It's been a while but The Freelancer's Guide to Getting Out of the House is back, with its 19th entry: Sedum Restaurant at Chessington Garden Centre!
(Although, technically, it is still only the 18th: I stopped off for a coffee at Mike's Kitchen in Carshalton last week, only to discover that it's closed down. Sad to see a good cafe go but apparently a new one will be opening up there soon.)
As you should know by now, I am the Queen of Procrastination. If there's something trivial I can be doing to put off starting work, I will find it. An article on the internet with absolutely no relevance to me or my writing business? Let me just read it quickly. A cupboard that is quietly sitting in the corner of the room, troubling nobody but that could probably use a tidy at some point in the future? I better just sort that first. You name it, I can be distracted by it.
Which reminds me actually, I haven't had a go at the Guardian quick crossword yet this morning - back in a minute.
Right, where was I? Oh yes, my new addition to The Freelancer's Guide.
I've spoken many times before about how working from home can be deceptively hard. There are so many reasons to keep getting out of your chair and stepping away from your computer and, therefore, the work (or in my case, the writing) you are supposed to be doing. That's why I try and get out as much as I can (dependent on how much money I have to spare on cappuccinos, of course): sitting in a cafe for a couple of hours means I have nowhere else to go and no house-related issues to disturb me.
I can do this quite happily on my own but there are times when it's helpful to have other like-minded people around you. Take last week, for example. I went with a friend and business colleague to All Saints Coffee Shop in Leatherhead for a co-working session: we set up our laptops, ordered coffee and worked in companionable silence.
I was trying to figure out a new set of business blog writing packages and I was pretty happy with the deals I'd come up with. I thought I'd run them past my friend before I hit 'publish' on my website; you know, just to make sure they were as good as I was smugly thinking they were. She looked at them and immediately pointed out something glaringly obviously incorrect. A second pair of eyes is always SO useful...
On this occasion a group of us headed on up to Sedum Restaurant for another great co-working session. It's huge, so there's no guilt over taking up space and only buying a drink once an hour (although I also treated myself to soup and bread for lunch, which was delicious). We parked ourselves up right at the back, so we could access the plug sockets, although we could have chosen one of about forty other tables to sit at.
Sedum is one I will be using again: despite its size it wasn't too noisy (however, we went during the morning and it was obviously starting to fill up around lunchtime), there's loads of space if you need to spread out, the WiFi was fast and there's a massive selection of food and drink to choose from.
It's definitely one that's better if you're with others to guard your stuff, though. It's likely you'll be sat a long way from the food counters and toilets, so if you're on your own you'll have to lug all your valuables with you each time you want to get up from the table.
Now I'm on the hunt for the 20th entry to The Freelancer's Guide to Getting Out of the House: got somewhere you think I should visit? Let me know!