Whether you run your own coffee shop, make furniture for a living or freelance like me, working for yourself isn’t always easy.
It gets glorified a LOT for the advantages it comes with (like the ability to work in your PJs all day) but those advantages are just a tiny part of the maze that is self-employment.
Setting your own hours, working from home and controlling your own workflow are a few of the many things that, in theory, sound fantastic. In reality, you’re working until god knows what time, alone all day, most days and taking on any job you can to get by – not exactly motivating stuff.
I get it. We all have our down days and motivation is one of those things that inevitably comes and goes as it pleases but there are a few things I’ve found that have helped me to get my mojo back when it does.
I talked about this on Instagram recently after I sat down with a fellow freelancer friend of mine to set some goals. We wrote down 4 or 5 things we wanted to achieve of the next couple of months and realistic dates we had to do them by and it’s something I’ve found really helpful. I made a start almost immediately afterwards and I’m well on my way to completing a couple of them already. I’m not sure whether it was the permanence of writing it down or having someone I’m accountable to but it’s definitely doing the trick.
Spending time away from social media
Social media plays such a huge part in every business these days but it’s also a huge distraction for most people, myself included. Whether it’s mindless scrolling through Instagram stories or comparing myself to the competitor that went self-employed at the same time as I did and has double the followers that I do, more often than not, it’s the opposite of motivational. I sometimes delete the apps for a few hours at a time. It really takes away the temptation and forces me to concentrate.
Getting a change of scenery
Even if it’s a walk around the block this is something I find whole-heartedly necessary. I have to admit, my change of scenery mostly involves a rummage in the local Home Sense with my mum who lives a couple of minutes up the road but if it does the trick and helps you get back to business, why not? I try not to beat myself up about what the change of scenery is and just make sure I get one.
Searching for inspiration
Creativity is not something I can force and I know I’m not the only one. I could sit for hours at my laptop trying to write a blog post but if I’m not feeling creative, I’ll end up starting from scratch when I do anyway. Searching for inspiration can really help though. Magazines, blog posts and Pinterest are just a few of the many places I go to find mine. I know I said that social media can be distracting but if you’re using it for inspirational purposes, it can also be a godsend. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve seen or read something that’s sparked an idea of my own and brought the motivation to get creating, flooding back.
Talking it out
I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by other self-employed creatives on a daily basis and there’s something so reassuring about sharing the funk you’re in with someone who really understands. Sometimes just saying it out loud is enough. It gives me the kick up the bum I needed to force myself out of it.
I hope you found these tips useful. If not, you have my full permission to get yourself an office (or home office) dog. They’re scientifically proven to have all kinds of positive influences in the workplace!