Self-isolating? This is how freelancers can make the most of their time at home

Received that dreaded ping from Test and Trace? The fast-spreading Omicron variant means lots of us are coming into contact with someone who has Covid. For some, 10 days of forced self-isolation is the perfect excuse for peace and quiet. For others it's a massively boring inconvenience.

If you're a freelancer, and you're lucky enough to not have Covid symptoms, this is how to get busy during your 10 days of self-isolation.

Brush up on new (or forgotten) skills

Remember lockdown #1 when we all vowed to write our debut novel or learn the banjo? Many of us reached for new things because we had so much time to kill. Now Covid has been with us for quite a while the novelty of this has worn off slightly, but you can get it back.

The skill you pick up could be coding, learning a new software, an online course, or a language. But it doesn't have to be directly related to your work to be valuable. Learning something new and challenging improves memory, exercises neglected or underused parts of our brain, and even boosts mood.

Sort your workspace out

If there's a stack of dusty books on your desk, the peace lily is dying, and your cables have been annoyingly tangled for years, a 10-day isolation is the perfect opportunity to sort it right out.

A comfortable workspace = better productivity. It doesn't have to be pristine if that's not your style, but removing lingering mess and fixing things that bother you will do you - and your work - the world of good.

Reflect on your business

10 days of self-isolation gives you time to stop and think about what your freelance business currently looks like and where it's going. Maybe you're not working with the most profitable or interesting clients. Maybe you want to move towards working with one particular sector. Maybe you want to retrain completely or move into a co-working space when your isolation time is up. Let your mind go and explore what you want in 2022.

Connect with other freelancers

When you're self-isolating it's easy to feel, well, isolated.

A lot of meet-ups and networking events have returned to face-to-face but there are still lots of opportunities to video chat, message, and join online groups while you're stuck at home. Make time to talk to your peers across different industries and skill sets, whether you're venting, sharing, or debating. You might find you make some handy work connections and some good friends along the way.

Enjoy some time off

Productivity and motivation is important, but it's not everything. Covid has had many of us working flat out and that's not sustainable.

If your message from Test and Trace to self-isolate has come at a time when you're burnt out, it's time to chill and get a full 8 hours every night. A few days of pure rest can boost wellbeing, reduce anxiety, rebalance your work/life balance, improve your home life and family relationships, and much more.

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