If you work from home, you'll know that it can often be hard to drag yourself out of bed in the morning - motivational tips for freelancers seem to be everywhere online, but which ones actually work? Whether you're a freelance writer, graphic designer or artist, here are a few simple, motivational tips for freelancers that will really help to keep you on the right track - they work for me so I hope some of them will work for you too!
1. Separate Work from Play
This is the key to working at home and it's one of the simplest motivational tips for freelancers that really works! Do whatever you can to separate your working day from your free time. Create a home office, dress as if you were going out to work, set a regular schedule with a lunch break - basically act as if you're working a 9-5 and you will find it much easier to stay motivated without being distracted.
2. Hire a Studio or Office Space
I've recently started working out of a shared studio space as I find it helps to get out of the house for work. Not only does this provide you with a work space where you're surrounded by other creative people, it also allows you to separate your work life from your home life. That is essential for a good work/life balance.
3. Take Regular Breaks
This may seem counter-productive, but by taking shorter, more frequent breaks, you can actually remain motivated for longer and get more done! A few short coffee breaks where you pop outside for fresh air or have a hot drink are far better than an hour for lunch and will give you a moment to gather your thoughts.
4. Avoid Caffeine and Sugar
Sometimes, it might seem like another strong coffee and a sugary pastry are all that's going to get you through the afternoon and help you make that deadline. Sugar and caffeine can actually have the opposite effect though, making you jittery and less focused. Instead, opt for water or fruit juice and something healthier to sustain you, such as a piece of fruit or a cereal bar. Your energy levels will be boosted and you'll feel much more efficient!
5. Resist Temptation
One of the temptations of working as a freelancer is to slack off - after all, there's nobody looking over your shoulder! Try to avoid personal emails, phone calls, texts and social media during work hours; if you must, set yourself a short break where you can check your phone and Facebook/Twitter account. Acting as if you're working a 'regular' job not only ensures you're more productive, it helps you to feel more motivated.
6. Use Quiet Spells Wisely
When the work dries up, a freelancer's first step is usually to panic - I know, I've been there! However, you should try to use this time wisely; catch up with your invoicing, send your portfolio to new clients, or search for freelance work using sites such as Freelancer and Elance. Who knows what you may find! Make the most of these quiet days as with freelance work, it's usually either a feast or a famine, and when things get busy again, you'll be glad you used your time wisely.
7. Fake It Til You Make It
If you're not confident in your own abilities, how can you expect a client to want to hire you? Being new to the freelancing world can be daunting, but have some professional business cards printed, set up your own website and put in the work to find clients; it will pay off. Don't let yourself feel demotivated or disheartened; remember, every successful freelancer was once in your shoes!
I hope some of these tips will help you to stay motivated this year - I know I'll be using all of them to help me keep on track! How do you stay inspired and motivated when you're working from home? I would love to hear your tips!