We’ve talked about isolation before on this blog, but maybe not enough.
Isolation is one of the big obstacles for anywhere workers. It’s not only a social concern – staying connected to others, but also a productivity concern. Isolation can lead to or influence your motivation. Your surroundings, your structure, and your connections are all important in staying motivated.
So how does an anywhere worker manage isolation to stay creatively productive?
Understand how much time you need to spend alone and when you cross the line into cabin fever. Very often the anywhere worker has an introverted style (works well alone, likes deep one on one conversations vs. chitchat etc) Understanding how often you need to connect is important.
Once you know your style and your limitations (what drives you) you can then make sure to schedule or plan for connecting at a certain frequency. For example, I know that I can’t go for more than 2 days without connecting. How do I connect? well that could be via twitter, linkedin, email, skype, or an in person meeting or event. Only you know what will work for you and what the proper mix is for these types of interactions. Don’t leave it up to chance – plan for connecting – let chance encounters be a bonus.
Set Your Structure
This is another area that must be personalized, but it is important. You need to have a schedule of some type so you are not distracted from all of t he other ‘shiny’ things around you (refrigerator, TV, Internet, angry birds, etc). Structure helps you to set goals and meet those goals – and still have fun! Structure means you get up every day at 7am, have your latte and write your blog post. Then you have client meetings and do some marketing. Or, it could mean that you schedule a team call every week on Tuesday afternoon. Structure is setting yourself up for success. But be careful not to let the structure become a rut.
Both isolation and productivity are managed with accountability. You can work with a coach, with a business partner, or with another anywhere worker. The idea is that you use both connecting and structure to set up accountability. Knowing someone will be checking in on you is both motivational and comforting – especially as an anywhere worker.
Mix it up once in a while. Structure is great, but if you get too structured you are not open to new possibilities and opportunities, both for business and for connecting. Every once in a while, take the day off and do something to refill your creativity bucket. Make it something social – inspire others and be inspired. Maybe have a monthly coffee gathering or beer night at the local hot spot.
Warning: if you don’t manage your isolation, it can be harmful to your business, your creativity, your happiness, and ultimately your health. We are, after all, social beings and are all interconnected within this world. Go, be social!
Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to our conversation.