8 Tips for Staying Motivated as a Freelancer

This article was contributed by Pawan Sahu.

Motivation is the key to any job but it is especially crucial for work like freelancing.

Needless to say, a great advantage with freelancing is that you have the sole authority of your job which means you can work whenever and wherever you want. However, this can lead to procrastination and eventually losing hope in your work.

High-Paying Freelancing Careers

When it comes to freelancing, web developers, graphic designers, and people specialized in certain disciplines come out on top. With the advent of new technology and use of mobile phones, the scope of web designing and development has been thriving worldwide over the past few years, as has specialized niches such as branding, digital and UX.

To become a specialized freelancing professional, you have a few options: You can either join a full university program or self teach using an online course such as Udemy (just $11-$15) or elsewhere. Or if you just want to travel and work, see here for a list of the best travel jobs.

Once you’ve honed your craft, ensure you stay motivated by following these 8 tips:

How to stay motivated as a freelancer

Graphic Design Freelancer at Computer

1. Set goals

Like any other work, setting goals is the first step to any successful yet motivated freelancing work. Follow the list below to get a clear idea of how to accomplish this :

  • Make a list of objectives that you want to achieve by the end of the week and divide them into daily do-able tasks.
  • Don’t too much burden in one day and also try not to pile up one day’s task to the subsequent day.
  • Make a checklist, crossing things from the list once they are done definitely gives happiness and a feeling of satisfaction.

2. Create a Routine

Not working in an office doesn’t mean you can’t have a routine. Make a schedule;

  • Wake up early, like you would in a normal office job.
  • If you are not a morning person and you think you can work more effectively at night then make a routine that fits your night schedule.

Discover when you are most creative and maximize that time!

See here for the The Best Time Of The Day To Do Things As A Designer.

3. Use a Designated Place for Working

Apple Office

It is definitely a great thing that you don’t have to sit in a cubicle in an office for straight 8 hours but assigning a place in your house just for working is really important. It prevents mess and you don’t have to move constantly move due to any given reason. Make sure to keep the following things in mind while assigning a fixed place for work:

  • Try to make this place away from your bed or else you’ll end up sleeping whenever you feel tired.
  • Keep it close to a window with good air flow. A lighted area and a fresh smelling room can help a lot in idea generation and mood stabilization.
  • Keep a notebook in your workplace and make sure it’s on a reachable site so whenever an idea pops up, you can immediately write it down.
  • Plants help boost mood & creativity as do certain foods.

See here for Tips for Creating an Inspiring Home Freelance Office

4. Don’t Procrastinate

It’s a common habit among people to do all the work on the 11th hour, delaying all the work until the deadline is near. Completing any task at the last minute, not only just kills creativity but it also causes your work to feel like a burden, ultimately developing hatred toward it.

  • Start working on your project as soon as it is given to decrease the burden on your future self.
  • Follow your passion not just for work, but also for fun. Take some time out of your day or week and go to places that inspire you to follow your passion and keeps you engaged in it.

This helps you fall in love with your work all over again and also generates more creative ideas than before.

5. Stay Focused

Office Admin

Mobile phones are one of the biggest distractions that modern day freelancers suffer. Put your phone on silent when working and keep checking it with a minimum turnaround time of 1-2 hour. Follow the below steps to develop a more productive routine:

  • Keep your phone away.
  • Set alarm on your desktop or any other device you are working on to remind you to take a break after few hours. It also prevents you from exhausting yourself.
  • Take a maximum of 5 to 10 minutes break between work for tea/coffee/bathroom. Any longer and you will have to convince yourself  to start again and it will take additional time to get in the mood and start working with full concentration again.
  • Maximize your time in the zone.

6. Find Inspiration & Socialize

As a freelancer, it is common to restrict yourself within the boundaries of your house, leaving it only for necessary tasks like buying groceries etc. Making yourself isolated from the world, doesn’t only make you more prone to irritability and depressive symptoms, it also doesn’t let your mind have that peace it requires for thinking properly. Therefore:

  • Go out and see places e.g. architectural masterpieces, museums, restaurants, beaches. In short, anything that provides you with inspiration.
  • Socialize with people, it’s better if you socialize with people of the same profession of yours to stimulate ideas and also it gives more common things to talk about.

7. Stay healthy

Fruit and Veg

It may look unnecessary but a healthy mind needs a healthier body. If you are physically tired, you can’t work as efficiently as you should.

  • Exercise, even a light 20 to 30 minutes workout is enough to wake you up
  • Go for walk: Brisk walking for around 20 minutes can freshen up your mood and mind
  • Eat healthily. Avoid eating too much fast food. Cook for yourself and utilize the free time you have.

8. Remember Why you Took This Work

Freelancing can get overwhelming but you have to remind yourself why you took this work in the first place. Here are some of the merits of freelancing if you forgot them:

  • You don’t have to report to anyone. You are your own boss!
  • You can work from any place in this world, from your home to a café.
  • You have more freedom to choose what project you want to work on.
  • If the workload gets too much you can always break it up into chunks and do them in divided days.

Following the tips above can help you stay motivated as a freelancer. Keep reminding yourself that choosing to was a great decision, remembering all the accomplishments you have achieved so far and keep working hard. It will all be worth it in the end.

More Freelancing Tips

  • Full Time to Freelance – A Step-By-Step Guide on How To Go Freelance
  • The Ultimate Guide on How to Find New Clients
  • How to Command Higher Fees by Positioning Yourself as an Expert
  • How to Sell Your Creative Ideas: 3 Fail-Proof Methods
  • View all Freelancing Articles

Do you have any more motivational tips to add?

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