You are the envy of your friends. Your neighbors wonder what magic formula for making money you have created that saves you from a morning commute to work. If they only knew how much you yearn to get out of the house to join the land of the living. If only they had an inkling of how much time you spend gazing out of the window, trying to conjure up excuses to escape those four home office walls that imprison you.
Well, get dressed and find your car keys, because here are five ways to beat cabin fever while still being productive.
1. Invent a “new business” day.
Once a week or once a month, carve out an entire day to creating new business. Devote that day to cold calling (in person), lunchtime networking, and evening cocktails if necessary. Don’t forget to record your fuel, food, and travel time expenses because they are tax deductible.
2. Camp out at FedEx/Kinkos.
FedEx/Kinkos has everything you need for an office away from home. Pack your briefcase and laptop and take advantage of their copying, printing, and fax services. Indulge in some people-watching while waiting for your new business cards to be printed. You might even make a new business connection – who knows?
Are you longing to escape the confines of your home office?3. Attend a seminar at a fancy hotel.
Look up seminars coming coming to a location near you. Schmooze with the other attendees, enjoy a shrimp cocktail in the hotel restaurant, and learn a thing or two you didn’t know about your own industry. You’ll be amazed how your attitude changes about seminars when it’s your decision to attend. Give the receipt to your boss at the office. He’s probably authorized to pay for it, and – bonus – he’ll be impressed with your ambition.
4. Break up your workday with errands.
No one said you have to work straight through the whole day. If you can break up your work with ten-minute or half-hour breaks, then so be it. Maybe you’ll work for two hours, then walk around the block for twenty minutes. Work another hour, then go do your grocery shopping. Just make sure you get back to work after your break. Don’t turn this into an excuse to take the rest of the day off.
5. Escape to a real cabin.
Famous writers have been doing this for years. Henry David Thoreau built a 10′ x 15′ cabin and wrote On Walden Pond. Dylan Thomas wrote inside a sparse but quaint shed in Laugharne, Wales.
So maybe the key is to find that certain special place where you can escape not four walls, but the reminders of the mundane that make up your house. Try taking a weekend retreat to a mountainside bed and breakfast. If you can’t afford a mini vacation, how about housesitting for your best friend while she cruises the Caribbean with her husband?
There’s no reason you have to coop yourself up like a chicken in a…well, coop. You’re no chicken. Spread your wings and fly.
Kate Supino is a professional freelance writer and small business owner who writes about best business practices, wealth management for women, and more.