In the few years before she died, my mother did something I never understood.
She would drive to our local grocery store each afternoon. My father had passed away a few years earlier and she was living alone. As a thoroughly logical and pragmatic young man, I thought it would be smarter to do bigger shopping trips once a week. She would save on gas and not have to hassle with traffic, parking or whatever each day.
But now, as a guy who works alone at home every morning and afternoon, I get it: She needed daily “micro-moments” of human interaction to maintain her spirit.
I’m an introvert, so I have no need for constant person-to-person interaction. But as the years have passed working from home, I’ve discovered that I need at least a little contact with people and the outside world each day. It’s not to charge my batteries. Too much personal interaction drainsmy batteries. I think of it more as refreshing my batteries.
This truth slapped me upside the head the other day when my wife teased me because I make a trip to the grocery store several times every week.
On my god! I’ve become my mom!
I started to think about it and I realized that I was being prompted by a basic urge to “get out of the house and see people” every day. Understanding this is critical because it puts us – or me at least – in a position to direct it in productive ways. I say this because if solopreneurs, freelancers, or anyone who works alone from home don’t satisfy this need properly, it can result in very unproductive work habits.
A dependence on social media and constant email checking will start to take over too large of a place in your work day. It is far wiser to proactively plan micro-moments of human interaction than ignore your needs and slip into social media and email addiction.
Along with my trips to the store, I hit the gym a couple of days each week and take my laptop to the library every so often. There are other miscellaneous errands I run. I like taking care of small things for my wife. I get my micro-moments in and I feel good about making her life a bit easier at the same time. She teaches in the public schools and can be a bit harried by the end of her workday.
I think many solopreneurs and freelancers hang at the local coffee shop to satisfy this need. That’s one strategy that I have done much, but I should try to work it into my schedule more often. (One problem is that I like the coffee I make at home better than most coffee shop brews!)
I don’t know what the ideal menu of micro-getaways looks like for you, but I do know that without consciously tending to this basic human need, many of you will turn to productivity killers – like social media – and decrease your ability to earn and move your business forward.