This is a video from a Udemy course I created a few years ago to help people maximize their efficiency while working from remotely or from home. Instead of selling it as a paid course, I’m sharing the content here, for free. I hope you find it helpful. -Ron Stauffer

Physical fitness is one of the most important things that you need to be aware of when you’re working from home. I cannot stress this enough — it’s so important.

I’ve already mentioned that there are numerous benefits to going to the gym. One of those that you might not think of is just the simple fact that it gets you out of the house. If you were to look at your schedule as a whole for an entire week, you could probably–literally–stay at home all day, every day, for the entire week.

That’s good in one sense, but it’s not good. It’s not good to stay in your house all day, every day, without ever getting out. Going to the gym is just one example of getting you out of the house. But there are lots of other things you can do. I’ve mentioned some.

You can take a walk. That’s a really great way to get out of the house. For me, I like to take my kids to the park sometimes even during business hours. In the summertime, when the kids are stuck at home and I’m stuck at home, I like to take them to the park and I’ll bring some work with me. I’ll bring some paperwork that needs to be done, or I’ll make some important phone calls, but just the physical act of standing up and walking out of your home office and feeling the sunshine on your face is really important.

There are even scientific studies about this that talk about how getting Vitamin D actually makes you a happier person. I don’t need to read studies to know that about me. I just am aware of it because I eventually get so pent up that I go a little bit stir crazy, and I get cabin fever and I need to get out of the house. Maybe you’re not exactly that way, but it’s good to get in the habit of taking breaks outside of your house.

Some other ideas include things like joining a coworking space. If there’s a local space where people can get together and work in a coworking sort of facility, even if that doesn’t make sense for you or even if you can’t afford it for whatever reason. A lot of times coworking spaces and places like that will offer opportunities for people to have meetings there for free. They’ll host meetups or social events, or maybe you could find like a chamber after hours mixer.

Even if that has nothing to do with your actual business and the work you do, I found it’s good to get out and meet people if at all possible. When I moved to the city that I live in now, it was a little bit weird in the sense that I was able to run my business without almost ever seen any of my clients face to face at all. That’s a good thing because it allows me to work with people that I couldn’t work with otherwise due to geographic restriction. But it’s also a bad thing because it means that for the first three years, I never got out of the house because I didn’t need to, I didn’t join the chamber because I didn’t see it as an added benefit because my clients weren’t here, locally where I live. I didn’t go out to business networking events because I didn’t really need the business and I didn’t really need to make local business contacts.

Let me tell you, when I finally got out of my cocoon, as it were, and went out and met people, even people totally unrelated to my industry, it was nice to be able to see people again and shake hands and say, “Hi, my name is Ron. Here’s what I do. What do you do?”

Don’t discount the importance of meeting people or going places where other people go, even if it doesn’t directly turn into a financial benefit to you or your business. Another great example of this is if you’re working for an employer that’s based somewhere else, maybe you live in Denver, let’s say, but your employer’s headquarters are in Chicago or New York City. You might think, “There is no reason for me to leave my home office and try and get involved in the local business community because my business is based elsewhere.” And you’re right to an extent, but also you’re wrong in the sense that, here’s a terrible example: what if you get laid off?

If you lose your job, what if your employer goes out of business? You are going to feel very isolated. You’re going to feel like an Island out in the middle of nowhere, because you will have not made relationships with people that you can visit with regularly outside of work.

So in whatever fashion you can, if you can join a bridge club, or I don’t even know, like a comic book club or some sort of local collective of musicians, or make pottery at a local maker space… I highly recommend you get out of your house. Go do something that is either related to your business or not meet with people, interact with them and talk to them. It will help you feel less isolated inside your, your familiar four walls. Because working in your home office all day, every day can be miserably confining, and you can really get cabin fever and you can kind of feel isolated like nobody likes you or knows you or cares about you. Even if that’s not true, it can really start to feel oppressive unless you get out and meet people or go do something that’s unrelated to your work.

So find opportunities whether they have anything to do with your business or not.