There are a lot of benefits to being a freelancer - working your own hours, having the flexibility to work outside of the office, and working by yourself away from a team. Sometimes these benefits can make it harder to get things done because you have the opportunity to do it later. It's easy to say, I don't need to work right now, so I'm going to go to a yoga class, take a break, or watch a movie. But when you're constantly pushing things off or back because there are other more fun options, it can be easy to get behind on tasks and deliverables.
Fortunately, there are several tactics that can be employed to help stay motivated as a freelancer and working on your projects.
Setting Deadlines and Sharing Them with Clients
Sometimes clients give deadlines of when things should be done, however other times, no deadlines are given and there are ongoing projects. When this happens, creating deadlines for yourself and sharing them with your client can help create more accountability for yourself. When you share it with someone else and it creates an expectation, it makes it harder to back away from it.
Scheduling Status Meetings
Meetings are another great strategy for staying motivated. Setting meetings with your clients or coworkers is a good way to make sure that you're moving forward in the projects at an acceptable pace. If you're the person owning or running these meetings, you'll need to have updates to share with your client. If you're constantly showing up to the meetings without any updates, it won't reflect well on you and you could be in jeopardy of losing your job or disappointing your clients.
Leverage New Relationship Energy
This one is harder to manifest, but sometimes it takes a bit of newness to get excited to work on a project. Having new tasks or a new client can make it easier to self motivate by having some new relationship energy with your client or task. If you can't find a new project, are there anyways you can find some newness with your existing clients? Have you been wanting to try out a new methodology or a new tool? Creating a plan to incorporate newness into your workday can make it easier to motivate yourself to accomplish goals and tasks and get work done.
Switch Up Tasks
One last tactic we'll discuss today is switching up your tasks. Instead of blocking out one day to work on one client's work, try switching up work and tasks so that you don't get burnt out while you're working. Spending 1.5-hour blocks on one task, taking a break, and then switching to something else, can help provide the structure to getting things done and moving forward.
If all else fails, one of the best things that can be done is simply sitting down and doing the work. Go to a coffee shop or your coworking space where your brain is trained to work and sit down to do things.
If you're interested in learning more check out our blogs on 3 Best Strategies to Overcome Burnout and How to Find Fulfilling Work.