How to stay motivated & press on (Freelancers)
As a solo-entrepreneur, I find it quite hard to stay motivated and become unproductive sometimes with starting a certain project, making those cold calls, or when I have to do my own admin (which I really hate), especially when you work alone from home. There are a number of reasons that can influence this behavior of procrastinating or feeling demotivated, and in this post, I hope to cover some of the ideas that you can use on a daily basis to help you shred through those tasks, which can also give you an amazing feeling of accomplishment in the end.
Find someone to hold you accountable
If you find that motivating yourself isn’t your strongest point, it’s always good to find someone who will hold you accountable if you don’t push on and keep trying. This method puts pressure on you to keep on point to better yourself or not let anyone down – here’s where the fear of disappointment can be used to your own advantage. It’s even better if the person who is holding you accountable is someone that you feel intimidated by. When you achieve a goal, tell someone, maybe your mentor, who can celebrate your victory which will give you motivation for you to keep getting better at what you do. Another way to have someone hold you accountable is to find a person who is in the same boat as you are, for example, a person in the same industry as you are and get together at least once a month to share what you’ve been working on, your frustrations, what you’ve learned, and to motivate and inspire each other to get better in your field. This will make it more fun to set realistic goals, and you’ll want to achieve them.
Shift your workspace
At some point, you are bound to feel like you went a day having done little to no work at all. When you find this happening more often than not, it’s probably a sign that you need to shift the environment that you work in. If your home office needs a bit of a clean, it helps to get someone (or yourself if cleaning isn’t your strongest point) to clean up your home office, like putting files in order, computer cables tidy, moving the desk to a well-lit area, etc. This will help by putting your mind at ease and make you more relaxed and help your brain feel more organized.
Another one, which is my personal favourite, is to shift your workspace completely every often, for example, go to a coffee shop one week, work in a library, or visit a co-working spot, which can be amazing because seeing everyone at work with their heads down being productive has a certain influence in the brain to do the same, naturally (which I like to call “copy-catting”).
NB: When working from home, refrain from working in the places of the house which you use for relaxing, for example, the couch, your bed, etc.
Go on a vacation
This is another one of my favourites. With this, you want to make sure that you take a vacation on a weekend if you still have a lot of work to be taking a full week off. There are a lot of websites that you can go to to find a quick getaway, like Tripadvisor, Trivago, Travelstart and many others. What this will do is have you refreshed and ready to tackle the coming week. But make sure not to take your work or laptop with you on holiday because you’ll be tempted to work.
Setting realistic, short-term goals and rewarding yourself for achieving them is another way to stay motivated. Nothing beats the feeling of achievement. When you get the feeling of achieving something and reward yourself, your brain releases a chemical is called “dopamine”, which plays a reward on your reward-motivated behavior called the “reward system”, which targets the pleasure-centres, thus causing you to want to achieve more.
There are many ways to do so, like donating to a charity monthly or paying for a family’s medical bill or, if earning well enough, paying for a person’s college or school fees. This gives you a sense of responsibility to wake up in the mornings knowing that someone’s counting on you, because if you work just to meet your own needs, then later on in life you’ll start slacking because there’s no sense of urgency with yourself as you know that you can achieve those things any time you want or even put it off.
There are many ways to stay motivated, and we want to hear yours – what are some of the ways that you keep going when you start slacking? Leave a comment below.