As a self-employed writer and designer of training materials, I spend a lot of time working from home. This has many advantages and I have always considered working in slippers to be one of the perks. However when I noticed that I was wearing out my slippers more quickly than my shoes, it was a red flag. Had I slipped too far into my comfort zone?
Marilyn Monroe is quoted as saying ‘give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world’. In order to take my business to the next level, I realised that I needed to get my feet into some good quality footwear and get out of the house more often.
On days when I have a tight deadline for one of my customers, I can be very productive at home, working long hours until the job is done. However, I am not so great at honouring commitments to myself. I seem to struggle in finding the time and inspiration for activities that will really take my business forward. If I don’t have a deadline for someone else, I can fritter away time on housework or looking for the perfect gift for a friend on Etsy.
Over the next month, I am going to try an experiment. On at least two days per week, I will shower, dress and put on real shoes and work outside of the house. I plan to work in cafes and libraries. I will implement some of the ideas and initiatives I have been thinking about but failing to act upon.
I know that JK Rowling wrote the Harry Potter novels in a series of Edinburgh cafes. I am hoping that breaking my habitual routine and working in different locations will help me be just as creative. There is something about being alone in a public space that stimulates fresh thinking and inspiration. There is not the constant irritant of household chores or the distraction of starting to prepare the evening meal. There isn’t the dreadful sense of isolation and loneliness that can sometimes overtake you, especially when you are stuck.
I am going to try a range of different locations and see how I get on. I will keep a record of what I was working on, how I felt and how much I got done. I will aim to be a good customer in cafes, buying regular drinks and lunch and moving on after a couple of hours. I would also like to discover some of the older libraries in my area and will report back on this too.