to travel if all you need for work is your laptop.
Visit family and friends for a while to recharge your social batteries.
Venture Out and Meet Your Clients
If you live near your clients, head out to see them in person.
You may even be able to work from their office or with them at a coffee shop for a few days per week.
The great thing about this is, spending money on lunch or coffee with clients is something you may be able to write off on your taxes. It’s a win, win.
Take Full Days Off
Lastly, give yourself beaks where you do absolutely no work.
Yes, this is possible even when you work from home.
On these days, put some clothes on, get out of the house, and be around people even if it’s by yourself. Here’s a list of 47 affordable things that you can do during the weekend when you have no other ideas.
This has been very important for my lifestyle as a freelancer.
On days off, I leave the house. No excuses.