Keep Motivated: Freelancers, Drive Yourself to Succeed

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In many ways, freelance writing is far more difficult than maintaining a traditional 8-hour-a-day job. For one thing, you’re really not accountable to no one but yourself. Which means it’s far more important to keep motivated when sitting at your desk all day.

Otherwise, you could wind up making less money than you would at a fast food restaurant. At which point, you need to ask yourself if you’re capable of sustaining the household and paying bills.

It’s Important to Keep Motivated

There’s no doubt about it…freelancers are under far more stress for productivity than other types of workers. For instance, someone working 40 hours a week is still paid even if he or she gets up to go to the bathroom.

When a freelance writer for Textbroker gets up to use the bathroom, it costs him or her in time from completing a job. Which results in a lower payout at the end of the week.

Let me break it down a bit for you…




It Impacts Workflow

If you’re really not motivated to work, it’s incredibly easy to talk yourself out of writing. And if you’re not writing, there’s no money coming in.

At a normal 9-to-5 job, you are getting paid an hourly wage whether you’re working or going out for a smoke break. Freelance writers from home don’t have that luxury.

We’re paid by project in most cases. Which means no work equals no pay.

I’ve experienced many days when I just didn’t want to put in the effort. Unfortunately, those weeks wound up being my worst in terms of payouts from systems like Textbroker. And nowadays, I don’t have that option as my retainer has my phone number, email and has me on Slack.

I don’t have a choice but to work, or else I lose my most valuable client.

Focuses a Professional Attitude

Motivation helps reinforce a professional attitude and vice-versa. The more professional you are, the greater the chances of finding clients.

On days when I felt the most motivated, I found it incredibly easy to acquire new contracts. Whether it was getting new clients in Textbroker or finding gigs in Fiverr, I was the most productive when having a positive mindset about working.

For me, motivation impacts every aspect of being a freelancer. It’s what empowers me to get “ready for work” in the morning and drives my interaction with clients.

It Directly Affects Pay

When you keep motivated, you’re more likely to work hard. As a freelancer, this directly affects how much money you make. Whether you’re a writer, game developer or Uber driver, a strong motivation to work means more money in the bank.

Well, more than there would be seeing how the lulls in working can also reduce your income.




8 Ways to Keep Motivated

So, what can you do to keep yourself motivated? After all, each person is different. What drives me to work may not be what lights a fire under you.

But, here are nine things I do that keep me centered on being a freelance writer. Perhaps they can work for you.

1. Gamify Your Work

I like to gamify work. This is when you take a normally mundane task and turn it into something you find fun and engaging. In fact, gamification is used often in regular jobs to keep employees motivated and focused.

For example, I’ll keep track of how much I write throughout the week. Then, I’ll try to surpass the number of words or time spent writing the next. For me, it’s all about trying to break my personal records.

It takes a bit of imagination to find a way to make work fun for yourself. But the payoff is greater motivation and greater levels of productivity.

2. Energize Yourself

Find a way to get yourself pumped and ready to work first thing in the morning. You need to face the day with positive energy if you want to stay motivated.

For me, it’s all about getting the blood flowing. I’ll wake up with a cup of Emerge and exercise in front of the Xbox for 25 to 30 minutes. After a quick shower, I am ready to tackle the day.

Another good way I keep motivated is by putting on my “motivation” playlist from my computer. It’s full of fast-paced, energetic songs that get my engine revving. I usually start with something from a Marvel movie.

In fact, my alarm to get up in the morning is the theme to Ant-Man.

3. Eat Better

One method that works well for me is eating better. I find that I am far more focused and motivated in the morning if I have something healthy first thing. There are a variety of foods to boost brain power, and that’s the key organ as a freelancer.

The brain is affected by everything you do. Even a lack of sleep can directly affect emotions and motivation. And although eating better won’t instantly affect how you keep motivated, it will impact your abilities over time.

I don’t even miss sugary cereals and donuts in the morning.

4. Be Positive About Who You Are

Your mentality is vastly important when approaching work. If you don’t approach writing with a positive attitude towards yourself, it’s more difficult to maintain success.

For me, I go for walks around the neighborhood listening to music and concentrating on who I am.

I am a writer. It’s that simple. Not only that, but I am a good writer…according to my clients.

If you want to be a writer, be positive about being what and who you are.

5. Meditate

Being able to relax and focus on work is imperative for me to keep motivated. And when the stress gets to be too much, I meditate. It’s a great way to relax and shed away negative thoughts before facing the next task.

Now, meditation may not be for everyone. It takes the ability to sit in silence and concentrate on your breathing. But if I can do it periodically throughout the day while raising two toddler girls, anyone can.

The best part about meditation is that you can literally do it anywhere. Whether you’re sitting in the shower, on the bedroom floor before everyone else gets up or if you have a few moments to yourself in the office, you can easily find time to meditate.

6. Get Enough Sleep

Like I said earlier, sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on your mentality. Being too tired will easily sap any energy you had to keep motivated. This is why I’ve been putting myself to bed earlier than normal.

You should get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. It depends on each person, but the gist of it is that you need rest. Without getting a good night’s sleep, it’s far more difficult to concentrate on anything.

7. Be Mindful of Your Schedule

I also keep motivated by being mindful of my daily schedule. I know that certain tasks need to be done at specific times in the day. Otherwise, my afternoon falls apart.

Create a schedule and stick to it as best you can. If you have to skip something, don’t fret about it. Just make sure you adjust the next day to compensate.

For example, I know that if I am not done recording my videos by noon, I’ll be working well into 6:00pm…which is something I really don’t want to do.

8. Work for Yourself…Literally

And lastly, be your own literal boss. A friend wrote a post about how he faces the day as a freelancer and it resonates with me. Chris Desatoff will imagine a boss standing over his shoulder while grilling him about not working.

And although I don’t have that much imagination to put into the process, I do keep motivated by working for myself. For me, it’s all about branding my name and being a professional.

Because I put in a lot of effort in branding and customer satisfaction, a lot of clients send people from their networks my way.

Keep Motivated to Succeed

I’m not saying that a lack of motivation will instantly cause you to fail. However, it will impact your chances of overall success.

Why not make it easier on yourself to pay the bills and get more clients?




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Michael Brockbank

Michael has been a freelance writer since January of 2012. He has completed more than 6,000 jobs for a variety of clients ranging from animals to travel.

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[…] far more diffi­cult than maintain­ing a tradi­tion­al 8‐hour‐a‐day job,” says Michael Brockbank. He contin­ues, “motiv­a­tion helps reinforce a profes­sion­al attitude and […]

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