Archive for February 15th, 2011

Do You Suffer from Isolation?

I see the topic of isolation come up occasionally in our industry conversations, and it’s something that has me curious.

It’s definitely a legitimate issue since many people bring the topic up every so often. I’m not judging or discounting it, but I have to admit I’ve never understood it.

When I was in the workforce, I loved to gab with others as much as the next person, but when I was intent on working, I really didn’t like being bothered and much preferred to be alone.

I remember one position I had where we sat in quads with four people inside a cubicle. There was one girl who chattered away incessantly every single day, all day long, from the the time we arrived until it was time to go home. It about drove me insane!

(Come to think of it, I’m sort of like that in my personal life. Our home is my cocoon. I can’t stand people dropping by unannounced and don’t like lots of company. Just me and my honey-bunny. But get me out on the town or have me throw a party, and I’m a totally gregarious social butterfly.)

One of the things I love about working for myself from my own home office is that I don’t have to deal with the Chatty Kathies anymore. I can totally go into my own little world and work without distraction for hours on end to my heart’s content.

Yet I never suffer from feelings of isolation.

Generally speaking, I work until I don’t feel like working and then I stop. I just let my body, mind and mood be my guide.

I have a full life outside of business so there’s always something else to do if that’s what I feel like. And if I need to take a little break during the day now and then (which I do frequently) and want to connect with colleagues, that’s what online forums and groups and listservs are great for.

On those occasions when I’d like a bit of human contact and live socializing, I just scoop up my laptop and head to one of my favorite local coffee shops.

Of course, I do realize that I consciously and intentionally engineered my life this way. And for that I am deeply grateful every single day.

I’m assuming other people have family, friends and other interests outside of their businesses. So for those who still suffer from feeling isolated, I’m curious about why or when those feelings comes up for you.

Is it the need for the physical presence of other people? Does networking and conversing in our industry forums alleviate isolation for you at all?

If you have kids at home while you work, does that help alleviate feelings of isolation or do you really just need more adult interaction?

Or are you just working so much and have so much to do, you just don’t have time to partake in anything that would alleviate those feelings? (This, I suspect, is at the root more often than not.)

Is that lack of self-care in that particular area affecting your work/life and if so, in what ways?

Please do share in this discussion as I think it will be really helpful to those who are suffering with this issue in our industry. :)