Long Haul

watershed moment

The number one issue that I’ve struggled with for my time freelancing has to be motivation. It is crazy hard to stay motivated day after day, week after week. It’s kind of like running. I might not get a whole lot out of one individual run, but if I keep at it, eventually the rewards come. It’s really hard to have days (or weeks) where my actions don’t seem to have positive outcomes, but eventually they come. After I got back from vacation, I really struggled with how to continue to stay motivated. I felt like each day where I didn’t get much done was a missed opportunity, but it didn’t stop me from not doing a whole lot, and then feeling awful about it. This time actually prompted a pretty major change in the way I view and run my business (more on that later), but it’s also opened my eyes to how important it is to keep up a pretty high level of motivation.

There are a couple things that are really important for me to keep working:

1. Set clear goals about what I want to accomplish. I need to know what I have to do today, in the next couple of weeks (generally) and what I’d like to happen in the upcoming year. Otherwise, what’s the point?

2. Mix it up. It’s so tempting to stay home and hibernate day after day, but getting dressed (every day! aren’t you proud of me?) and getting out of the house is often the difference between being super productive, and being a lazy slob.

3. Stay creative. I get so much joy out of making stuff. If I’m going to run a successful business, I’m not going to be able to do that 100% of the time. That’s okay, but I needed to remember that while being creative is my job, it’s also a part of my personality, and I need to nurture the non-work side of that. I’ve started doing personal, non-design projects in the evenings, and I think it’s helped me do my job better.

That’s what works for me. It’s still a struggle some days, but I have definitely felt a lot more motivated since realizing these things about myself. Do you have any tips for keeping motivated? Or do you just want to talk about how hard it is? (so hard!)

  • http://www.existation.com Rachel

    So hard! I’m just entering the game, and I have no set routine/process yet, so it’s especially hard for me right now. For some reason, it makes me feel better that it never gets completely easier…maybe because that knowledge gives me motivation that I just gotta get my ass in gear and make it work the best I know how. Glad to know I’m not alone!

    • lovecitron

      You are definitely not alone, Rachel! I would definitely recommending getting a process down as soon as you can. Taking some of the decisions out of your day definitely makes it easier to get going!

  • http://shelleyeaster.com Shelley

    I’m completely that way when it comes to finding new clients. I get most down on myself at night, when I have all the ‘what am I doing?’ negative emotions happening. I’m good at staying on top of current clients, but I know I have to do more to get new business. That’s what I’m currently struggling with too.

    • lovecitron

      Yes! I think it’s harder because if you don’t do it, nobody’s going to get mad at you… at least for me. We can do it! :)