Motivation is a funny thing, it comes, it goes, it visits for an hour, then goes on holiday for days, you can’t tell when it will reappear or when it will vanish, but one thing is for sure, your working day is better when it’s around. I for one have experienced both ends of the motivation spectrum – those ‘I can take on the world’ kind of days and those ‘maybe just one more TikTok video’ kind of days and as a freelancer, it’s important that at the end of the day there are more of the former than the latter. So here are a few things I have used to get me back on track when my motivation goes astray and please let me know what you do in the comments!
I have a day off
For a post about motivation, you probably weren’t expecting the first suggestion to be to take a day off but honestly, sometimes it’s the best thing you can do. As freelancers, we tend to work ourselves hard, often for long hours, through sickness and even while on holiday and sometimes our lack of motivation is our bodies way of saying ‘slow down, I’m tired and I need a rest’. Rather than having 4 days of poor motivation and unproductive workflow, instead allow yourself one day off, completely work free to recharge your batteries, you may find that’s all you needed to kick your motivation back into gear and you’ll more than makeup for your day off with the following more productive days.
I remind myself why I became a freelancer in the first place
Sometimes I find it easy to dwell on the negatives and forget the fact that becoming a freelancer was something I chose to do in order to live the life I now lead. Usually, the thing getting me down is just a smudge on an otherwise very shiny mirror and by spending a few minutes focusing on all the things I have to be grateful for, I soon realise how insignificant it is the grand scheme of things. I am extremely lucky to live the life I do and to be able to work as a freelancer, and a few minutes of gratitude usually recentres my mind and puts me back on track.
I change my environment
I have a lovely home office space that I’ve filled with pretty things, but sometimes I find the solution to my lack of motivation is to take myself out of the house and to work from a local cafe. I’m lucky enough to have several great spaces near me that are perfect to work from, so I grab my bag, pack up my laptop and spend the morning working over a coffee that someone else has made me. After a few hours, and 1-2 coffees I usually find that I’ve steamed through my work and my motivation continues into the afternoon I then spend at home.
I reach out to friends
Freelancing can be a lonely affair and sometimes it can feel like we’re alone with our motivation struggles, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. During my last intense bout of de-motivation, I reached out to a friend who has been a freelancer for far longer than I have, and I explained to him how I was feeling. It felt so good to get it off my chest and even better when he told me he’d felt the same way too. He then shared with me a great illustration by the artist Veronica Dearly, which became my wallpaper for many weeks to come, and I then felt in a much better mental space to get back at it and to get shit done.
So these are just some of the things I do to help me find my motivation, I hope that some of them work for you. Let me know in the comments what you do to re-find yours.