Finding motivation as a freelancer can be challenging, especially when the at-home office also doubles up as the dining room table or the family couch. It’s also hard to harness motivation if you’re working alone – without the general camaraderie of colleagues in an office. Despite these challenges, millions of people are working as freelancers in today’s world. Sometimes they just need a little motivation boost to get them through the day.
While those impending direct debits and monthly bills might serve as initial motivation, there is no denying that freelancing can be tricky. This is why it’s essential to find daily inspiration. Here we explore 5 top tips to find motivation as a freelancer, even when demotivation looms.
Create a routine
Routines are one of the best ways that you can find motivation. Despite the challenges of freelancing, you also have the freedom to create a routine on your terms. Since you don’t have to be at an office at a designated time, you can create a morning routine that inspires you. Countless entrepreneurs and professionals have shared the importance of a morning routine, which undoubtedly sets the tone for your day. Whether waking up at 5 am and going for a run, journaling before you engage with work emails, or getting up at 6 am to complete your first task before going for a swim, a routine positively starts your day. As author John C. Maxwell shares:
“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret to success is found in your daily routine.”
Creating a bespoke routine that considers your tasks, goals, and biggest motivators is a great way to find motivation. Routines can include slots for meetings or checking emails, lunch breaks, recreational activities, and errands. Of course, as a freelancer, a certain level of flexibility is expected but a basic routine can spark motivation and keep you on track.
Network with other freelancers or start a working group
A fantastic way to boost motivation is to engage with other freelancers or business professionals, whether they are in your field or not. Create a weekly work check-in whereby you all set specific tasks and goals for the week and share your success. You might also consider starting a workgroup if you have the available space or if there is a local coffee shop where you can work. Even if you meet once or twice a week, this can boost motivation and enhance productivity.
Freelancing can naturally feel a little lonely sometimes, especially if you’re working alone. Creating a working group or networking with other freelancers can create a sense of community and a dynamic working hub.
Check out local co-working spaces
If you cannot start a working group yourself, why not consider working at a local co-working space? These office-type spaces offer freelancers an office feel without constraints and are undoubtedly a fantastic place to meet other freelancers and work within an office-style environment. Sometimes a change of scenery can dramatically boost motivation and lessen those at-home distractions. You might also yield some brilliant work connections and embark on some new ventures as a result.
Move your body
Moving your body is a fantastic way to boost those endorphins (hello, happy hormones) and get the blood flowing. This can boost feelings of well-being and significantly reduce stress. Starting your day with a light walk, some gentle stretching, or a full-blown workout can set a positive tone and result in great motivation. Similarly, if you find yourself hitting a mid-afternoon slump, take a few moments to walk around the block or do a quick online exercise tutorial. The impact of exercise has been well researched, and key advantages of regular movement include:
- Reduced anxiety and depression (two terrible demotivators)
- Improved sleep (which gives you more energy for the workday ahead)
- Enhanced self-esteem (which allows you to tackle big projects); and
- Greater motivation and happiness.
Manage tasks and tick them off
Daily disruptions can wreak havoc for freelancers, especially when working from home. These come in many forms, from screaming little ones during school holidays to postal deliveries at your door. Over time, these small distractions can hinder motivation and stop you from achieving tasks. This is why it is so essential to stay on track.
Many freelancers and small business owners opt to use online management platforms. The freelance management platform works via a centralized dashboard. It has a suite of 9 tools, including task tracking, an online calendar, a communication portal, and an invoice and estimate generating apparatus. Motivation is assured by keeping track of tasks and ticking them off as completed. The calendar feature also allows you to plan projects and deadlines accordingly and stay on course with your goals.
If social media hinders your focus, you might also try a tool like Work Mode, which switches off social media while you’re busy with a task.
Take a break and treat yoursel
An important part of freelancing is also taking time out. It can be easy to work into the night when your home office is on your couch. Strict times for fun, rest, and play are essential to staying motivated. While striking that balance might initially feel daunting, adequate rest allows you to be more productive during your office hours. Taking tea breaks between tasks also offers a sense of achievement and allows you to reorientate your mind toward the next task.
After a busy week or a particularly stressful project, it’s also important to reward yourself. This doesn’t have to break the bank but might be a meal from your favorite restaurant with a loved one, an at-home spa session, a picnic in the garden, or a new plant. Scientific studies have linked rewards to motivation, eliciting positive emotions in the brain.
Have the Right Tools Ready
Being a freelancer gives you the liberty to work according to your rules, but it is also challenging in many ways. When you work with an organization, you get all the required tools from them to complete the tasks. The same does not work for the freelancer. They have to arrange the tools and applications all by themselves.
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Freelancing can be a stressful endeavor, but it can also offer unparalleled freedom. Finding motivation can sometimes feel tricky, but following our 6 tips might ignite some inspiration and guide you towards a more motivated future.
What are your top motivation tips? Share with us below.