1. You talk and sing to yourself
I found myself doing this surprisingly quickly. Working from a cafe or bar where there’s too much white noise can be expensive, so some days, you end up spending a lot of time at home alone. While “stir crazy” might be a strong term, you’ll find yourself wanting to talk, even with nobody else around.
For example, when suffering from writer’s block, I aimlessly wander around from room to room muttering new ideas under my breath. Or, when I want food, I’ll hum songs and and then sing about the items in my food cupboard and fridge.
I’m pretty sure I haven’t gone mad, but an outsider might disagree. Admittedly, I now have a few theme songs for certain activities like running a bath and making a sandwich. And if I am crazy, I’m not alone. Just ask Marshall from How I Met Your Mother.
2. You cook a lot more
Other than making cheese sandwiches or pasta, I was never much of a cook before I became a freelancer. But when I started working at home, and the kitchen was only a few feet away, I turned to cooking as a way to procrastinate.
I made an effort to learn new recipes so that I wasn’t just eating out of the microwave every day. I never got too advanced, but I did get obsessed with Pimp That Snack, a site that taught you how to make giant versions of biscuits and sweets. As you can see, there are different kinds of productivity, especially if they help you delay more important work.
3. You meet your postman
The first time I saw my postman delivering a package, he seemed shocked to encounter someone early in the day. We had a little insignificant chat before he continued on his route. The weird part here isn’t so much about the postman, but you start to notice all these little things that happen during the day when you work at home. You bump into neighbors, hear sporadic creaks from your house, and start to recognize every car that drives down your street. Receiving your mail becomes part of a routine, rather than just something you take for granted.
4. You rearrange your furniture 11,000 times
When you spend long hours in one room all day, little things start to annoy you. You think your bookcase is a few inches too far to the left, but moving that would throw off the spatial relationship with your couch, and by the time you fix that, the lamp placement starts gnawing at you.
While searching for the right feng shui is certainly a sign of procrastination, it’s also a normal adjustment when you spend most days in a similar setting. You’ll know it’s gone too far, though, if you start stripping wallpaper and installing new radiators.
5. Daytime TV suddenly becomes incredible
Watching television during business hours is just a form of blatant procrastination unless you do all your work in the evening. In an office, it’s easy to casually mock the people at home watching Jeremy Kyle and Judge Judy. Who could spend hours watching those dreadful morning shows?
Well, it turns out you are one of those people. We all are. Even the most pretentious people would have trouble resisting the charms of Relocation, Relocation when they’re thoroughly fed up with work. First you catch a show during lunch, then you flip through the channels while eating a snack, and before long, you realize it’s 5 pm.
Abstinence is the only guaranteed protection against the seduction of shlocky television. The shows are just too addictive, and there seems to be an endless supply of programming always at your disposal.
6. You lose touch with the world
Huge bricks of the population are working office jobs, and since a good amount of daily interaction is built around that majority, you’ll probably start to feel left out.
One of the perks of freelancing is setting your own flexible schedule, but at times, that advantage can turn into a disadvantage. Making plans becomes difficult. Eventually, you likely end up with very strange sleeping patterns. To some, these consequences won’t apply, but it’s worth considering. Having more freedom is great, but with a lack of discipline, you’ll take up an oddly isolated lifestyle if you’re not careful.
7. You miss the office
Like the city boy moving out to the country, or the country boy moving to the city, we begin to miss what we once chose to abandon. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, especially when you’re absent from the inane chit-chat you have about sports and lunch orders, the awkward work parties, and the idiotic inside jokes only funny amongst colleagues.
Of course, if you ever went back to full-time employment, you’d just hate all of those quirks within a week.
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