God bless the freelance life, right? It’s flexibility is attracting more and more people to ditch their full-time jobs for something a little less structured (and uh…corporate). But, we get that being a freelancer ain’t no walk in the park either. Staying motivated can be extremely difficult when you work by yourself without any deadlines or bosses to keep you in check. Use these tips to help you stay motivated as a freelancer, and always remember why you started!
Set SMART Goals
Before you go to bed each night, set your goals for what you want to accomplish the next day. Whether you want to write blog posts, edit photos, or need to get caught up on your monthly expense report, always remember to set “SMART” goals.
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Attainable
- R – Realistic
- T – Timely
Instead of writing “edit photos” on your to-do list, write “edit 80 photos and categorize in folder by orientation and subject before lunch.” Writing this down will create a mental deadline for you and will help you feel more inclined to complete your goals!
Set Time Restraints
One of the best parts about working freelance is that you don’t have a boss to tell you which hours to work. You probably ditched the 9-5 working life for more flexibility in your time, so just make sure you don’t take advantage of having the option to work any and all hours of the day. Always remember to set working hours for yourself so you don’t get burnt out! This will not only help yourself, but will help those around you. Your family will appreciate having free time with you! Plus, it’s always nice to get out of the house to run an errand or grab a bite to eat.
When you’re working alone most of the time, rarely is anyone around to give you recognition or a pat on the back. More likely than now, you feel like your hard work isn’t getting appreciated. If your clients aren’t showing you the love, plan out times throughout the month when you’ll reward yourself after achieving one of your larger goals. Booked 10 new clients? Treat yourself to a massage! Finished the redesign of a client’s website? Buy yourself that new desk accessory you’ve had your eye on. Completed 50 orders in a day? Schedule a happy hour with some friends!
And most importantly, remember to have a “me” day every now and then when you don’t even think about your freelance gig. Though freelance hours are flexible, it’s easy to get caught up. Don’t let yourself work everyday. Take some time for YOU!