My biggest ambition is to be an author, which is why I’ve spent the last few years “writing” novels.” I say “writing” because it’s been a pretty on/off experience.
One month I’ll be really into it and get really excited about the progress I’m making. The next month, I’ll forget all about it and start learning Spanish or building a new website. And then I’ll pick it back up again… You know the drill.
Last year, I even made a bet that I’d finish my novel within a year. And I did. But only because I pumped out most of those words during the month before the deadline.
No matter how many times I came up with a plan to sit down at whatever o’clock every day and work on the same project, I was never able to make it happen for more than a few days.
I’m more externally motivated than internally motivated, so making promises to myself never works. Maybe you experience the same frustration.
Well, guess what! For the two months or so, I’ve been spending two hours almost every weekday on my novel. Each day at 2pm, I sit down on my sofa and plug away at it, and I’m never tempted to shut down my computer and go do something else.
How have I done this? With co-working!
You’ve probably heard of co-working before. It involves working at the same time and in the same place as other people. Lots of solo entrepreneurs pay a certain amount of money each month to work in co-working spaces instead of at home alone.
But I’ve been co-working from the comfort of my own living room thanks to the Puttylounge. The Puttylounge is a new part of the Puttytribe where puttypeep go to work on their own projects alongside other puttypeep.
The Puttylounge is open 24/7, but we also have co-working huddles at set times. At the start of a co-working huddle, everyone takes it in turn to say what they’re going to be working on. Then everyone mutes themselves, minimizes the huddle screen, and gets to work. At the end of a huddle, everyone feeds back to the group.
Why co-working works
This system works really well for people who are externally motivated like me, because not only do you have somewhere to be at a certain time (kind of like how you know you have to go to your Spanish class at 7pm on a Monday evening), but also because you can see everyone else working, so you feel a bit of pressure to get your head down too.
Just like it can be hard to get yourself to practice speaking Spanish at home, but it’s easy to motivate yourself to go to your evening class and practice there, it’s much easier to work on your projects when you have a set time and place to work on them in the company of other people who are doing the same.
Co-working is whatever you want it to be
I can’t tell you how good it feels to make progress on a long-term goal every day. But co-working isn’t just for big projects like writing a novel.
- Lauren sometimes practices playing the hammered dulcimer (an instrument). Other time she works on her dissertation and does client work.
- Mary also does client work, but sometimes works on her upcoming blog.
- Luis has been working on the landing page for his upcoming Spanish course and he’s also learning to draw!
As you can see, co-working gives you a great opportunity to focus on some of your hobbies and projects that might never seem urgent but that you really enjoy.
If you think you’d enjoy co-working, consider joining the Puttytribe! The doors open tomorrow, Tuesday June 23.
Have you done any co-working before? How has it helped you with your various interests and projects?