Freelancing or working from home can seem like the jackpot of all careers in the beginning.
Here you are, finally able to combine your passion into a career… one that’s not just a hobby; something that can bring money in every month. There’s just one catch: it’s not the pretty picture you had all mapped out in your head.
Some days feel like deep, dark pools of loneliness. Suddenly, you miss that annoying colleague who sat next to you, the one who couldn’t stop yapping about the latest episode of Modern Family.
Other days it feels like you’re racing a million miles an hour, but you’re getting nothing done. And then there are the days when you just want to curl up into a little ball and sob your heart out because you feel like you’re not good enough.
Should you really have given up your stable, full time job for this?
If this sounds familiar… relax. It’s perfectly normal to feel like this. Even the most positive and motivated people have bad days and question themselves from time to time. The trick is learning how to get out of that slump and soldier on forward.
There are so many ways to stay motivated and be productive while freelancing or working from home. I’ve picked six for this month that have helped me over the last two years. I know that they work for other freelancers too, so give them a go!
3 KICK-BUTT MOTIVATION TIPS
Start your day with a bang! Read motivating quotes, do some exercise – even if it’s only 15 minutes, practice yoga, take a walk, drink hot chocolate. Do something that makes you feel alive after you wake up. It will set a positive tone for the rest of the day.
Build a support network. The internet is an incredible portal of almost endless groups, forums and websites for freelancers. Don’t moan about being lonely, get out there and network or connect with other people in your industry. Who knows, you might form some wonderful friendships or find some unexpected job opportunities.
Have something to look forward to every day. When you worked at an office, you probably couldn’t wait to get home, kick off your shoes and park off on the couch at home, right? Working from home doesn’t really have that same feeling. Plan a date night out, go for a walk, have lunch with a friend, go to the movies, etc. Do something fun that you enjoy every day – it will help with those feelings of cabin fever!
3 TIPS TO SPARK YOUR PRODUCTIVITY
Set your own office hours. When you freelance, it’s so easy to lose track of time. This is great if you have a pressing deadline, but when it starts to overlap into relaxation or family time, it becomes a bit of a problem. Decide on your own office hours and stick to them.
Switch off emails and social media. If you’re wondering where all your time is going during the day, it could be because you’re checking your emails every five minutes or clicking on Facebook and Twitter whenever you get a notification. Don’t. Try checking your emails three times a day: morning, lunch and an hour before logging off. If you must, check social media during these times as well. If someone needs you urgently, tell them to contact you via your phone or instant chat.
Stop feeling guilty and take that break! You’re working, right? That means you need to take your breaks, just like anyone else – regardless of where you work. Every hour or every two hours Get up, make a cup of coffee, sit outside, walk around the block, and definitely take a lunch break. Even if you think you don’t have time. Even if it’s only 20 minutes – do it. You might be surprised by how refreshed you feel after taking that break. Feeling refreshed = major productivity, don’t you agree?
Leaving you with some inspiration from one of my favourite people, Tony Robbins. Enjoy!