Yes, I made up that word.
Co-working spaces are all the rage. I recently met a guy who freelances from a co-working space. I’ve attended several meetings in these spaces. A non-profit that employs several friends of mine recently opened a satellite office in a co-working space.
While they’re often hip, sleek, and full of perks, paying for a space to work just isn’t feasible for someone like me, who’s just starting out. It also doesn’t make sense—why would I pay for room, a desk, and internet, when I already have all of those things at home? I’ll just work there!
It takes a while to figure this out, so let me save you some time: working at home is just not as easy as it sounds. Even if you consider yourself to be someone with a lot of willpower, as I do, you will probably be more productive in a space dedicated to work. My girlfriend has told me that she doesn’t know anyone better-suited to being a freelancer than me—yet I struggle to focus at my living room desk.
Luckily for us freelancers, coffeeshops—with their warm aromas, free wifi, and low background music—abound. We can camp out with our laptops for hours on end for a only few bucks, (or less, if your conscience can take it.) But there’s an easy way to take your coffeeshop work days to the next level.
Find an accountabilibuddy—someone who will work on their hustle across the table from you.
The first time I teamed up with such a person, my friend Allie and I had quit our jobs within two weeks of each other. We started going to coffeeshops three or more times a week to apply for jobs. We supported each other, reviewed cover letters and résumés, and traded promising listings.
Now, as a freelancer, I have a rotating cast of accountabilibuddies. We meet up, work together but individually, and then part ways. I can’t recommend it highly enough!
Here’s why an accountabilibuddy will do wonders for your productivity:
They get you out of the house.
They look over your shoulder to make sure you’re not on Facebook.
They provide feedback on your work.
They commiserate with you when work is especially tough.
They provide a little diversion when you need to take a break.
But most importantly, an accountabilibuddy is simply another person at work. That means they enable you to create your own co-working space wherever you want. Humans accomplish the most when they work together—so find a buddy to hold you accountable for doing your best work.