The Freelancer's Guide to Getting Out of the House - Part 3!

April 17, 2017

One of the biggest productivity killers for most people is the internet, which is not surprising really. One click and you're connected to almost EVERYTHING in the entire world. And the entire world can be pretty distracting, I've found.


When I'm working (i.e. writing for profit), having a speedy connection to the internet is invaluable. I often need to research certain topics or check a tricky grammar point and if I'm away from home then the web is obviously the quickest way to do this. No type of electronic wizardry will every replace books for me but if I had to physically transport copies of every tome I might need when writing for a client then I probably wouldn't get past my own driveway.


So, while we all agree that generally, for us work-from-home freelancers who want to sit somewhere different for a while, visiting cafés with a fast WiFi set up is a good thing.  But there are occasions when the ability to check your social media, catch up on the news around the globe and see what's happening on the animal cams at is not conducive to getting anything productive done.


I urge you to check out the Explore website when you have got some spare time (although not now obviously: I know you'll have the courtesy to finish reading this first) but beware: it's a massive time-zapper. I only popped over to get the link for this page but ended up spending 20 minutes watching live footage of nesting fruit bats in Michigan...


There are times, however, when having the internet does nothing but get in the way of anything I'm trying to achieve. When I'm concentrating on my own fiction writing then being able to be distracted by useless info about films I haven't watched for twenty years on IMDB is not helpful. So, when I want to leave the clutter of my dining room table (I mean, 'desk') behind but don't want to spend that time thinking 'I'll just check Twitter once more before I REALLY get going' then there's one local place I can head:


The Olive Tree Restaurant at Ashtead Park Garden Centre

There are several reasons why I like working here (the ambience, the decor, the amazing Millionaire's Shortbread) but the real plus point in this scenario is that they have no public WiFi. The last time I came to the Olive Tree I sat down and wrote non-stop, with the only distraction being my occasional thought of 'can I justify another slice of cake if I pretend it's for reviewing purposes?'


It's a big, airy space (so you might need to try several tables to ensure you avoid the glare from the windows on your laptop screen) and the staff are friendly. It's usually fairly busy but it's large enough that I've never found the noise from people chatting too overwhelming. The last coffee I had here was really good and, if you've worked hard and want to treat yourself, the lunch menu is lovely. Plus, the garden centre and shop are well worth a wander around afterwards.


Next time in The Freelancer's Guide to Getting Out of the House: I'm going to Guildford!


Right, small boy is back to school tomorrow so I expect I'm about to realise that I've spectacularly failed to ensure that he's got any clean uniform to wear...


Have a good week everybody!





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