Forgetting Everyday Habits

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Before COVID, I loved working at coffee shops. Because I’m an extreme extrovert, the thought of working from home and not seeing another person was torturous. So nearly every day I would pack up my laptop and head anyplace where I could see, hear and interact with other people.

So, when the coffee shops suddenly shut their doors and became drive-thru only, I was forced to set up my office inside my home having no contact with the outside world. It has been a rough road.

Then, after seven months (and counting) some coffee shops began to open their patios and set up outside tables. I can finally get back to my much missed routine.

It never dawned on me, though, that I may have forgotten some very basic things. You can imagine my complete surprise when I was sitting on the patio of my favorite coffee shop, laptop open and ready to go, and I can’t logon to the internet. I have totally forgotten how!

It took a few minutes for my brain to reboot and it all came back to me. Isn’t it interesting, though, that one of my everyday habits, something I knew like the back of my hand, was suddenly erased from my memory. With all the new habits I have formed over the last few months, I wonder how many old habits I have forgotten. Only time will tell.


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Being an Extrovert in a Work at Home World

Professional Speaker-Professional Development-Positive Attitude

Most of us have heard about the book titled Quiet made famous by Susan Cain.  She talks about the trials and tribulations of introverts in a “World that Can’t Stop Talking.”

Well, I’d like to bring attention to the flip side; to all the extroverts out there and the challenges we face in today’s “work at home” culture.

Just about every day someone comments on how lucky I am to work at home.  They envy me and wish they could do the same.  It sounds so inviting to set your own schedule, take a break whenever you want, and even work in your pajamas all day if you choose.

But the reality is – for me – it’s torturous!!!  It’s terribly lonely!

You see, I’m an extrovert in every sense of the word.  I thrive on companionship, interaction with other people and conversation.  To be alone all day with no one to speak to is definitely not a good match for me.  It’s taken me a few years to figure it out, and slowly but surely I’m learning  to deal with this “work at home” lifestyle.

If you should find yourself in the same situation, here are three tips that have helped me survive:

First: Plan your day the evening before.  Know exactly when your energy needs a pick-me-up and head out the door for some interaction with people.  I head to the nearest library or coffee shop.  Even if I don’t know anybody there, the new atmosphere and the buzz of the people surrounding me keeps me energized and on task.

Second: Identify your favorite escape places.  It could be a park, café, coffee house, or anyplace you can go whenever the boredom begins to set in.  When I need a quiet place to write my blog or a speech, I know which libraries have quiet rooms and/or lovely views.  When I need more commotion around me, I often try one of the new coffee houses in town.  I actually keep a list in my car so I can pick and choose which location is best for me that day.

Third: Stop making excuses.  For years, whenever I told anyone that I don’t like working at home, they would look at me like I had three heads.  I immediately went into defense mode – often thinking that something must be wrong with me.  There’s nothing wrong with me!  I just happen to be an extrovert who loves being around people.

So what are your thoughts on working at home?  I’d love to hear how you survive the loneliness.

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Working for Yourself: Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

I hear it all the time:

How wonderful it must be to work for yourself. Be your own boss.  Set your own schedule.  Work from home.

The truth is – I HATE IT!!!  I hate the solitude.

If you’ve ever met me, you know I’m an extrovert. I thrive on the presence of people, I love the sound of their voice, I’m stimulated by conversation.  So no matter how great it sounds to work from home –  in your pajamas and bunny slippers – it just doesn’t work for me.

So if you’re an extrovert like I am, and you struggle with the loneliness of being your own boss, what do you do? How do you deal with being alone all day, every day?

Well, here are three different ideas that have helped me:


  1. Schedule coffee dates. This helps me get out of the house/office and have some interaction with another human being. There’s just a couple of possible pitfalls to be aware of. First of all, make sure your coffee partner is someone who can help you or you can help in return, otherwise, you’ll become frustrated, feeling like you’ve wasted your time. Secondly, at nearly $5.00 for a latte these days, it can become a bit expensive, so be sure to budget properly.
  2. I love going to the local library to work. I’m surrounded by people, even if they are strangers.  And the surroundings really help to keep me focused. There is no TV, no laundry, no refrigerator calling to me. Besides, the library has large tables where I can spread out, they have free wi-fi, and a bathroom. What more can a girl ask for?
  3. Finding nooks and crannies in nature. Living in Wisconsin with below zero temperatures right now is NOT a good time to be outside.  But as soon as the weather breaks, I’ll be heading down one of the many walking trails, looking for that perfect bench overlooking a lake or river or ravine. That’s where I do a lot of my writing. I’m still in solitude, but for some reason, the natural surroundings make me feel like I’m transported to another place.

And that, my dear friends, are just three ways that I survive the loneliness of working for myself. Do you have other ideas to share?   Any other tricks that can help us satisfy our craving for camaraderie?

And for those of you who do not feel that sting of loneliness, please share your thoughts on working for yourself, by yourself. I’d love to hear the other side of this story.

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