Tara Talks: Coworking

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This is a Tara Talks blog post about coworking which might be useful for our single parents who run their own businesses, who freelance or who are looking to set up on their own. One of the biggest challenges when working for yourself in any capacity is maintaining your motivation. I understand that! When we’re trying to fit 26 hours worth of work and home tasks and family time into 24 hours, it can be quite a juggle! Getting the most out of your work time is important if you want to earn what you need to earn and maintain a work/life balance.

There are many ways to boost your productivity and coworking is one that works for many.

What is Productivity?

Being productive in a work situation is basically the act of using your time wisely and getting the most out of it, For example, if you have five full hours of dedicated working time, being productive within these hours will ensure your work time and your home remain separate as work shouldn’t spill over. It will also enable you to reduce your stress levels as using time productively means deadlines are met and you achieve your goals.

A problem many of us have when trying to work from home and do everything else is that we get easily distracted by tasks around us. If you’ve been halfway through a piece of work, gone to make a brew and got back to your work two loads of washing, re-made beds, hoovering and prepping tea later, you’ll know what I mean! I find lunchtime the worse. I can be a productivity queen first thing until I stop for lunch and watch half an episode of something on Netflix. That half an episode becomes two episodes, another brew then a frantic rush to work before having to pick up Isla-Mae.

What is Coworking?

Coworking is going somewhere else to work with others who are doing similar work to yourself. It can be as simple as pitching up in a coffee shop with other freelancers/homeworkers to work or joining a coworking group. There are a number of free coworking groups (look on UK Jelly for groups in your area. There are also paid groups or coworking cafes and other paid for sessions. If paying for coworking is something that will help you with accountability and you can afford that, that’s great, but do look for free coworking sessions first!

I asked Nicki Cawood what happens at her coworking group….

“I set up the Thirsk Coworking Group back in 2017. The idea was to provide a free monthly session open to all at the local library, with great WIFI. People pitch up with laptops and we have a little chat then crack on, then chat, then back to work. This reduces the isolation that many people who work from home struggle with from time to time and also offers accountability and serves as a productivity aid. Basically, you’re not going to Facebook browse or Netflix watch when everyone around you is working, are you?

This free coworking format is something that works for me too as a freelancer of thirteen years. The group has proven to be incredibly popular! Fast forward to 2019 and I now run two sessions a month as well as pop up sessions and the whole community has got behind it. Lots of different people come, those starting a business and those who have been going at it for years. We’ve had graphic designers, copywriters, web developers, photographers and many more come through the door and many come back regularly as they can see that coworking is something that helps them with their productivity and gives them a bit of a shove when it comes to those tasks that keep slipping down the to-do list”.

Coworking and You

I have enjoyed the benefits of coworking via a serviced desk in London and have to agree with what Nicki says; it certainly gives you a push to get things done! If you can’t find a suitable coworking group or set-up near you, you could always set one up yourself. If this is something that interests you leave a comment below and I’ll try and convince Nicki to write an article on that for the main portion of the site.

Do you work for yourself? If so how do you keep yourself going work-wise and avoid procrastination? All tips for that are more than welcome. I’d love to hear your thoughts on being self-employed, coworking and/or your productivity and motivation tips.

Speak soon, I’m just going to add something else to my to-do list before I get distracted!

Tara x

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