Motivation is tricky.
I’m sitting here with my two little Chihuahuas- one on each side. They are so spoiled. My Chihuahua mix just let out a grunting sound as she stretched out getting even more comfortable, and I’m like life is just not fair. Aww to be a Chihuahua in this household.
I on the other hand, am propped up on pillows nursing my sore neck from all the cleaning I have been doing and from carrying a table back from the market yesterday. My hips are actually bruised, don’t ask.
Organization in the chaos…
I’m all up in my multiple Trello boards trying to get a handle on my day and figure how to tackle this 1500 word project when I feel like going back to bed for 3 days straight.
I’ve talked in a past post about managing a freelance biz with chronic pain and running a business as an introvert. But, sometimes no matter where you find yourself on the introversion versus extroversion scale or your level of health, life just gets in the way of your business.
If you are doing this freelance thing with kids in tow, I give you, even more, props.
So, what do you do when life and your freelance business cease to live in harmony and instead begin to appear more like an explosion of tasks undone with your feelings of well-being gone up in smoke?
After all, you have bills, right? Yourself and/or a family to feed?
I asked my wonderful group of Freelance peeps on Facebook to gather answers for us all. If you are struggling with motivation in your biz, here’s what we came up with to help…
*Feel free to pick and choose which motivation tips seem like they would be the most helpful to you.
Fight The Isolation
Many of us freelancers love to be home working on our own things in our own little worlds. But, sometimes the isolation can just become too much. You need a person to share with and bounce ideas off of. Just because you work from home does not mean that you have to be isolated all the time.
Marie Forleo says,
Working from home might not demand much human interaction, but your soul does.
And she has some awesome tips for you!
Joining Facebook groups that are engaged has worked great for me. One of my favorites: Freelance To Freedom Project Community
Get Out of The House
This one goes along with fighting the isolation. But, while you can fight isolation online by joining some Facebook groups or jumping on a Skype chat, sometimes you just need to get out as Marie suggested. Have a coffee date or move somewhere else and people watch.
Not up for getting out of the house at the moment? Try changing locations within the house.
Though I have done it, I do not recommend working from your bed. It can mess with your work/sleep boundaries. But you can use other locations in your house to change things up. It’s great if you are fortunate to have a whole room, in your house, dedicated to your home office, but even then you need to move around.
Sitting in one location all day can be painful to both your body and psyche. If you are feeling stuck, try moving to the dining room table, window seat, or even outside to your backyard to work for a bit.
Clean and Reorganize
Quick story about my neuroticism:
I homeschooled throughout late middle school and high-school. My mom would head off to work and leave me to do my school work. What did I do in the house all alone? Yes, I did do my school work, but I would also clean and move furniture around in my room. My mom would come home and see my room completely rearranged.
I can remember bracing my back against the wall and pushing furniture with my feet because I was too small to move those heavy things around any other way.
What I learned from this is that I would feel so renewed and refreshed with a changed space.
You don’t have to move furniture around to enjoy this refreshing effect. Just adding some fresh flowers and rearranging your desk can help. Try changing things a bit and get your creative groove back!
Go The Creative Project Route
If you are losing motivation in your freelance business it may be due to lack of inspiration. Find a creative hobby. Knitting, paper mache, scrapbooking, pottery…the sky’s the limit. Whatever floats your creative boat.
Creative projects can tap into both sides of your brain and force you to focus on what is in front of you. They can give the overactive analyzing portion of your brain a break.
This kind of break gives your creative spirit a boost and can help you come up with needed solutions to make your business more fun and more sustainable.
Creativity, as has been said, consists largely of rearranging what we know in order to find out what we do not know. Hence, to think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted. George Kneller
Get Some Exercise
Regular physical exercise can actually improve your memory and your thinking skills. But, getting your sweat on also gives you a break from work tasks and boosts oxygen to your brain.
Feeling strong and powerful, in your body, after a good workout can help you feel strong and powerful in other areas of your life, like your business, too.
Marie spoke in the video above about how much exercise can boost productivity and I so agree.
Managing your body can help you manage your life. #freelancelife Click To Tweet
Exercise is one of the most important ways to get the most out of your brain. Physically and mentally. The Brain Flux
Rethink Your Schedule
Do you even have a schedule? The good news, as a freelancer- you can work in your pajamas all day. The bad news- you can work in your pajamas all day. Having the freedom to change locations and mix things up is one of the great parts of being a freelancer.
But, if you are just winging it every day, with no consistent routines, you can lose your motivation to rise and shine.
Even just getting dressed can give your business success a boost! Not every day has to be a dressed up day, but try it when you are feeling unmotivated and see if you feel more like tackling those biz projects.
Color Can Help Too:
And, while we’re talking about schedules…
Schedule off days
Freelancing gives you some freedom to work on your own schedule, but sometimes that means that your work goes with you everywhere you go and can eat its way into your personal and family time. Do you eat, sleep, and live your business?
I don’t have a 9-5. I have an eyes open to eyes shut.
If so, it may be time to schedule some off days. You can prepare ahead of time for this by creating systems that can be used by a virtual assistant, setting up an email marketing funnel or schedule, setting up an “out of office” email, and so on. Or if you are really stressed, and do not have any of this prepared, it may be time to take a day off anyways.
It is unlikely that your business is going to fall completely apart in one day, right!
Plan ahead as much as you can and take a break. Get outside, spend some time with family and friends. You will likely come back refreshed with new ideas.
Re-evaluate Your Why
I’ve talked about this before, but keeping the “Big Picture” in mind, the why behind doing what you do can motivate you and keep you focused.
Dig deep into your why. Do you run your own business to spend more time with your family? For the greater freedom? Because you have an entrepreneurial spirit that was once unstoppable?
Give yourself that “Why” pep talk. Write down your larger reasons for your business and review them when you get stuck. Feel the good feelings behind those whys. Bask in them.
And if you have not already watched this now famous TED Talk, check it out:
If your lack of motivation is simply due to procrastination, I have a post to be published soon at Café Quill on strategies for managing procrastination so stay tuned for that.
*Bonus Tip: Look for inspiration all around you to fuel your motivation.
Like a quote, I saw on Pinterest,
Pray, slay, and counquer the day!
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