Burnt Out Freelancer: How To Stay Self Motivated Working From Home

Alla Bogdan
Digital marketer and content creator with love to technology, self-education and new opportunities. Biblio and linguaphile.
≈ 5 min read
Upd. on: 2 Aug 2021

1. Look into the mirror, not around

You surely do know this feeling, when you wake up in the morning after a good dream and for a few seconds you are relaxed, but then…bang! Your memory comes back and you realize that the deadline for the current freelance project is today. The worst thing is that you don’t want to do anything at all. You want to make yourself comfortable on the couch in front of the TV, take a bicycle and ride fast like a bullet, hang out with friends – everything is better than finishing your project right now.

I know, it’s tempting, but don’t listen to this rat inside. Put first things first. ‘Give me a reason to work’ – you will reply to me. Sure, no problem. Here are some working freelance tips that will reawake your force. Furthermore, they will teach you how to be a Freelancer with capital ‘F’ and how to become self motivated.

Just a small remark: in case some advices don’t work for you, do not give up and try the next one. All people are different. Same as their motivation skills. Some prefers reward, others – punishment. What is self motivation for you? Find your own answer.

2. Why freelance work

Freelance is a light version of entrepreneurship. You are your own boss, accountant, and marketeer. You don’t have to listen to silly lectures about being late for two minutes. However, the other side of the coin is that your success fully depends on your efforts. Work hard, be proud of your achievements, and the result will exceed the expectations. Of course, life is pain, and you have to start off from the bottom, but once you get a good reputation, it will be paying your back over and over again. Guaranteed by numerous successful freelance careers.

3. Fly like a bird

Freelance freedom is what office workers can’t get enough. Wanna eat an ice cream? Well, I wouldn’t say no. You can go to the local shop and enjoy your favorite vanilla ice cream ball right now. Isn’t that great? Just don’t get carried away. If you mess around too much, you may forget about the deadline. Yes, I know that you need a muse to create, but teach her to show up beforehand.


In ‘Two and a Half Men’, Charlie Harper teaches his nephew to postpone job until the very last moment. He says that while you do other pleasant things your job is being slowly organized in your head. Finally, when there is no time left, your fear combined with concentration helps you to finish the project shortly. Sounds like a plan, right? Well, I would recommend you avoid using this scheme because comedy principles rarely work in real life.

4. Passion is your everything

Passion is something that makes you do your job even when you feel tired, exhausted or sleepy. It is your internal flame that supports the working mood. It is the fuel for your body and mind that makes your engines work and create. It is… well, you got the idea. The point is that you have to endorse your passion in all possible and impossible ways. Without it your projects will be worthless and boring. Read a book, go to cinema, travel – all these little joys have a large positive effect on your mood and passion.


5. Carrot and stick

Here you have two options: reward and punishment. Its up to you to choose, but I’d rather pick both. Make it two in one.

You know all those boring things like eat a candy or buy a T-shirt. Frankly speaking, this is all trash. Desperate times call for desperate measures. As far as I am concerned, the best stimulus that can make a difference is money. There is hardly any person in the world, who likes losing money. So here is my advice: every month, allocate a certain sum out of your salary and give it to your best friend (I hope you have one). Tell him (her) to keep it until you finish your project. If you do it on time, you receive the money. But if you fail, say bye bye to it. Bequeath this money to noble goals (your ancestors will be grateful, if you invest in the fight against global climate change).

Believe me, money is your best carrot and stick at the same time.

6. Office, sweet office

If someone tells you that working at a sandy beach in Thailand is the best place ever, don’t believe this person. No, seriously, how are you supposed to concentrate on a project when people around are kitesurfing, paragliding, and drinking those tasty summer cocktails with cute straws and umbrellas? To make a long story short, it is impossible. The place you work must look like a workplace. In case you live like me, in a studio, choose a corner and make it your work-only space. If you are lucky to have a big apartment, pick up a separate room. Don’t let your socks, kids’ toys or other home stuff get there.


And one more important thing. Do not work in underwear! You are adult now. Time to wear pants, buddy.

7. Break into pieces

Imagine your project is a cake and your goal is to eat it. If you feel up to eating the whole cake at once, please, go ahead. However, I should warn you about negative consequences – stomach ache, nausea and so on. If you want to do what’s best for yourself, cut the cake into equal pieces and spread them evenly over available days. I bet, you will enjoy every piece of the cake and eat it all with little effort. You see what I mean, don’t you?

8. Block irritants

Finally, get rid of everything that distracts you. Turn on an invisible mode in your skype, put your phone on vibrate, and turn off the TV. If you have a weak willpower and can’t stop scrolling Facebook or watching little kitties, use website blockers to stop wasting your time.

Feel the peace… and get to work!

9. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart

I know, I know, this step has already been discussed in every journal and article, but practice makes perfect. The truth is that physical exercises bring health benefits. And it’s not me speaking, it’s World Health Organization. Just five minutes of physical activity every hour will keep your mind clean and body healthy. Moreover, do not forget about regular visits to the gym, skiing, bicycling, and other activities.

Room ventilation is another essential procedure for every freelancer. You need to feel your body with ions regularly, but unfortunately, your computer doesn’t produce them.


10. Live, work, enjoy

Your job is an essential part of your life. Unless you are a son of a billionaire, you need to earn one’s living. Being a freelancer has its pros and cons. Motivation relates to the last one. It is not as easy as it seems to find your own stimulus. Usually, it’s not a single action, but a combination of a few. Find your own recipe, become a self motivator, and enjoy every minute of your work.


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