Posted by Retta Casavant
Freelance writers have some pretty fabulous perks. Commuting to the office is out which saves time, fossil fuel and effort! Having to make bag lunches or spend money at the cafeteria isn’t a concern. One of the most obvious perks of course, is that while working from home, one can wear their pajamas and pink fuzzy bunny slippers throughout the entire work day. While such attire would be considered exceptionally unprofessional in a formal setting it can help increase productivity of the home bound writer (I am currently looking for data to support this).
While enjoying the benefits and comforts of working from home, the writer must also accept that there are some unique problems with the arrangement. Housework is one of those. It’s hard to block out the house chores while trying to convince yourself to get started on that white paper you’ve been putting off. Suddenly, washing dishes can seem a preferable activity! Other distractions at home (Stella Cat, please get off my keyboard) are many and varied but the successful work-from-home writer has found creative ways to either block the distractions or get around them.
One of the biggest problems for the writer can be caused by the very environment they’ve worked so hard at creating. Working from home can actually contribute to an unhealthy sedentary lifestyle. With no commute to work and no reason to get out of pajamas, not getting out and exercising is often the cost of the cozy home working arrangement.
Incorporating regular exercise into a work-from-home lifestyle just makes good sense. Keeping your body healthy and strong is now known to be the best defense against many illnesses, diseases and in fact aging itself. Exercise improves circulation, cell regeneration and healing. Beyond the physical benefits of exercise though, the writer should be aware that there is much more at stake.
Cognitive psychologist Professor Lorenza Colzato of Leiden University in The Netherlands has been researching the link between creativity and exercise. Results after testing athletes and more sedentary volunteers showed that regular exercise did more than just keep the body healthy, it boosted creative thinking. Creative thinking! Yes, we need more of that!
Without getting too near stereotyping, we can agree that many writers are less than athletically endowed people. We can be a bit nerdy, introverted and not easily engaged in physical activity. However, getting started and sticking to an exercise plan doesn’t have to involve other people, going to a public gym or anything uncomfortable.
Walking is still the easiest, cheapest and most accessible exercise there is. Go for a walk. Do this several times a week. Start with short walks, especially if you are a bit out of shape and lengthen the time of your walks slowly over the next few weeks.
For those who are really averse to getting out, invest in an aerobic exercise DVD or find a program on Netflix. Hey, you are at home, so if you want to keep the pink fuzzy bunny slippers on while you exercise as well, who’s to know or care?
JUST DO IT
Repeated activities become habits. Exercising is a good habit. Take Nike’s advice and just do it. You’ll feel better, be healthier and hopefully those much needed creative juices will flow more freely!