This is a guest post for the MELD Coworking blog by Michelle Laurey.
Freelancers are a growing subsection of the working landscape.
These dedicated professionals have discovered that work doesn’t have to be a place that you go to. Instead, work can be something that you do wherever you are.
Today, there are more than 56.7 million freelance workers in the United States. While these employees love the freedom that being a digital nomad can bring, they also know that it’s tough to stay motivated and inspired at times – particularly when they’re on their own.
That’s why coworking is becoming increasingly appealing. Coworking helps to battle some of the isolation and boredom of working on your own. In the right environment, you can find inspiration and fun, bouncing your ideas off other people in the same industry.
The question is, how do you make coworking into a fundamental part of your working schedule?
Create a Consistent Schedule
One of the big lures of “working for yourself” as a freelancer is that you often have the freedom to choose your own hours and adjust your schedule at will. There’s nothing to stop you from taking a break in the middle of the day to take your daughter to the dentist. All you need to do is make sure that you hit your deadlines.
However, living completely without a schedule can be problematic for digital nomads. Without the right routine to follow, you could find that you either don’t get enough work done or spend too much of your life at your desk.
While setting a time to visit and leave your home office is helpful, there’s nothing quite like knowing you’re going to turn up at a thriving office to push you into action each morning. Coworking locations can help you to stick to a healthy routine.
Find the Right Community
Working as a freelancer is fun, but it also means that you rarely get an opportunity to connect and network with other people. Even with video conferencing tools to rely on today, we can often miss the human interaction and face-to-face connection of meeting with people in person.
That’s why when you’re choosing your coworking space, you need to ensure you’re looking for a community that’ll work for you. Test out a few different spaces until you find the one that suits your personality.
You could even look for coworking spaces designed for people from specific industries. That way, you know you’ll be surrounded by like-minded people.
Remember, when you’re in your coworking space, make sure that you’re connecting with other employees and taking their details so you can reach them later. Coworking spaces can be a great location to network.
Find the Right Space
Besides choosing the perfect community, you also need to make sure that you’ve selected the right space for your coworking adventure.
There are tons of different options to choose from, including fun and relaxed environments with break-out rooms and big sofas. Alternatively, you can look for a coworking environment that has all of the latest tech, including state-of-the-art meeting rooms and boardrooms.
The most important thing to look for when you’re choosing the right space is the tools that you need to stay productive in your role. If you know you’re going to need a printer and some fantastic video conferencing tools, make sure that your coworking space has that to offer.
The more useful equipment you can find in your location, the easier it will be for you to get all of your work done, without having to leave the office. You might even decide that you want to look for a space with unique meditation gardens, or nap pods where you can relax when tired.
Get to Grips with Time Management
Once you’ve found the ideal space for your coworking journey, you need to make sure that you’re making the most of your schedule.
In a lot of freelance jobs, every day is often different from the last. That means that each morning, you need a plan for how you’re going to accomplish your goals.
Perhaps you could begin your day by dissecting everything you need to do and creating a list of the most important items first. You could also highlight some tasks in your day that feel repetitive or boring, and put that into your schedule when you know your attention and creativity is likely to be waning.
Creating a timetable that shows you which tasks need to be done and when will help you to manage your time more efficiently, and get into the habit of completing your work.
Be Open to New Experiences
Finally, remember that working in a coworking environment is a unique experience. Every day you visit your favorite destination, there’s a good chance that you’ll meet with new individuals who have unique ideas and work methods to share.
Being open to new experiences could be an excellent way to learn new skills and become a better version of yourself. You might even decide to take part in some of the “after work” events that your coworking space offers, like group yoga sessions or gym memberships.
A coworking space can easily become one of the most valuable tools you have in your freelancer toolkit. Make sure you take advantage of it!
Michelle Laurey works as a VA for small businesses. She loves talking business, and productivity, and share her experience with others. Outside her keyboard, she spends time with her Kindle library or binge-watching Billions. Her superpower? Vinyasa flow! Talk to her on Twitter @michelle_laurey.