As a freelancer, you often have a lot on your plate.
You have to deal with finding new customers, processing orders, writing invoices and expanding your professional network. With so many responsibilities, it can be difficult to keep motivated. In today’s article, you’ll find tips on how to stay on top of things, even when you’re working on multiple projects, and how to overcome low motivation.
Do you work from home and rarely see your clients when you are working on a project? Then you should ensure that you set up a proper workspace. Make sure you organise your desk well and keep distractions to a minimum. Working online can be particularly distracting; it’s tempting to quickly open a new tab and look up something that just crossed your mind – and suddenly you’ve wasted half an hour.
When you are at home, it’s easy to get sidetracked by other small tasks and put off getting down to work. This can have serious consequences: it can throw you off course and make it difficult for you to regain your focus. Taking breaks and relaxing from time to time is fine, but don’t overdo it. Try to stick to your schedule. If you want to get a job done in one day, stay focussed and get straight down to work.
Have you just completed a project or landed a new one? That’s a reason to celebrate. What could be better than rewarding yourself for your achievements? As a freelancer, it’s important to make sure you don’t just rush from one job to the next; allow yourself the time to relish your successes. You don’t have to throw a party every time, but you can give yourself a pat on the back. Get your partner or friends to join you for a drink to celebrate: you deserve it after all your hard work.
Keep your dreams alive
You chose to go freelance for a reason: you have your sights set on a goal and you want to fulfil your dream. Hold on to those ambitions and keep them in mind when you’re feeling low and demotivated. You could always decide to take on a steady job, but you should carefully consider your options and think about why you opted for self-employment.
Sometimes it can help to talk to like-minded people. Many other freelancers have been in your situation before. Ask them for advice and let their stories inspire you. This will also help you expand your professional network and keep up to date on current issues with other professionals in your field.
Overcoming low motivation
Small obstacles can easily cause you to stumble. For example, you might get stuck on one task for ages and be unable to move forward. This is not only annoying, it also affects your concentration. Or you unintentionally drift from your work to less important things such as housework. Or perhaps you have run out of steam for the day and decide to start again tomorrow. But the next day, you still haven’t solved the problem and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. You’re going round in circles and you’re less motivated than ever.
It’s not always easy to get out of such a predicament. If you are completely demotivated, you should gradually get back to work one step at a time. Don’t fill up your diary again straight away, give yourself time to get back into the flow of things. Completing even small projects is an achievement and will help you get back on track. Think back to your past achievements and remind yourself of the problems you have already successfully overcome.
Even on days when you have less to do, you should stick to your work routine. This means you should still get up at the usual time and make a plan for the day. Make sure you get enough exercise or try to find ways to keep your days balanced. It’s important to take care of yourself and keep healthy.
All in all, not everyone can stay 100% motivated all the time. We all have our ups and downs at work. It’s up to you to keep positive. Focus on your aims and your reasons for going freelance. Reward yourself and celebrate what you’ve achieved. Your positivity can fuel future projects.
Working as a freelancer: how to prepare for meetings with clients
If you’ve just started your own business and have had an enquiry from a potential customer, you may feel unsure about how to prepare for your first meeting. In our next article in the ‘Working as a freelancer’ series on Friday, 1 November 2019, you’ll find helpful tips on how to plan your first meeting with a client.