Overcoming Challenges in Freelancing: How to Stay Motivated and Focused - Tips
Working in your pajamas, right out of bed, with a big mug of coffee and your favorite Netflix series episode to start the day - sounds great, like a dream remote job for a freelancer, But let me tell you from experience, this idyllic setup doesn't sustain in the long run. To truly thrive, you must blend the allure of flexibility with the discipline of a structured routine.
Even if you have to visit the client's office from time to time, as a freelancer you are in a different reality than full-time employees. Your work consists of timed projects, sometimes many at once, it can be overwhelming, even chaotic, leading to a waning motivation over time. To help you stay motivated and focused, consider these tips:
One of the biggest motivational distractions for freelancers is daily distractions, whether it comes from screaming kids, noisy neighbours, your dog barking at random cats half the day, or your own inability to turn off social media in a timely manner. If home entertainment, kids or TV are holding you back from achieving your goals, consider escaping the confines of home and venturing to a local café, at least once or twice a week, where the ambient noise becomes your creative backdrop. Alternatively, seek solace in shared workspaces, where like-minded freelancers converge to collaborate and inspire one another. And if the social networks are too addictive to you, use the Work Mode or similar tools to banish these digital distractions while you toil away. Furthermore, designate a workspace at your home/flat exclusively devoted to work only. Transform an underused room or section of your living space into a sanctuary of productivity, a place where you can easily focus and dedicate yourself to work.
Plan your day and tasks well. You have a whole range of free and paid tools like miro or monday.com, I'm sure as a freelancer you will use many of them. Make a plan for the day and activities and stick to it. Calculate how much time each task requires and try to stick to it. As each working day draws to a close, take a moment to plan the tasks awaiting you on the morrow. By laying out a roadmap for the following day, you bring clarity to the ambiguity, allowing you to start each morning with purpose and direction. On Mondays, seize the opportunity to set the stage for a productive week. Identify the larger tasks that require attention throughout the coming days and create a comprehensive list within your preferred tool.
Take regular breaks and keep the proper balance. When you're working remotely or in a flexible setting, it's easy to lose track of time and overwork yourself. Imagine spending over 10 hours a day glued to your tasks, barely taking a break for breakfast or lunch. While dedication is commendable, avoiding burnout is crucial. Take control by scheduling regular breaks for activities you love. Treat yourself to an episode of your favorite Netflix series, go for a refreshing walk, hit the gym for 30 minutes, unleash your creativity through drawing, play with your furry friend, catch up on the latest news, indulge in your favorite game, or simply have a heartfelt conversation with your partner. Remember, staying healthy and motivated requires several short breaks like these throughout the day.
Level up your motivation with a reward system that works perfectly! Did you conquer that task within the deadline? Treat yourself to your favorite pizza or ice cream. Or perhaps, reward yourself with an hour of blissful gaming of your favorite game. Embrace the power of rewards, for they have an incredible impact on our minds, igniting motivation and pushing us further towards success.
The last thing - always keep in mind your hopes and aspirations. When the going gets tough, reflect on your journey from where you started to where you're destined to go. Remind yourself of the compelling reasons that led you to embrace the freelance life. Refuse to succumb to defeatist thoughts. Remember, nothing worthwhile comes without effort. Keep your purpose alive and savour the joy in your work. Let the passion that drives you remain unwavering, as you constantly remind yourself why you do what you do.