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5 Tips To Stay Motivated As A Freelancer

This is a post by Meghan McCord. Read more here.

1) Set Goals And Stick To Them!

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

The first question most freelancers think they ask themselves when deciding whether they want to do or not to do something is “What is the best way to get this done?” I know it can be difficult to figure out exactly how to accomplish an assignment because of how complex it seems. But if you are having trouble figuring things out, start with these questions for yourself: What tasks will I need to complete in order to achieve my goal; How much time will it take from beginning to completion? Once you have a sense of what you need and how long it takes to get there, it is easier to put off completing an assignment until later, especially if the project you choose is important to you. For example, if you choose to complete a task as part of a course requirement, set aside a day or two before to turn into that project so you can start working on it during the last few weeks of term. The point is not to finish all of them as soon as possible, but to give yourself enough time to make sure whatever work you need is at least completed for next semester. It is also worth adding in some extra points on a project so you don’t forget about any other steps needed to accomplish that one first thing.

2) Create Your Schedule

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay 

I can attest to that. My entire career has been built around being able to fill every single free moment — from our jobs to our hobbies — for me. So when I am asked about creating a routine to stick to, I always reply to say that it needs to be consistent with yourself and your goals. If you know how long it will take to finish the job, give yourself extra time for the job. Even though you might have already finished your work on your to-do list a year ago, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything else that could still be worth doing. You’ll still need enough time to complete each item so it can help you feel like you have accomplished something. Maybe write up a new report to review, take a class about something you would like to learn, or go through a book that you haven’t read yet. Whatever you choose, try to keep the same amount of time given you have available in your entire life. That should give you the feeling that you’ve accomplished it. I find myself really enjoying waking up at 4am and then going to my social media page to check my email for a message from someone asking for a piece I should respond to that night or maybe even tomorrow. These little bits can help you stay motivated and can even bring a few tears to your eyes.

3) Find Something Exciting At Work

Image by Jerry Kimbrell from Pixabay 

Let’s face it, you are not making money from the hours you spend at 9–5 all day. Instead, you’re making a living just by sitting at your computer for those 12–5 hours a day. This means that you need to create something interesting to do each day. Maybe you want to go on a solo hike once a week. Or perhaps you want to cook dinner at home to entertain your family at Christmas (or whatever time period you chose to celebrate). Be that someone who gets excited when you get to come to work each day because it makes you feel fulfilled by the end result and not because you haven’t accomplished everything that you planned to accomplish.

4) Get Organized

Image by Silvia from Pixabay 

I know a lot of people who have dedicated months and years into their schedule only to never actually implement the plans they had. When this happens, everyone starts giving excuses like “I’m busy,” “I don’t have time,” or “My husband works full-time and I’m retired.” Well… are you kidding me?! Most times I can tell you when I am at my worst, I find myself staring at the blank phone screen waiting to hear back. I’m too scared to even look up. But if you don’t have a clear plan, you can easily slip into a state of overwhelm and procrastinate, which will keep you stuck. Make sure you set your priorities right and focus on what matters to you and how you want to spend your time. Take a hard look at your time, and start putting your thoughts together. Do you need three hours to do that next big, important paper? Are you going to pay the rent/mortgage for another month and half? Just make your plan. Don’t let something else stand in the way of your focus.

5) Focus On Quality And Not Quantity

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

Quality can be broken down into two different categories; quality and quantity. I believe when we speak about finding something you would really enjoy doing, we are trying to draw attention to the fact that you may not have the time nor the desire to complete one particular thing. Being aware of what kind of quality you will need helps with taking care of how much you choose to complete the work you need. I used to get into writing and editing about how much time I dedicated to it. Now I have learned how many articles I need to submit every week and how much I need to do it. My motivation level was low when I kept losing my words each time I submitted something. The process seemed pointless when my results were constantly getting worse. My mind was constantly telling me “You have to stop writing. Stop editing. Stop doing any creative stuff. No, you have to finish. You are not allowed to cheat! I’m sorry but that is the truth!” The time that I thought wouldn’t be made up as I thought. Yet, when I started to finish the essays, the results were amazing. Then, once in a while, I’d throw these papers on Instagram, thinking no one would see it. Until one day, it happened. Someone saw it and commented on it, saying it was better than I thought it would be. I told him I didn’t think it would be better. He said he knew he would come over and talk me through it that way. He ended up sending me the essay and gave me the advice I needed to succeed in writing it. I went from $350 to $1,500 in only a matter of days. I felt motivated again and focused on finishing the article. After that day, I was finally taking my writing seriously. I am proud of myself for knowing what I needed to succeed in my craft.

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