But, of course, you have to work. You’ve got deadlines and besides you need the money.
Every freelancer has times when they struggle with motivation. You may struggle to stay motivated on Friday after a long week’s work, or you may have trouble getting back into the swing of things on Monday.
No matter what your motivational hurdle is, it can be overcome.
In this post, I share over 13 important tips for keeping your motivation fresh. In the comments, I’d like you to share your own tips for getting and staying motivated.
13+ Top Motivational Tips
If you’re having one of those days (mine are usually Fridays), check out this list of helpful motivational tips:
- Just start. Sometimes all it takes to get into the swing of things is to start going through the motions of work. The other day I didn’t feel like working, but needed to create some copy for a client. I started just jotting down different things the client has sad and before I knew it I’d written exactly what the client had asked for. (I know it was what they asked for because they told me so.)
- Don’t overschedule. Being too busy tends to stifle creativity. If you’re constantly burning the midnight oil to get everything done, you may be about to burn out. Don’t accept more work than you can comfortably handle. If you need more money, do it by raising your rate not by working overtime.
- Envision the finished product. If you can picture how great the project will be when you are done, that can go a long way towards motivating you. For each project, schedule a little time to think about what the finished product will be. Use that vision to propel yourself forward.
- Protect your health. Freelancers need to learn that their biggest asset is their health. Guard your health like the treasure it is (which means getting care when you’re sick and going to checkups when you’re well). It’s hard to be motivated when you don’t feel good.
- Think of the difference you’ll make. For a lot of us, helping others is one reason why we turned to freelancing. If this is you, think about how much you are helping your client. Focus on the value that you are adding to his or her business.
- Remember the positives of freelancing. Freelancing offers a great lifestyle, but it’s easy to forget that during the daily grind of cranking out projects. If you’ve started to lose your motivation, remind yourself of the perks that go along with the freelance life.
- Think about getting paid. Money is certainly a powerful motivator. We all have bills to pay and we all need to eat. When you feel the blah coming on, think about the pay day at the end of the project.
- Rekindle your passion. Why did you become the kind of freelancer that you are? Most of the time it’s because you love doing what you do–whether it’s writing, design, programming or something else. Nurture your passion by staying on top of current trends in your field.
- List the positives in your life. What’s going right for you? How have you grown in the past year? In the past five years? Often, creating a list of the good things in your life can help you to get going.
- Think about past successes. You did it before and you can do it again. Keep a list of past work that you are particularly proud of. If you find other people’s praise motivates you, you should also keep a file of testimonials and client thank-yous.
- Remember that you chose the project. As freelancers, we get to choose the projects we work on and the clients we work with. If a particular project isn’t going well, remember that you don’t ever have to work with that client again.
- Engage in positive self-talk. What’s going on in your head? Are talking yourself down (again)? A lack of confidence is a sure way to deflate your motivation quickly. Seek out people and projects that build you up and avoid those that tear you down.
- Be fair to yourself. Are you really being fair? If you had an employee, would you treat them the way that you are treating yourself? If your answer was no, then you definitely aren’t being fair to yourself.
- Find an outlet. Personal projects are great for this. Take on a personal project where you have complete control and let yourself go. Who knows? You may even wind up making money from it.
We’re all different. Everyone has their own motivational tricks and tips that work for them. That’s why I’m asking you to share what works for you in the comments.
Image by Mason Masteka