How To: Stay Motivated As A Freelancer


Motivation is crucial for any job. As a freelancer you have more freedom than most employees, but that freedom can turn into a disadvantage pretty quickly. If you find yourself postponing that thing you have to do or if you often just don’t feel like working, read on. This article gives you a few tips that will keep you motivated and help you reach your goals.

  1. Get your work rolling
  2. Break it up
  3. Remember why you started
  4. Keep on top of your health
  5. Take advantage of your flexibility
    1. Change of perspective
    2. Ability to expand your network
    3. New long-term opportunities
    4. Enhance your resume
    5. Recharge your batteries

1. Get your work rolling

To begin with, motivation isn’t some supernatural being that will just come to you while you’re waiting. The best way to get motivated is to get started – once you write that first line of code, a few words of your article’s title, take the first tiny steps towards your goal, you are likely to keep rolling forward. Remember, motivation comes with action!

2. Break it up

Do you have a big project that will take up a lot of time and resources? It is normal to lose motivation when you have a difficult and long task at hand. Breaking it up into smaller pieces can be extremely helpful. 

Set up small milestones that you can complete within an hour and reward yourself for reaching them. Take a fifteen minute break every time you accomplish another step. But don’t just stay in front of the computer. Instead, use the time to listen to your favourite songs, exercise or just take a short walk. That stimulation will keep you feeling motivated and energetic and ready to take the next step.

3. Remember where you started

Another helpful tip to not lose your motivation is to look back on your achievements – there are hundreds of reasons why you should love freelancing. You can think of the last project you finished and how good that made you feel. 

Long-term achievements like how you got to where you are now can be extremely motivating as well. Perhaps a couple of years ago you wouldn’t have imagined that you would be freelancing, enjoying all the advantages that it offers. It’s like climbing a mountain – when you look down you can see just how much you have achieved. 

4. Keep on top of your health

The saying “a sound mind in a healthy body” might sound cliché, but it holds a lot of truth. General fitness can keep you feeling happy and motivated. Do some light exercises now and then and remember to keep on top of your diet. 

Health, happiness and motivation are inherently connected. The best part is – as a freelancer you have the freedom and flexibility to combine it all. Check our health tips for freelancers

5. Take advantage of your flexibility

As a freelancer, flexibility is one of your greatest assets. Can’t get any work done at home? Pick up your laptop and go to your local cafe, the public library or the park. Purposefully moving to another place to accomplish your task can work wonders to keep you motivated. It will also keep you away from distractions and things that waste your time at home.

Another way to take advantage of your flexibility is to work abroad for a month or so. Some freelancers like to take a retreat in a beautiful city where there aren’t that many distractions. Others go to some adventurous place and soak in the culture and the flair of the place. Whatever you choose to do, a month of working abroad can really do a lot for your career.

Here are the top five ways in which it can help:

#1 Change of perspective

In your own city or town, even if you meet with other freelancers, you’re stuck in a bubble. It’s a bubble of people who share a similar culture, similar ways of thinking and similar everyday experiences.

Going to a different country can help you take a step back and consider how you are tackling various issues. Even the smallest things, like the way people dress, what they eat and how they communicate with one another can inspire you to rethink your work approach. That change of perspective can be very inspiring.

#2 Ability to expand your network

A huge advantage of getting out of your bubble is that you will meet new people. You will have to actively seek that out when you’re abroad, though. One of the easiest ways to do that is by planning your trip around a conference or a similar big event.

If you know a lot of people working in your field are going to be in the country or city you’re visiting, you have a perfect chance to expand your network. 

#3 New long-term opportunities

The people you meet around the world can be your future colleagues, bosses and, sometimes, even friends. Building a global network leads to long-term opportunities. As a freelancer, you have the freedom to work with the whole world out of your office or the comforts of your home. Utilize that. Turn the new members of your network into jobs and contracts.

This will do two things for you:

  • number one, it’s going to diversify your income. You won’t be that dependent on trends or hypes in your particular country. 
  • Secondly, the fact that you work globally will automatically lead to more global clients. After all, people from the other side of the world don’t go looking for freelancers that only work for local companies – they look for people who’ve already dipped their feet into global freelancing.

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#4 Enhance your resume

Spending a month or even several months abroad can look great on your resume. Even more so if you’ve been to a couple of different countries. That sends a message to further clients – the message and always looking for more opportunities to expand your client base and improve your work. It also sends a message that you’re not getting complacent inside your own four walls, but rather looking for a challenge outside of yourself.

#5 Recharge your batteries

Last but not least, doing some work abroad will mean that you also get some extra time to relax. You will still be working, don’t get me wrong. But working in a new, exciting place has a tendency to feel less tedious.

In your spare time, you won’t be sitting on the couch watching the latest TV show. You’ll want to explore the city, because it’s an opportunity you won’t get every day. You’ll be more active, because there are so many things to experience. Even something as simple as getting your groceries can be exciting in a new country. That is sure to give your batteries that extra jolt they need to function at one hundred and ten percent.

How do you stay motivated as a freelancer? Tell us in the comments below!

Viktor Marinov

Viktor is the voice behind the freelancermap blog. Every week he comes up with helpful hints, checklists, and guides for freelancers and independent workers. If you would like to know how to find remote jobs online or how to niche yourself as a freelancer, don't miss his freelancer tips!

By Viktor Marinov

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