As freelance designers, self-discipline is one essential characteristic to cultivate. Granted that you have the benefits of a flexible timetable, it is highly critical for you to be firm in your daily dealings to keep your business going well. Maintaining high motivation for your work is hence a topmost priority.
But hey, who doesn’t have the downtime? Sometimes it’s easy to lose heart when you’re not getting by with freelancing, or when it didn’t meet your expectation of flexibility. That is why it is crucial for you to know what serves as motivation for freelancers like yourself.
As a part-time freelance blogger myself, I could relate to a few common issues regarding the lack of motivation. Fortunately, I have found for myself a few solutions that I could apply when I feel I’m running low on battery, and I’m willing to share to you my remedies in this post.
1. Remember Why You Took Up Freelancing
When you remind yourself what was it that drew you into the circle of freelancers, you would be grateful that you got into where you are now even if things are going really tight. Typically, freelancers got here because they want more control over their schedule and more freedom over their choice of projects or tasks.
That said, it’s easy to fall into the trap of not following up with the client on time. It could be something to do with time management or simply just a lack of motivation. If it is the latter, then you have to acknowledge the fact that how much you earn is entirely determined by the amount of time and hard work you’re willing to put in. High productivity is what makes a freelancer success.
Not only does that affect your income, but it also affects your reputation among the other freelancers. A good reputation of completing projects promptly with quality will translate into more offers from clients. What this means is that you’ll have more leeway in choosing those who you’d really like to work on!
As a freelancer, you will definitely have to start off from the bottom, which means that you may not get many project offers and thus unable to make a decent living at the initial stage. Well, one way to keep yourself motivated is to remind yourself that eventually, your hard work will pay off in terms of getting more and better offers. As the saying goes, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."
2. Fanning the Flame
It’s easy to lose your creative sense when you’re kept busy by deadlines. When you place your emphasis on completing the project within a short timeframe, you become more concerned about getting the job done rather than doing it creatively or aesthetically. This leaves little room for indulging in your passion for freelancing.
You need to feed your passion or it will die off gradually! Losing your motivation? This could be the reason. Spend some time looking up for designs pertaining to your area of interest. Visit art museums or galleries. Draw something for fun. As long as you’re doing your art not for work’s sake, but for fun’s sake, you will keep the fire in you burning. It’s easy to extinguish it when you work day-in and day-out on your projects because you’ll associate the stresses with it.
As you can see, work can create a love-hate relationship between you and your passion. You are passionate about your work, but at the same time, you loath how your livelihood is now dependent on your passion. It’s no longer fun when there’s a huge responsibility laid on what had always been your hobby or favorite pastime.
The bottom line is, don’t turn your passion into work alone. You will still need to allocate some time to feed your interest outside of work. Some people can enjoy their work no matter how taxing it may be, but for most, they still have to make some time outside of work to be inspired. Work is work; the demands are there to take the fun out of the equation.
3. Using Flexibility to Your Advantage
The wonderful thing about being a freelancer is that it allows you to make your own call. You can go for meals, take breaks or even leave your workstation anytime you want. Not many other jobs offer that kind of freedom. On the down side, you might be tempted to procrastinate when no one but you yourself is monitoring your work.
To curb those temptations and stay motivated, what you can do is you can give yourself appropriate time to rest. Just as dieticians would advise people to take many small, light meals rather than the standard three full meals to curb their cravings for unhealthy snacks, you should give yourself many small breaks while you’re working on the project. That way, you won’t get too overwhelmed with handling all the work in one long stretch and end up taking the rest of the day off from your work.
Besides the advantage of keeping you motivated this way, taking frequent breaks would also start you off refreshed each time you return to your work. In fact, psychologists have found that you can absorb and remember the things you were working on the most when you just began to work on it. They call it the primacy effect.
So, if you are taking several breaks, you will perform better each time you get back to work after your breaks. This translates to better work performance and mood for the entire project you are handling, which then serves as a good motivation to keep up your good work.