One of the best things about freelancing is that you can work from home. There’s no real need to leave your house or commute to anywhere to get your work done. For most of us, this means money saved on transportation costs such as gasoline and wear and tear on your car.
One of the best things about freelancing can also become one of the worst things, if you don’t make an effort to stay engaged in activities outside of the confines of your own home office.
In this post, I’ll discuss why it’s good to get out from behind your computer and out of the house. I’ll also list several ways that you can get out from behind your computer.
How Getting Away from Your Computer Helps
Probably no one is more comfortable as a web worker than I am. Since I’m naturally a bit shy working from home doesn’t bother me. Sitting behind my computer for hours at a time and writing copy comes naturally to me.
While my ability to work for long hours can sometimes be good (especially when there’s a deadline looming in front of me), I’ve also learned that there is such a thing as too many hours behind the computer. That’s why I now make an effort to spend at least some time each day away from the computer.
Getting out from behind your computer can be beneficial to you in the following ways:
- Gives you a fresh perspective and sparks new creativity
- Allows you to interact with people in person
- Affords you the chance to be more physically active
- Alleviates feelings of isolation and loneliness
Often, I find that I am much more productive after taking a break from the computer.
So how about it? Are you ready to get out from behind your computer? Here are some tips for doing just that.
The first way that you can get out of your home office has some health benefits associated with it. Taking part in physical exercise is a great way to get out of the office and it can also help you stay fit.
You don’t necessarily need to join a formal exercise program to enjoy this benefit, just taking a daily walk around your block may be enough.
The important thing is to get out there and get active. Just do it. You’ll probably discover that you do better work when you are feeling better.
Taking part in volunteer activities is another great way to get out of your home office. To get started, pick an organization that you are interested in and call and ask about volunteer activities.
Although some freelancers have found that volunteering leads to more clients , you don’t necessarily have to find new clients to benefit from being a volunteer. Often, just knowing that you had a part in something worthwhile is enough of a reward.
Another great way to get away from your computer (and out of your home office) is to take a live class. Yes, I know that there are plenty of online classes that you could take, but enrolling in a local class with an actual physical location gives you a break from staring at your computer monitor all day long.
You need to update your skills regularly anyway to stay on top of your game. Why not do it in a physical setting such as at a local college or at a training center?
Plus, meeting your classmates face to face gives you the opportunity to make new friends. Who knows? Some of your classmates may even need to hire a freelancer one day.
I’ve saved the best way of getting away from your computer for last. My favorite thing to do when I’m not “at work” (in my home office), is spending time with friends and family.
Making time for friend and family is crucial if you want to live a balanced life. Also, having strong relationships can help you combat freelancer loneliness and even stress.
While your friends and family may never really understand what you do for a living (and let’s be honest, do you actually know how all of your non-freelancing friends and relatives earn their living?), those relationships are still valuable and are still a part of who you are.
Do you spend too many hours sitting behind your computer in your home office? Do you feel the need to break out and do something different?
What offline activities do you engage in when you are not working? Share your answers in the comments.