Here are our top tips on how to stay motivated as a freelancer or contractor. Also check out our contractor resources for more contracting tips.
- Consider hot-desking: There are many locations and offices in big cities that allow you to either work for free or for about £100 per month. You’ll go stir crazy sitting at home by yourself, so get out there. The best thing hot-desking is for, though, is new work from surrounding employers. If you don’t like the sound of this, try a space in the park near a Wi-Fi hotspot or even your local café.
- Structure your day: Trying to blag your way through your freelancing contracts is a surefire way to end up being burnt out and frustrated. Put some limitations on your daily activities and set yourself task lists to complete (go for small over big). Add in time for eating lunch, playing with the dog or simply calling a friend for 20 minutes. Break up your day so it works better for you.
- Exercise: I cannot stress how much exercising will keep your mind and body focused. You will spend far too long hunched over a computer and it’s not great for your body. However you choose to do this, put aside between 20-60 minutes a day (depending on how much your body can take) to do something active – break this up if you need to. Go for long walks, go for a jog, throw a basketball into some hoops. Whatever it is, just keep moving.
- Don’t forget to eat: You may think you can go all day without eating and still be as sharp as a razorblade, but studies have shown time and again that eating food keeps your brain awake and alert. Schedule in a lunch break for yourself as well as a dinner break. If eating with your family/partner makes you happier, then schedule in time for this. You’re only letting yourself down otherwise and your mood will drop.
- Reward yourself: If you’ve spent a week working on a big project and you’ve handed it in, go out and spend time with your friends or loved ones. Or buy that something nice for yourself to make you feel good about all of the work you are doing. What is the point in working so hard if you can’t enjoy your life, too?
- Don’t isolate yourself: Yes, we’re all far too busy and working 12 hours a day. We’re social creatures (again, all backed up by studies, look it up!), so get yourself in the company of others as regularly as you can. This doesn’t mean sitting in a coffee shop working away, watching others go about their business. This means regularly interacting with other human beings. Set aside one night a week, if you’re swamped, to go out and see friends. It will do wonders for your overall happiness.
What works best for you to stay motivated in your freelance or contracting life? Be sure to pre-register with iContract – we go live soon and will be connecting contractors with recruiters. Don’t miss out!