Let’s face it. Maintaining internal motivation as a freelancer is anything but easy. Even if your livelihood depends on finishing your project, you’ll still find yourself slipping.
The most common excuses I’ve heard?
“It can wait until tomorrow.”
“I can push the deadline.”
“I overbooked myself.”
I want to take a minute to talk about the dangers of overbooking yourself. Taking on too many clients at once can be overwhelming and, ultimately, paralyzing. Over the past seven years, I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) that a smaller load of clients can actually result in a bigger payout because the work gets done.
Remember, you don’t get paid for each client you accept. You get paid for the work you finish.
Some Internal Motivation Exercises
(1) Set a schedule that includes days, hours, and times. For example, I work when my husband works. That’s four days a week from roughly 4 am to 3 pm. That gives me plenty of time for breaks and exercise while promising three days off.
(2) Eat a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise. I shoot for at least one workout every single day. It keeps the juices flowing.
(3) Take frequent breaks. If you have a pet, play with it. If you have chores, do them. Read a book. Go for a walk. Make your breaks productive.
(4) Organize your finances. Knowing what each project means and where each check is going can provide the internal motivation you need to stay on task.
(5) Keep your workspace clean. There’s nothing more distracting than a messy office. It helps to clean at night. That way, you can’t use cleaning as an excuse to avoid your work the next day.
Internal motivation is hard, especially when you work from home. The important thing is to keep going, even when you’ve had a rough day.