Self-employed? 5 ways to stay motivated

We all have our days when we simply don’t want to get out of bed and get to work or don’t even know where to start when overwhelmed with a long to do list. That was my morning today. Last week, I longed for a rainy morning so I wouldn’t feel guilty staying in and working from the comfort of my own bed. 


This morning, I woke up to a gloomy day but was far from cheery and motivated to get out of bed and get to work. Sometimes I feel so out of balance and feel completely lost. During my search for a fulfilling job, I’ve taken some freelance work to develop my skills and get experience. Some might think being self-employed gives you so much freedom and being your own boss gives you lots of advantages. It’s true but it requires a lot of self-discipline and good time management skills. You can only count on yourself to stay motivated and get work done. It’s easy to give yourself a day off but you don’t want to get to comfortable in your ways. When you work by yourself, you interact with less people on a daily basis which can sometimes lower your motivation levels. This morning, I was far from motivated, felt sluggish and off my a game.

Here are 5 ways to get back on track and stay motivated on your journey of self-employment:

Set a schedule (and stick to it)

Whether it’s on your laptop, phone or written in your journal, write out your schedule and what you want to accomplish that day. You want to make sure it’s realistic. Don’t schedule to many things in one day. Focus on one goal, schedule some breaks and change up your working environment. Working in different environments can trigger new ideas and keep you in good spirits. 

Set goals first thing in the morning

When you wake up, try not to reach for your phone or computer. Take a deep breath, stretch and tell yourself out loud 5 things you want to accomplish that day. Repeat 2-3 times. This will make you more aware of what needs to be done that day. It doesn’t necessarily need to be work related but I would encourage you to have 1-2 work related goals and 2-3 personal goals. 

Read daily and connect with like-minded people

You might not interact with many people on a daily basis so why not connect with like-minded people online or attend networking events. I have a few blogs and websites bookmarked that I read on a daily basis to stay up-to-date with the world and my industry that I share via Twitter. On Twitter, I connect with companies I value and individuals with informative and interesting tweets. Twitter gives you the opportunity to connect with others, share valuable content and discover new companies. I would also encourage to attend networking events. These events will enable you to share and promote your services, make connections and possibly create partnerships. 

Work in intervals

We often block off 4-5 hours to work on a projects which might feel daunting. Working for a long period of time can be energy draining and might lead to decreased productivity. Take a 5-10 minute break every 50 minutes. You might even want to alternate the tasks you are working on every 50 minutes.

If you feel less motivated, work on a single task for 20 minutes, then go do something else for the next 20 minutes. You might find yourself wanting to continue through with your project. If you do, make sure you take a break at the 50 minute mark. 

Schedule a workout

Feeling overwhelmed by your long to do list or anxious with deadlines creeping up? We all know regular exercise has been proven to reduce stress, ward off anxiety and boost self-esteem, so make sure to schedule a workout in the morning or the afternoon. It will help clear your mind and give you an energy boost to help you complete your tasks.

Join in on the discussion and share your experiences! What keeps you motivated? How do you handle stress?