Since graduating, I’ve been working in freelance positions for approximately two and a half years and I’ve found that there are so many benefits to working in this way. For example, rates of pay tend to be higher, you can work whenever you want and you can even work in bed when the mood takes you (trust me, it’s great!). However, wherever there are positives there are also negatives and the biggest negative in my case is keeping motivated. Trust me, it is the most challenging part of the job for many freelancers. I have tried numerous techniques and, thankfully, I now have a concrete set of solutions that have helped a great deal and I would like to share them with you. They may not work for everyone but they really helped me so if you’re procrastinating and need a helping hand, read on friend, read on.
GO FOR WALKS
We all know exercise is great for keeping us trim and healthy however, it’s easy to forget how important endorphins are for our brains too. Going for a walk or a swim can make a huge difference to our happiness and it is really important for maintaining a healthy mind. Once you get active, even for five minutes, endorphins will be released making you more positive, motivated and energized. Who doesn’t want to feel like that? Plus, they help reduce stress and even help fight depression. Starting your day with a jog or taking a mid afternoon stroll can be one of the best things you do for your brain and it takes very little effort.
Ok, I know what you’re thinking, this isn’t exactly ground breaking news. Lists are a great tool for encouraging productivity and are very commonly used. However, I think we’re using lists the wrong way. Humans have this incredible talent for being really hard on themselves. We won’t criticise our friends or our families but sometimes we say some pretty hard things to ourselves and it’s really not productive. I’m all for being ambitious but when we look at the tasks that we didn’t complete that day, we think we didn’t work hard enough and I believe doing this everyday has a detrimental effect. So here’s what I do. I write a ‘To-do’ list everyday and when I complete a task, I cross it off my list AND I also write down that task on a ‘Completed’ list. This way, at the end of the day, I can look back and see all the things I have achieved. Even if it includes cleaning the sheets, I was still productive and I should be proud of that. Give it a try and you might be surprised.
WORK V. LEISURE
Sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself by working on the sofa rather than the office but it’s only useful to you if it’s an occasional treat. Doing this everyday is really not helpful for your work. I cannot stress how important it is to create a very clear distinction between a work area and a leisure area. It could be in different buildings, rooms or even different chairs but you need to create those labels for your brain or you will find it really hard to get back into your work after a break. I know this sounds really boring but it really is more helpful than you think.
If things get really bad then head for chocolate but I’ve stuck to these tips and they haven’t let me down so far. Happy working!