Working for your self is the best job in the world! There’s no hair-raising commute, no restrictive dress code, and no office politics. But even the best job can get stale and lack luster after doing it for a while. But how can you get that spark back once it’s gone? It may be time to nurture your ‘relationship’ with your freelance career and rekindle your love for freelancing.
Here are 10 quick tips to getting your freelance groove back.
- Try a new position
Doing the same type of projects over and over can get boring, so try getting out of your comfort zone by using the other side of your creative brain. If you’re a designer, try learning a little bit about coding a website. If you’re a writer, draw a graphic to go with your next article. If you’re a developer, write a clever headline or two for the page you’re coding. Using a different creative talent can help get the juices flowing so you can be more productive in your main line of work.
- Find Your G-Spot
Your “Generous” spot, that is. Take a minute to give a client or colleague a reference on Linked-In, re-tweet a friend’s latest blog post, or send a thankful email to someone who helped you out. Doing a good deed for someone else not only makes you feel good, but often times comes back to you!
- Bring Out the Toys
Has your office atmosphere gotten boring? Try upgrading your laptop, getting a new desk lamp, or start using a fancy new notebook. Sometimes something as simple as a new gel-style pen can jazz up your day. A fun gadget or work-related accessory can improve your workflow and make your time spent in the office more interesting and productive!
- Spend More Time in Bed
You’re no good to anybody if you’re too groggy to focus. Get some rest! Figure out what your optimal sleep time is and go to bed a little earlier in order to get it. Try using a white-noise machine if you have trouble getting to or staying asleep. You work hard and your body and mind deserve it.
- Tell ‘em What You Want
Sometimes just asking for work will put new projects in your inbox. Are you offering a new service? Let your clients know. Looking for more design work or jonesing for a creative writing gig? Put the word out! Tell clients what you’re looking for via a new blog entry, social media posting, or email blast, and let the projects start rolling in.
- Incorporate Physical Touch
Working alone and not having anyone to answer to can be fun, but human contact is essential for a balanced freelancer. Get out of the office and talk to people….in person! Go to a networking event and shake some hands or hug a client-turned-friend. Physical touch can do wonders for lifting your spirits and inspiring good work.
- Be Spontaneous
Do you find yourself bored and uninspired on yet another dreary Monday? Pack up your laptop and business cards and find a new coffee shop to work in today. Or schedule a last minute lunch or happy hour with a friend or past client to rekindle your relationship and possibly drum up new work. Sometimes just a change of venue can make a huge difference.
- Dress It Up
I know some days it’s easier to just go straight from bed to your desk, but every once in a while you should wake up and do the whole ‘get ready’ routine. You’ll feel more productive when your hair is clean and you’re wearing a nice pair of pants (yes, actual pants, not flannel polar bear pajamas). Not only that, you’ll be ready for a spontaneous luncheon or to head out to that new coffee shop at a moment’s notice.
- Have Fun!
You became a freelancer because you loved and were good at what you do. Make it fun again by doing a side project…something just for you. It can be totally frivolous or something that will bring in new business; but having a project that’s just for you without a client telling you how to do it is a good way to stay motivated.
- These tips didn’t work for you? Maybe it’s time for a breakup.
Have you tried all of these things but still can’t get that spark back? Figure out what might be making you unhappy in your freelancing life and fix it or ditch it. Is there a client who makes you cringe every time you see their name pop up on caller ID? It could be time to cut them loose. Does your phone keep dropping important work-related calls? Maybe you should switch service providers. Sometimes it’s not changing what you do but getting rid of what’s dragging you down that makes the most difference.