Lockdown Blues

Things have to change.  I am going to be honest.  My head has not been in the game recently. I’ve been suffering from cabin fever for a while now.  Since the pandemic started, I have hardly ventured out apart from walking the dogs around the block once a day. 

Normally Sam and I are lucky enough to have been abroad once, maybe twice by this time of year, and had many great adventures in between.  We LOVE to explore.

By the end of summer, we would normally have completed a charity walk, usually around 25 - 30 miles, to raise funds for our chosen charities and been on many walks beforehand to build up to the big day.

We would have travelled to Wales and Scotland visiting parents, with day trips and weekends away involving walks along the beach, bacon butties and large pieces of cake. 

Of course, this year everything has been put on hold.  

Now don’t get me wrong.  I completely understand why everything is as it is – this is not a ‘woe is me’ post. 

What the last few months of the ‘new normal’ has shown me though is just how important those walks and adventures are for our mental well-being and recharging our batteries. 

Since last September (apart from the Christmas break and one week in August), I have worked constantly – almost 12 months solid without a proper break.  When I’ve not been working on clients work (for which I am very grateful), I have been planning my own blogs, social media and online programme – not ready yet but getting there - and learning new software through various online programmes. 

It’s still work though. 

I hadn’t realised how tired I felt until recently when I began noticing simple tasks started to become difficult – not to mention trying to put the milk away in the dishwasher on more than one occasion! 

And it’s not just me that feels like this. I’ve had lots of chats with other freelancers I’ve known for years and they are in exactly the same boat. They’ve been busier than ever because they and their clients have been savvy enough to flip their businesses to cope with the changes brought on by Covid-19. They’re feeling tired too. 

Let's be realistic. Things are not going to change for the foreseeable future. Listening to the experts, it's going to be at least 6 months to a year before we get back to anything like what we were used to.

I know I can’t go on for another 12 months trapped in the same four walls so, Sam and I have come up with a solution that hopefully prevents us from having to stay put. It means:

  • It gets us out of our ‘cabin’ (providing there isn’t another complete lockdown) but still enables us to stay in our own ‘bubble’. 
  • We can continue to work. 
  • The dogs come too – yay! 

Over the years I have read countless blog posts written by entrepreneurs who have taken their businesses with them, travelling the world, working on the beach (although I’m not sure sand and laptops are that compatible). 

Well, that’s exactly what we are going to try out over the next few months in Blighty (no trips aboard), with safety paramount for both us and anyone we come into contact with. 

Part of being a freelancer is being able to work flexibly.  The people who've done it seem to tell you how easy it is to work wherever you like, but not many entrepreneurs share how to do it.

What I want to know are the practicalities.

  1. How do I to work safely and securely away from the office? 
  2. What are the implications for me and my clients? 
  3. What back up plan will I need to ensure continuity for all involved? 
  4. Is it still feasible to continue providing the services I currently offer?

We're going to do find out. In real life. 

Over the coming months we will be taking the show on the road. Initially for short stints so we can test how practical it really is and minimise any impact.

We'll try out software, systems, and share our experiences - including the good, the bad, the ugly and of course the nice bits too.

Don’t forget to tune in next week to find out about our great escape and how we plan to do it.

You never know, it may inspire some of you to look at freelancing or working from home in a different way too.

I have a sneaky suspicion that in the not so far off distant future, a lot of homeworkers may just end up doing the same sort of thing.

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