As an extrovert, my best, most productive days are the days I have a face-to-face meeting first thing in the morning. It doesn’t matter if it’s with a client, another attorney, or attending a networking event. I work to set at least one appointment each morning for this reason. But, sometimes you just have one of those days where you need to be in front of the computer all day.
If you’re an extrovert, it’s easy to start losing your marbles by the end of the day if you haven’t left the house or even talked to anyone on the phone. Sometimes I forget that I don’t have a boss and I can take a break if I want to. But, what can you do during a short break in the middle of the day? Below I’ve listed some activities I like to do to break up my day and cope with daytime isolation.
- Get up and dance – I list this one first because I do it almost every day. If my energy is waning and I need a little boost, I crank up the radio and throw down my sick white boy moves for a few minutes. I’m sure I look ridiculous, but….I’m alone so who cares. It gets your blood pumping and research has shown that listening to music can enhance your mood and improve your focus.
- Run errands – Enjoy the smaller daytime crowd at the grocery store, smaller lines at the post office, or just knock out that one task that’s been on the back burner for too long (like mailing your dad’s hat and sunglasses back to him, sorry dad).
- Clean something – I hate cleaning, but I have to admit it can be a nice relaxing break to get up from the computer and just focus on scrubbing a sink, floor, or even toilet for a few minutes. There’s something very therapeutic about looking at your shiny porcelain accomplishment after a just a few minutes of work. If you’re in a slump a quick burst of productivity can be just the thing to get you back in the game.
- Call a friend or relative – If you’re feeling isolated, talk to someone. Talking to yourself is a great pastime and all, but talking to others is nice too and they usually have more interesting things to say.
- Go for a walk/jog – Getting out and enjoying some sunshine after being inside all day gives you a boost of vitamin D and can help reinvigorate you and get you back into that productive groove.
- Take a nap – I’ve never been the type of person to take naps, but I’ve found that setting a 30 minute alarm and lying down on the couch can be a relaxing break from the stressors of the day. Sometimes you get in a quick power nap, and other times you just get to relax and think about something other than work. Either way, big corporations like Google are embracing the power of the nap, so why shouldn’t you.
- Go work from Starbucks or Panera Bread – Sometimes a change of scenery can help get you out of a slump or help you figure out the answer to something you’ve been racking your brain over. I work better in silence personally, but some of my colleagues get their best work done surrounded by strangers at Starbucks or some other restaurant.
Working from home may get lonely at times, but it doesn’t have to be. So, next time you’re feeling isolated try one of my suggestions, or come up with your own creative daytime break. You work from home, enjoy it!