Why do you need tips to stay motivated?
Because one of the hardest things about freelancing is keeping yourself motivated.
I mean think about it. When you’ve been working online for more than a decade like me, all it takes is one push and you’re burnt out.
Don’t get me wrong. I love working as a freelancer. It offers numerous benefits like flexibility, autonomy, and the freedom to work on projects that you’re passionate about.
However, it’s not always a walk in the park. It comes with its fair share of challenges that could add to feeling burnt out. It’s up to you to battle this and stay motivated in achieving your goals.
With that in mind, here are my tried and tested tips to stay motivated and thrive in your freelancing career.
Set Clear Goals and Create a Vision
My husband and I have this tradition wherein we go on a “planning” date either at the end of the year or the start of a new one.
It’s our way of looking back at what we’ve accomplished the past year and setting up plans for the new goals we’ll face. It has been very helpful in keeping us efficient and effective in reaching our goals.
So if you want to stay motivated as a freelancer – set clear, achievable goals. Take the time to define what your short-term and long-term objectives are. Remember to be SMART about this (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound).
Trust me. Having a vision for where you want to be in your freelancing career provides you with a sense of purpose. It keeps you from hitting that snooze button every morning.
Break Down Tasks and Prioritize
I’m an avid multi-tasker. While that makes me incredibly productive, it can also lead to burnout very quickly.
At times, you can’t help but juggle multiple projects and deadlines – especially if you have more than one client. This can lead to overwhelm and a lack of motivation.
What can you do? Break down all your tasks and prioritize.
I remember one client who gave me incredible advice when I felt overwhelmed.
“If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all you have to do, break down your tasks, list them by priority, and focus on just 3 high-value tasks. Once you do these three, everything else you accomplish for the rest of the day is just a bonus.”
That was one of the best tips to stay motivated that I got from a client.
If you need help, there are project management tools that you can use to help you prioritize tasks. You can arrange them based on urgency or importance.
It’s up to you. But the goal is to separate the tasks so you can focus on just one at a time. Don’t mind anything else until you finish it. As you finish one task, celebrate. You deserve a break before doing another task.
Establish a Routine and Stick to It
Routine is the best way to stay efficient as a freelancer. Maintaining a consistent routine is the key to being productive because when you’re used to a task, your mind and body require less effort to complete it.
Set a schedule that aligns with your work behavior. For instance, if you’re more active in the morning, do the high-value stuff before lunch.
When you create a routine, make sure you stick to it. The structure will give you a guide on what to expect throughout the day. This will help reduce procrastination and increase your levels of motivation.
Find Your Motivation Triggers
We all have motivation triggers. For me, my trigger is looking at a visual representation of our goals. I also feel motivated by looking at what we’ve built so far in our lives.
Others might find their motivation triggers in the form of a reward. Or it could be finding inspiration from another person like someone you look up to.
Understanding what drives you to work will help shape the motivation triggers that’ll make you push through challenges.
Seek Support and Accountability
I’m lucky enough to have my husband beside me working from home as well. But others aren’t as fortunate as I am.
If your freelancing career is a solitary endeavor, seek external support. Get someone that you know and trust to hold you accountable for the things that you want to do. Reveal your plans and goals.
Join groups of freelancers through social media pages. I joined the Upwork Philippines and Online Filipino Freelancers social media pages. I get a lot of tips and tricks that help me with my freelancing career.
If you can surround yourself with like-minded people, they can support and motivate you. They can also offer a fresh perspective when it comes to what it really means to work from home.
Continuously Learn and Grow
This is one of the best tips to stay motivated because you get more than one benefit from this.
When I say you have to learn and grow, I mean two things.
First, you have to grow professionally. Your development as a freelancer will open a lot of opportunities to increase your rates and get more clients.
Second, you have to grow personally. Professional success comes with a certain level of maturity. This only happens if you take the time to develop your core being.
Among the things you can do is attend webinars, workshops, and even online courses. This won’t just improve your expertise. It’ll also reignite your passion for what you do.
Take Breaks and Practice Self-Care
In our pursuit to achieve financial and professional growth, it’s unfortunate that self-care takes a back seat.
I have been struggling with this for the longest time. When I started freelancing, I wanted to reach our target so badly that I worked up to 13 hours a day!
Obviously, that led to burn out so I stopped doing that. But that caused trauma in me – so much so that I feel guilty when I take a break!
This is something that I hope doesn’t happen to you. By the time you reach success, this feeling will keep you from enjoying the fruits of your labor.
To avoid that, take regular breaks. Practice self-care. Remember, you can’t be productive or motivated if you don’t have the energy for it. If you really want to succeed, take care of yourself. That’s the best investment that you can give yourself.
I hope you can embrace these tips to stay motivated.
With more than a decade in the freelancing world, I truly understand how challenging it can be to keep your head above everything that comes your way.
But take heart. You’re not alone in this journey. Motivation is a mindset that can be learned, nurtured, and strengthened.
I sincerely wish you all the best and success because you deserve it!