How To Overcome The Disconnection Of Working Alone

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  • Published on : Nov 6 2011

Everyone thinks working from home is the ideal work environment. You can work in your jammies and forget about the suit and tie. You’re all alone with no distractions. After a while though, all that alone time can actually be more distracting than an office full of whiners. How do you overcome the disconnection of working alone and still remain productive?

Dealing with that sense of disconnection was probably the furthest thing from your mind when you left that office job and decided to start your own home-based business. You were probably just glad to get away from all the office politics and gossip. But even if you’re the type who prefers to work solo, eventually you’re going experience some feelings of isolation. Here are some tips you can use to overcome the disconnection of working alone.

Realize the need

Like any good recovery program, before you can solve the problem you have to admit you have one. It’s important to realize that humans need human interaction. Admitting that you’re only human will alleviate the guilt you feel each time you try to step away from your desk.

Schedule down time

Believe me, I know how difficult it is to step away from your desk when you work alone and you’re a Type A personality. It does help to schedule activities that will force you to leave work behind, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Make a weekly hair appointment, schedule a weekly luncheon with a friend, volunteer in your community for a couple of hours a week. If it’s scheduled you’re more likely to get up from your desk and do it.

Seek out other local entrepreneurs

Find other locals who work at home and meet up for breakfast or coffee once a week. Or start a monthly book club or cocktail party that forces you all to come together once a month and socialize. They’re in the same boat you’re in. They also occasionally feel alone and isolated and need some human contact. So don’t feel hesitant to make the first move.

Offer your services

One of the big differences about being an entrepreneur is that now there’s nobody telling you what to do, filling up your work day with tasks they want you to accomplish. And when you don’t have anything to do, that’s when you start to feel alone and isolated and adrift without purpose. Take a look at the services you offer and come up with something new to add to the list and then start contacting your old clients to tell them about your new service. This will not only increase your business but it will help you establish more of a connection with your clients so you won’t feel so isolated and unappreciated.

Attend seminars and conferences

Every industry has its share of seminars and conferences. This is a great way to interact with other human beings and learn more about your business. While you’re there look for information about online forums or chat rooms that will help you network with other people in your field. As a plus, you’ll make a few new friends who share your pain.

Socialize

There are entrepreneurs all over the world who all feel the same sense of disconnection and isolation. And you’ll find that most of them have a Facebook page or a Twitter account or they hang out in relevant forums or chat rooms. These online resources can be an invaluable tool for you to connect with other people to exchange ideas, give and receive emotional support, or even just gossip and chat about everyday life. If you can’t get out to meet people in person, then meeting them online is the next best thing.

These are all good tips but if you’re like me you just refuse to admit that you need human contact. Personally, I hate the thought of making appointments or setting up lunch dates. What if I’m working on something important and don’t want to stop?! And I find forums and chat rooms very distracting. Seminars aren’t possible right now because most in my industry are out of town and I have responsibilities at home. So what could I do to overcome the disconnection of working alone?

You could also have a dog! Having a dog forces you to get up from your desk a few times a day so you can take Fido for a walk, get him some water and food, or just toss a ball for a few minutes. Plus, a dog is a great listener who always agrees with you and never talks back.

This post was written by Sté Kerwer, the guy behind Dukeo.com. He blogs about affiliate marketing, making money online, email marketing, SEO, mindset for success, WordPress and a lot more. To read more about Sté you can either grab his RSS feed or follow him on Twitter @dukeo.

Zac Johnson
My name is Zac Johnson and I have been an online entrepreneur for the past 18 years and blogger since 2007. This is my personal blog and I welcome you to the site. In full disclosure, it is safe to assume that I am benefiting financially or otherwise from everything you click on, read, or look at while on my website.
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  • Leonor Miller

    Hey this is true. I'm working online at my house, and I find it a little boring. I have no one to talk to, because my work station is in my room. Sometime I can't finish my work because suddenly I felt sleepy and decide to sleep, not knowing that I didn't finish my work. Thanks for this tips. I'ts very useful for us who work on home.
    My recent post Bras ergonomique Ergorest

    • http://dukeo.com Dukeo

      It's important to stay connected with other people because it will help you stay on a "normal" schedule. Working until 5am every day and waking up at 2pm can be fun for a week or two but in the long run, it can have some bad consequences on the social aspects of your life.
      My recent post How To Make Money Online With Your Own Membership Site

  • http://ineeddiscipline.com/go/indkindle/ Dean Saliba

    Oh I understand this completely. Working on my own can be very testing at times, there is nobody to help you through when you don't feel like working. :/
    My recent post October 2011 Blog Income Report

  • http://www.stevescottsite.com Steve

    Ste,

    Great points here. I work out of my office alone in my aprartment day in day out. YOu have to take some of these steps to connect or you can go stir crazy. Scheduling downtime and ensuring you have a life can be an important part of the equation.

    I would add "have laptop will travel" . For those who work at home sometimes go elsewhere. You can write a post (offline) from a park or get work done (online) fro places like Starbucks. Sometimes it just helps to be "around people"
    My recent post Email Blogging: What’s Your Opinion?

  • http://www.affiliates-summit.com Affiliman

    I suggest following "Pareto principle" 20-80. as long as you remember that 80% of your revenues are being generated by 20% of your clients (the valuable affiliates, customers, employees, etc) you will WIN!

  • http://ifzamarketing.com Hammad

    Also take classes! There are a bunch of things I wanted to learn and with working from home, you get the chance to drop in on night courses at local colleges and meet with interesting people.

    Im getting my pilots license because I love to fly!

  • http://www.jaysonlinereviews.com/ Earn money online

    I agree with your tips for your own personal sanity you need to get away every now and then.

    It can be a very lonely place if all you do is sit at your computer all day.

    Good tips, and walking my Dog is a great stress reliever for me, or taking him for a car ride.
    My recent post Affiliate Marketing Training – How To Make My First Commission Check? Answer Too A Struggling Newbie

  • kenswarrior

    I had this problem pretty bad when I was newer…working by myself just plugging away at CPA campaigns!

    What I found helpful was joining some skype mastermind groups and partnering with people on sites/ventures. It makes you feel like you are working with people even though you are by yourself.
    My recent post Millionaire Mindset Exercise

  • http://www.allneonandled.com JJM

    Good information!! Thank you!! I try to make time to break away and interact with people or nature!

  • http://www.wolfstormmedia.com Jeremiah Cooper

    I agree – working at home seems like a lot of fun but it definitely has it's down sides.

    After working at home for the past several years I started leasing an office for my company this year, so that the employees who are local to me and myself can all work out of it. We do take days where we all stay at home at work, which is a nice option to have, but the majority of the time we're in the office now.

  • http://TheAverageGenius.net James Hussey

    Ste –

    Solid post, and glad to find another blogger to read. :)

    Great idea about scheduling and networking IRL, the thing is that without human interaction, depression (esp. in winter for me personally) can eat away at the zeal and motivation of what makes entrepreneurship online so great.
    My recent post Improving User Experience and Web Publishing Like a Boss