Four ways to fight the freelance funk

How many times have you found yourself slumped over in your computer chair, you reach for your coffee and try to muster up the strength and excitement to get through one more hour of work? Maybe you’ve been going through this as recently as last week. The feeling of doubt and self loathing sweeps over you, causing your work ethic to drop and your spirits to plummet. But there’s hope.

There are ways you can fight the freelance funk and get yourself motivated to make magic happen. Some of the best tips on fighting freelance funk are laid out in this very article – written while I was in a design funk by the way. So if you’ve found yourself in a slump lately, check out these tips and see if you don’t come out at the end of this article more energized and ready to rock.

Tip #1: Do something completely different

Burn outs happen and when they do, it’s good to notice it and move onto something else. For instance, when I write articles for this blog I usually do it when I’ve been designing for a while and I’m tired of being in Photoshop. By taking the break to write, I allow my ‘creative’ brain to rest and then once it’s time to get back to work I feel refreshed and ready to complete the tasks at hand.

Doing something different can also mean going for a walk, reading a book, playing with a pet or listening to music. Anything that can get your mind off of the current work for a bit can greatly help you recharge your batteries. Maybe doing absolutely nothing is exactly what you need? Take a day off and sleep, lounge around on the couch and never touch your phone or computer (this includes, but is not limited to: laptops, desktops, tablets and phones).

Tip #2: Read/Listen/Watch Inspirational Pieces

One of the first things I do when I get into an emotional slump is read motivational quotes. I’ll skip through a few of them and see if something catches my eye and makes me think. I’ve showcased motivational quotes here a couple times (98 in total – 49 here and 49 more here) so you can go through those when you feel a bit down.

If you’re not up for reading, try spending some time in front of the television with a good movie. Inspirational movies like Pursuit of Happyness, Yes Man, etc will put you into a better mood and motivate you to get to work – I’ve watched Pursuit of Happyness 6 times now and every time I watch it, I get a renewed sense of energy to work really fucking hard. If all else fails, watch this youtube video and then tell me you can’t do something.

Tip #3: Get off your ass and work out

I’ve been the type of person to blow this tip off in the past just like you’re probably doing now, so do yourself a favor and don’t skip it. There’s something powerful that happens when you work out, push your body to the limit and take a shower afterwards. You feel refreshed, invigorated and ready to take over the world. Read up on how Exercise has been proven to ward of depression – it’s proven fact and I can personally promise you that it does work.

What I like to try and do, especially on days where I’m trapped in my office for 10+ hours, is get up every thirty minutes and do a set of push ups, a set of sit ups and maybe even a few burpees. It gets the blood flowing, stretches out my muscles and energizes me when I sit back down for another 30 minutes. You can also try using some dumbbells and doing a few exercises with those or doing jumping jacks, dance, etc. Just get up and move!

Tip #4: Dive into your work head first

Sometimes the best way to get out of the freelance funk is to just dive into your work and get started. The fear of starting paralyzes us into an inability to even begin, so if you can force yourself to sit down and get to work, you’re already a million miles ahead of where you were five minutes ago.

So what are you waiting for? Tweet this article and then get to work!

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Author: Mike Smith

Mike Smith is a WordPress designer & developer at GUERRILLA and the owner and main blogger here on Guerrilla Freelancing.

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  1. […] Four ways to fight the freelance funk Sometimes as freelancers we occupy most of our time working (because honestly we can survive on coffee and bagels), and sometimes our brains just give up on the creativity fight. Here’s an article with four tips on how to give yourself a break. […]

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