When the kids are home from school for the summer, your connections on Facebook are posting vacation photos to places you've never been, and the invites to a day at the pool are coming in more frequently than responses to your last email campaign, it can feel impossible to keep up the momentum in your company - especially if you're a solopreneur or working from home.
If you don't have a commute to an office that gets you up in the morning and out of the house, it can be really tempting to see everyone else in the house on vacation and decide that you've earned a day off. But when that one-day Netflix-binge turn into a weeklong movie marathon, it's time to change your surroundings to somewhere with a dress code a few steps up from pajamas. Here are a few places you can adopt as your office-away-from-home, at least temporarily:
- Local Coworking Space: even if you're not a member, if your community has a coworking space, most offer day rates or a first-time free trial
- Library: many libraries are equipped with free wifi as well as open spaces where you can bring your own computer and spend a few hours in quiet solitude. In fact, some libraries have retooled to offer resources for entrepreneurs, so you might check out the local events and programming while you're there. You might be surprised that your library offers a lot more than books these days. And if you're needing to make phone calls, many libraries have spaces you can reserve by the hour.
- Coffee Shop: while many restaurants will begin pressuring you to vacate their table after you've overstayed your lunch, most coffee shops are prepared to accommodate a longer stay from a patron. It may cost you a few drink refills or purchases of snacks, but as office rent goes, coffee shops can be a great escape from your home office.
- Local Museums: you may be surprised to discover that your local museums, especially those managed by government, offer free wifi and often include a sitting area, coffee bar or restaurant. It can be a perfect way to get in a half-day of work before meeting the rest of your family for a tour of the museum. And an added bonus is that you're not likely to run into acquaintances that could derail your work goals.
- The Great Outdoors: if you're a bit more tied to your home office, you can still change up your surroundings and get a new sense of perspective and energy simply by getting outside - whether it's a camp chair perched under a tree or on a porch.
Getting out of our regular pattern and environment can be the perfect way to shake up our lagging energy and focus during the summer months.
And if it doesn't, then maybe it's time to close up that laptop and spend a few days on a vacation - even if it's right at home. Burnout will derail your progress a lot faster than just being a few days behind on your goals, so if you've hit the point where you now you're at your limit and need a break, maybe it's time to go on vacation from your problems, the prescription that worked so well for Bob Wiley in What About Bob. (And if you haven't seen that movie, maybe that's a great way to begin your mini-vacation.)