Since making the transition from a steady office job to freelance life, there is one thing I’ve struggled with above all else: staying motivated. Up until now I had such a routine – although every day was different, I still had to get up in the morning, go to work, come home, eat dinner, etc. etc. When your life consists of routines like this, it is so easy to get caught up in the motions and you don’t have much time to let distractions get in the way. You forget to stop and think about why you’re doing what you’re doing. Now, every day is a blank slate. It is up to me to create my own schedule, and it’s not easy. But a lack of motivation can occur at any point, to anyone – in school, in work, in life – often without warning. I’ve found there are a few things that have helped me get back on track, and I’m sharing them below. If you have any advice, or have had a similar experience, let me know in the comments!
Ask yourself WHY.
So often I find myself doing things without even questioning why. Sometimes it’s not necessary – we all need to have moments in which we let go, stop thinking, and just live in the now. But when it comes to things like work, or larger steps you take in your life, ask yourself why. What is the end goal you’re hoping to achieve? What is the real reason behind your actions? Reminding yourself of a larger goal, and the steps you’re taking towards that goal, can help renew your drive and reinvigorate your spirit.
One thing at a time.
Sometimes the end goal is so far in the future, the steps to get there feel like a never-ending staircase. Tackle one thing at a time. Assign daily goals for yourself, and if you can scratch one thing off your list each day, you’ll make progress faster than you think. I often find myself putting things off because they feel so overwhelming – procrastination is probably one of my worst traits. I’ll end up trying to do a million things at once, at the last minute. I’m also slowly learning to realize that sometimes it’s ok to put something aside, move on to a new project, and then come back to it. Things suddenly become clear when you look at them with fresh eyes.
Change it up.
A change in scenery can do wonders. On days when I’m struggling with getting motivated I seek out a new coffee shop to make my workplace for the day. Being in a different environment can trigger new senses – new sounds, sights, smells – and somehow this helps to reinvigorate my mind. If you can’t physically relocate yourself, try stimulating your senses with different music than you’d normally listen to, or light a candle or dab some essential oil on your wrist.
Look at the bigger picture.
When all else fails, look at the bigger picture. In this short time we have on earth, what do you hope to achieve, where do you want to be ten, twenty years from now? What is most important to you? The answers to these questions, whether they are big or small, will lay the groundwork for your path in life. Give yourself the time and space to think about what really matters, and what you really want – there’s no better time to start moving towards that goal than now.
+ Tell me: What motivates you?