How to stay motivated as a freelancer

4 Min Read

Being a freelancer with no immediate boss to answer to enables you to set your own flexible working hours and work from home. Although this sounds like everyone’s dream in practice, it can often be hard to stay motivated while working as a freelancer. But if you have passion for what you do, the commitment will come with that enjoyment. Here are our top tips for achieving daily motivation as a freelancer.

Follow the freelance community

Keep abreast with other successful freelancers. You can do this by taking to social media and follow inspiring people in your field on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram; seeing their accomplishments should only motivate you to work harder. Following other freelancers will keep you in a constant bid for self-improvement and enable you to learn new things. A positive work-social circle – be that online or elsewhere – is ideal for motivation, as your network will be able to relate to your personal experiences and be there for support when you need career advice or a helping hand. Social media is also a great place for motivational tips, so get following pages that radiate positive energy and quotes.

Set goals

Make a list of weekly objectives and section them into daily to-do lists. It’s important to be realistic with your goals and when it comes to organising your freelancing schedule, it’s extremely worthwhile setting a chunk of time aside to define your goals. Checking off completed tasks will also give you a feeling of satisfaction and motivate you to get things done.

We also recommend working out how much time each task will take you to complete and try to stick to it. With a full day planned out, you will be more likely to run the day than being run by it.

Create a daily routine

A daily routine is crucial when it comes to freelancing as it will add value and structure to your day. For example, by blocking your time you are giving importance to specific tasks. Find out at which times of the day you are your most productive and try implementing flexible working hours accordingly to get the most out of your day. By creating and sticking to a schedule, you will have a work-oriented mindset during these hours. A top morning tip is to get up, showered and dressed as though you were going into the office.

Create a workspace

Not being sat at a desk in the office can be a great thing, but if you do not have a designated place for working either at home or out and about then this can be detrimental to motivation. A place that is solely for working will help you to associate it with productivity. It also means you’ll have the perfect work set-up with all the relevant tools you need close at hand. Our essentials for a good home office space are plants, notebooks and good lighting. A distinct, organised workspace will help you to stay on track.

Focus is key

Are you the type of person to leave a project close to the deadline? Try working on projects straight away to decrease stress later down the line. Being organised with projects can keep you on track and motivated, so try using a project management system or diary.

Make sure to take time out of your day for breaks and inspiration. This will not only give you time to recharge but also re-engage your passion and creativity. If you struggle to remember to take a break, try setting an alarm every few hours or so. Take this time to make yourself a cup of tea and enjoy a break from the computer screen. 

Mobile phones and emails are a huge distraction for freelancers, with clients often checking in at regular intervals. We recommend putting your phone on silent while working and be selfish with your time. For emails, set yourself specific email-checking slots in your day. If you have an important task that you need to complete, try not checking your emails for a few hours at a time. This will prevent you from being distracted from the task at hand.

Health is wealth

Eating healthily and working out is key to staying motivated as a freelancer. A healthy mind and body will allow you to work more efficiently and maintain focus. Exercise is also great for your mental health as it releases endorphins which energise you and make you feel happier.

Self-care will also give you an opportunity to press reset – especially if you’re lacking motivation due to stress or burn out. According to science, motivated people have higher levels of dopamine, so read a book, talk a walk or listen to a podcast to feel rejuvenated.

When it comes to lunch, try to eat it at the table or outside (fresh air is great for reinvigoration). Anywhere is fine, as long as you are away from your desk or workspace. When you return to your desk, you’ll feel a lot more motivated and eager to get going.

Why did you move into freelancing?

Remembering all the reasons why you made the decision to become a freelancer in your specific niche will re-motivate you – perhaps even try writing them down. Think about the freedom of being your own boss, doing what you’re passionate about for a living and being able to work from anywhere in the world. Freelancing is all about flexibility and the acceptance that nothing comes easy.

Take the time to remind yourself that choosing to become a freelancer was a great decision and that hard work always pays off. The more that you progress as a freelancer, the more motivated you will start to feel as every day passes.