Motivation is a critical component when it comes to business and freelance success. No matter the job, it’s the thing that gets you up in the morning and gives you the determination to face those stressful projects and give it your all.
If you’re a freelancer, motivation is perhaps all the more critical since you are responsible for every element of the freelance business.
While setting your own hours and managing a business on your own terms is the dream, it can sometimes be a little too easy for procrastination to set in. Happily, there are some fool-proof ways to enhance motivation and find new found inspiration.
Freelancing is often envied by many in the business world because it undoubtedly has some fantastic perks (hello, setting your own hours and being able to work next to your furry friend!). However, motivation is certainly required if you want to succeed.
Harnessing and Increasing Your Motivation
When it comes to harnessing and increasing your motivation, it has a scientific component to it. Those with greater levels of dopamine are usually more motivated, and happily, this chemical can be triggered through exercise, getting enough sleep, listening to music, and consuming a healthy and balanced diet.
Besides that, there are a few other hacks that you can use to boost your motivation.
1. Set goals
Setting goals is one of the best ways to stay motivated as you have something you are looking forward to achieving and a well-defined path on how you can get there.
Setting clear, manageable objectives helps to break huge projects into bite-sized chunks and offers solo contractors tangible and achievable targets so they get more done.
Goals ultimately set your vision for your business, and successful entrepreneurs have one thing in common: A super clear vision of where they are going.
As author Diana Scharf Hunt says, “Goals are dreams with deadlines.” Setting goals sets your intention and ensures that you are focused and get things done on time.
A great way to set goals is with the SMART method. The acronym breaks down goals into the following steps:
S - Specific (Well-defined and super clear goals)
M - Measurable (Set clear-cut criteria so that you can clearly measure your progress)
A - Achievable (Ensure that goals are attainable, setting unrealistic goals will only set you up for failure)
R - Realistic (Ensure goals are relevant and within your reach)
T - Timely (Have a clear deadline with specific dates. Creating urgency can boost motivation and get things done faster.)
The best part about SMART goals is that you can use them to set big, long-term goals. For example, if your big overarching vision is to set up your own office in a year’s time, smaller SMART goals can get you there in manageable steps.
Smart goals to get there might include increasing revenue by 10% that fiscal year, finding affordable office space to rent or another small business to co-lease with, and embarking on bigger, more financially rewarding projects by growing your team and pitching bigger ideas.
Setting goals is a great way to boost your motivation to make it.
2. Have a routine
One of the greatest perks of being a freelancer is that you can create your own routine. You aren’t shackled to the conventional 9-5, and this means that you can plan a routine around your lifestyle.
If you are a night owl who works best in the late hours while the rest of the world sleeps, you can plan your routine around what works best; the key, however, is having one.
Routines can differ dramatically and might include waking up at a certain time, setting your first hour for emails and communication, hitting big projects before your coffee break, and brainstorming after your after-lunch walk.
Find the best times that you are most productive and plan your routine around it.
3. Stay organized
Part of sticking to your routine is ensuring that all elements of your business are well organized. As a freelancer, you will need to wear many different hats.
No longer are you just responsible for the work you produce, but you’re also responsible for managing the finances, handling tax, pitching proposals, liaising with clients, and collaborating with other stakeholders. This is where project management software can give you the upper hand.
Websites like the all-in-one freelancer platform Indy, for example, offer freelancers and small business owners comprehensive tools to manage every element of their business. Features of the software include invoice generators, proposal templates and generators, an online calendar that easily syncs with your google calendar, space for files and forms, a virtual communication hub, a time tracker tool, and the project tracker.
All those features can be accessed via a centralized dashboard, offering you the ease of being to handle every business component in one place.
4. Look after your mental health
A huge part of staying motivated is looking after your mental health. It’s not uncommon to feel a little foggy or anxious when you’re trying to juggle a million things, and that’s why it is imperative to take care of yourself.
Practice mindfulness, engage with apps like Headspace that focus on enhancing your mindset and wellbeing and bringing you into the present moment, and if needs be, chat with a qualified professional. When you take care of your mind and mental health, even the most stressful business scenarios become all the more manageable.
You can also enhance your mental health by ensuring that you strike a healthy work-life balance. Set time aside for your family and friends and create a designated workspace you can easily shut off from the rest of your home. Differentiating between workspaces and home spaces will psychologically allow you to switch off when you need to.
5. Network with other professionals
Freelancing can be hugely rewarding, but it can also feel a little lonely or stagnant if you don’t constantly mingle with other professionals in your field.
Networking with other freelancers gives you the opportunity to meet with like-minded professionals, discover new innovations in your field, and possibly collaborate on exciting projects. Happily, there are many fantastic online forums where you can network with entrepreneurs and build your professional network.
Some great ways to boost your network include:
- Volunteering your skills at community organizations
- Attending business meetups and networking events
- Networking via LinkedIn and other business networks
- Joining online forums and business networks on social media
- Attending webinars and business seminars
Motivation can be harnessed, and these top tools can help you to traverse the complexity of freelancing and embark on the adventure with newfound inspiration.
What are some of your top motivational hacks? Share with us!