Welcome to Freelance Friday! Each Friday, I’ll share something Freelance-y that I learned during the week that will help other freelancers or entertain cubicle-queens. Thanks for reading!
All things considered, I’ve been surprisingly lucky about the “places” I’ve worked.
As a teacher, I was restricted to a classroom, yeah (which is pretty awful when you have to go to the bathroom but there are 30 firecrackers waiting for an unsupervised moment to explode), but I was otherwise free to wander around that classroom and take whatever pose I liked.
I could spend the whole day sitting on a stool, or at my desk, or in a student desk, or even in an arm chair (that I brought in and was subsequently destroyed by students).
At my next job, I was in cubicle-land, but I was still free to take frequent walks outside or breaks throughout the day. I could even grab my stuff and relocate to a larger conference room to work with music on if I wanted to and the room was free.
And then of course there were work from home days in which I could hole up on the couch, in my bed, or at a coffee shop.
Working Wherever as a Freelancer
As a freelancer, this freedom knows new bounds. I can work (or not work) at a bar, a coffee shop, at a friend’s house, or in Hawaii (though I haven’t tried that last one yet). Here’s another list of places I could work but have not (and, honestly, probably will not):
- “Working” on vacation + This just never works out. I do the minimum (usually a deadline) and stop working. It’s more economical to take a good break!
- Bars and restaurants + Um, can you say “loud”? And before you say loud, say “expensive”. Who’s got that kind of money or patience? If I were single, I’d probably work in bars and restaurants more.
- Coffee shops + Since I’m trying to avoid coffee, coffee shops aren’t that fun. They also rarely have comfortable chairs. It’s fine enough for a business meeting, but it’s not like it’s a spa of a workday.
- The outdoors + Of all of these options, this is probably the most tempting. But if you are outdoors, you need to be able to enjoy the environment (which means not working). Also, screen glare. Ow.
- Coworking spaces + If I were a full time virtual employee, I would probably buy into a coworking space. Richmond has some awesome ones! But when you’re actually working and need to focus (man, I guess that sounds bad), why would I want to go hang out with a bunch of trendy hipsters? There’s also the problem of “I’ve got a new project and I’d like you to help for free” people roaming around.
That said, here are two places I do like to work from, and I love the freedom to choose and stop at any time.
Desk + Standing Desk Combo
My first priority is to work at home from our new desk and standing desk combo. Unfortunately, the chair we invested in isn’t doing great things for my back (I DON’T UNDERSTAND. COME ON.). Within 20 minutes, I get all achey and old-lady like, so I’m working on a fix for that.
The standing desk is neat, but it’s hard to concentrate on anything big like actual writing projects. I use it mainly for video editing and emails.
Surprisingly, my secret sauce is the public library.
If I’ve been out of it or otherwise unproductive for a day, I can always kickstart my mojo by doing a working day at the library. I grab my go-to paleo snacks and head in from 9am until “too hungry to keep going,” around 3pm.
I always get an incredible amount of work done, so by now it’s a self-fullfilling prophecy. (In fact, I’m headed there today, right now!)