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The Working Day

Getting the Most out of Your Weekends

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What are the weekends, really? I find myself asking this sometimes after a long work week. Being a workaholic and owning my own business means that I am generally writing on a Saturday afternoon or cramming in an assignment to get ahead of the work week on Sunday night. It is truly difficult for me to give myself a day off.

I realize I can’t go on this way forever, which is why I try mostly to contain my assignments to the week. But even that is hard. I justify working on the weekends when I recall the times during the week that I take a nap, dart out to the gym or treat myself to tea. Those are the times I think about the 9-to-5 corporate slaves and grin.

But there’s something that they have, which I believe I do not. I realize that those 9-to-5ers generally have more of an appreciation for weekends, and they can easily enjoy them. After all, by the time Friday at 5 p.m. hits, it’s like a jail breakout. Most 9-to-5ers leave the office, and they’re done with work. Because they don’t have to be at their office, and aren’t near it, (and yes, most of them are miserable at what they do), they are more apt to relish the weekend, not working at all—really recharging themselves and having fun!

How on Earth do they do that? And how can a self-employed person get the most out of their weekends, too?


The Minimalistic Office

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Although working freelance means freedom from that vile cubicle, a proper workspace is still a necessity. But finding such a place can be a challenge, especially for someone starting out with limited funds.

In my case, I share a small apartment with two other people, which makes space even more scarce. I can’t afford to rent office space (though on some days, the nearby public library works well) so what is a freelancer to do?

The solution for me: commandeer the coffee table! It’s the most minimalistic, yet functional solution I could find.

Everything in it’s Right Place

My laptop sits on the far left side and acts as the nexus for this whole setup. In a horizontal row next to it are my key chain (with a 2 gigabyte USB drive hanging from it), cellphone and my transit pass holder, which doubles as a place to store business cards.

One nifty feature added to the coffee table office is a lazy-susan, which holds a small box of index cards for filing away little notes. Around it are other pieces of stationary that I can grab quickly by spinning.


The Best Office in the World

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One of the most important questions any freelancer will ask themselves in the early days of embarking upon a life of being one’s own boss, is do I work at home or do I pay rent and get my own office? The decision should not be exclusively based on cost, there is also an overhead of efficiency. Can you be trusted to work diligently and efficiently in your own home or is the temptation of distraction too much? But what most people might not consider, is a third alternative, and this alternative may be the perfect compromise between working at home and the office: your local public library.

The library is an office away from home, and, brace yourself for this, it’s available to you entirely rent-free! But that’s not all. It’s quiet enough to allow you to work productively, but it also gives you the option of a real-life corporate office if you so desire, with the gentle flow of both young and old drifting to-and-fro while you work, and all with only the quietest of noise and disruption. If you are particularly imaginative, you can even pretend the entire library is your own organization; take it a step further and imagine all the people in the library are your employees, and they’re being quiet because you’re the boss and they don’t want to upset the boss. Not that I’ve ever thought that, of course. Far too busy freelancing for that kind of imagination…


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