We’ve all had days when it’s hard to get motivated. There are often good reasons why you don’t feel like working. Maybe the new client you thought you had in the bag has just told you they’re appointing someone else. Or your long-standing client has halved their budget. Or your main contact has left their job and been replaced by someone who wants to axe their spending on freelancers and bring it all in-house.
Whatever the reason, how do you keep chipper when things are far from rosy? Here are my five tips:
Every time a client sends me a positive statement or compliment, I cut and paste it into a Word document. These aren’t the testimonials on my website or my LinkedIn profile. These are ‘thank yous’ I receive when I’ve completed a project. Keep your own list and read it next time you lack motivation. It will give you a real lift to know you are actually appreciated by your clients – even if one of them is currently giving you a hard time.
Forget all about work for an hour or two. Go out and have lunch with a mate or meet up with some friends and spend a fun evening with them.
Post what’s just happened on a forum you regularly contribute to (without naming names, of course). You’ll be surprised just how many other online friends have experienced the same situation. It may not solve the problem but it will make you realise it’s not just you that this happens to.
Shut the office door and go and do some exercise. It’s amazing how a good run, swim or work out will help you see things in a more positive light.
Think about which clients and which kind of projects you’ve enjoyed working on most of all. Make a list for each one. Next think about which clients and projects you couldn’t stand. Make another list for these. Now take a good look at your lists and see if any patterns emerge. Once you understand exactly who and what make freelancing enjoyable (and who and what make it ghastly), you can start to identify who you’d like to work for in the future and the kind of project you’d really enjoy doing. This will also give you a great new business list to go after. And you’ll know who to say ‘no’ to in the future.
What do YOU do when you’re fed up and lack motivation?