Many freelancers experience the pull of a sunny day, socializing over a coffee or watching a movie. It is one of the drawbacks in working for yourself, that sometimes you need to keep working to meet your deadlines but you just don’t feel like working.
Even when you totally love your freelancing job, there will be times when occasionally your motivation seems to disappear. However, allowing yourself to give in to your reduced motivation can lead to missing deadlines and disappointing clients. To keep your freelance business successful, you must stay motivated. Here are a few top tips to keep you working when work is the last thing you want to be doing.
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1. Keep your work environment comfortable
Comfort can be sometimes forgotten, when a home office is established, but an uncomfortable work space can be a major cause of demotivation. If you are spending plenty of time in front of your computer, you should have a comfortable work space with properly adjusted equipment. Double check your chair is set at the correct height and position, also check your keyboard and monitor are at a comfortable height for extended use.
2. Change your environment
Freelancers have the freedom to work from almost anywhere. If your home office is failing to inspire you then why not have a change of environment. You could relocate to your couch, your yard or even a public space which offers Wi-Fi. Sometimes a change in work environment is all that is needed to re-establish your motivation.
3. Remember why you are a freelancer
Whatever your initial motivation for becoming a freelancer is can be a powerful tool to stay motivated. If it was because of money, take a look at your accounts, if it was to get away from the corporate nine to five, then imagine yourself stuck in rush hour traffic or confined to a work cubicle. Taking a moment to remember why you chose to become a freelancer can boost your motivation and get you straight back to work.
4. Take Breaks
This is not an excuse to avoid work, but taking breaks from the work can help your motivation and productivity. Play little mind games with yourself; when I’ve completed X, I will have a fifteen minute break. When you do have a break don’t stay at your desk. Get up and do something different. This could be a walk, run an errand or reading a book. This will ensure that you will look forward to your breaks and they will freshen up your creativity and energy levels.
5. Reward yourself
Planning rewards can be a huge motivator. It is human nature to respond to rewards. If you are struggling with a difficult or longer term project, then plan a reward for when you complete it. This could be something simple such as having a day out, watching a new movie or even buying yourself a treat. The reward must be something that you’ve been looking forward to, in order to provide maximum motivation.
6. Slot in another project
Usually it is best to avoid interrupting a work flow on a project but if you feel lacking in motivation for a specific project you could slot in another project. This is only an option if your schedule and deadline allows for it, but switching to a different project can allow you a break and may provide fresh motivation and ideas when you return. Try to ensure that the alternative project is completely different from the original using different skills and themes to provide a break.
7. Imagine the work is completed
When working alone and lacking motivation, it can sometimes feel there is no end to a project. Therefore, it can sometimes help to imagine the project is complete. Picture how it will feel knowing you have completed the project to a high standard, imagine receiving your payment and even getting compliments. This can sometimes be enough to get you re-energized and back to work.
8. Maintain a routine
A routine can be a powerful motivational tool. Allowing your work practices to become a habit can train you to work at specific times of the day and week. When you’ve developed the habit of maintaining a routine, you will find it difficult to break. This will mean it will be easier to effectively schedule your day and allow all projects to be completed within their deadlines.
9. Maintain health and fitness
Eating a healthy diet and taking regular exercise can not only improve your general health, but boost energy and help prevent illness. No one feels like working when they feel under the weather, but by maintaining your health and fitness, you will feel energized and reduce the risk of feeling ill.
10. Establish support
A support network can be invaluable in keeping you motivated. Friends or interests outside of your work environment are important to provide a break. It is also important to have access to colleagues or other freelancers who understand the different pressures and can provide mutual support. Sometimes, all you need is a chance to complain and clear your mind in order to get back to work.
11. Don’t over analyze yourself
Finally, try not to over analyze yourself. Realize that perfection is unobtainable and by picking apart a project to make it perfect you will not only jeopardize your confidence but lose motivation. By putting aside this need for perfection and simply concentrating on getting the work done, you will find you work more effectively and productively.
Freelancing can be a lonely business but keeping motivated is the key to success. Dedicating yourself to moving your business forward and getting the work done piece at a time will provide a huge boost to your confidence and productivity. It can be difficult to force creativity, but learn to trick yourself into being motivated by whichever tactic or tips appeals to you the best. By staying true to your ethics and standards, keeping your end goals in sight you will succeed in moving your business forward and achieving the success you desire.
How do you keep yourself motivated while working? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments section below.