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#17 Freelance Mastery: How To Staying Motivated

Learn how to stay motivated as a freelance professional

Even the most successful individuals have unproductive days. So what’s the solution? Try harder? No! Willpower alone is not enough. Here are our top 6 list of productivity issues and how to combat them with some freelance motivation.

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You Have Low Energy

Maybe you went out the night before, had no sleep, or had a huge bowl of pasta for lunch. You have low energy. What do you do?

  • Accept your low energy. If you can, go and see a movie, do some chores or watch TV.
  • If you are working full-time go for a walk at lunch or complete some mindless admin.
  • Maximize your productive times - whether it's early in the morning or post-workout.
  • Be honest - if you can’t wake up at 6, or work past 9 - don’t do it! It won’t work.

You Are Overwhelmed

You have 100 tasks to do on a Monday morning. Too much work? Perhaps you’re likely to do nothing. Here’s some things to help:

  • Break down each task into 5 smaller 10-15 minute action points. 
  • Create realistic tasks - e.g. need to set up a specific account? That’s an action point.
  • Write down even the basic steps - you can do these when you have low energy.

You Feel Inertia

When you start a new project do you find it incredibly hard to motivate yourself? You aren’t alone. Here are some tips to combat inertia:

  • Acknowledge the first 5 times will be hard, but the 6th, or 10th time will feel more natural. 
  • Don’t break the chain! Mark up each day you achieve the task on a calendar.
  • Finding it tough? Complete the task for 15 minutes and go back to what you were doing.

You Forget Tasks

By nature we are all forgetful. It’s not our fault, we just have multiple distractions to react to. Try the following to fight the forgetfulness:

  • Outsource it! Let Google Calendar remind you of key tasks and projects.
  • Schedule a weekly review each week of 30 minutes for completed and upcoming tasks.
  • When you start, you might feel overwhelmed. As you break down tasks it will get better.
  • Book a realistic time slot in the week - e.g. Sunday afternoon or some weekly downtime

Nothing Feels Urgent

If you have a side business, you can feel less pressure to achieve tasks without a manager breathing down your neck. Here’s how to break this pattern:

  • Create urgency with specific to-do lists on the calendar.
  • Have an accountability partner who you deliver your progress to.
  • Honor your calendar - be strict about the tasks you have set yourself.
  • Over time, you won’t need an accountability partner as you build in the habit.

You Are Discouraged

The task seems bigger than you thought, or will take more time than expected. How do you fight discouragement?

  • Create a high level review each month which focuses on your goals.
  • Use it to evaluate your progress and what you have learnt and accomplished.
  • Celebrate your achievements! Even the smallest tasks deserve acknowledgment. 
  • Keep it high level: Do I love what I do? Do I add value? Is my market correct?

Stay Motivated By Making Tasks Simple

There’s no secret recipe for freelance motivation. But you don’t have to rely on willpower alone to complete tasks. Creating simple steps you can follow on your most unproductive days will help you achieve even when you have low energy. Work smarter to maximize your productive days and accomplish even when you aren’t at your best.

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