The thing about being creative is that you will always get to that point where you feel that you’re running out of juice, like you have nothing else to squeeze. Some people call it burnout. But for a lot of freelancers, web developers, designers, artists, and other creatives, it all boils down to one thing: lack of motivation.
When you’re in a funk and you can’t think of anything else that could pull you out of it, try some of these tricks and you may find yourself feeling that motivation coming back in no time.
1. Stop Overwhelming Yourself
Overconfidence can also take its toll on your motivation level. This is very common in those who start out to be super passionate about what they do. They accept projects left and right and set unbelievable deadlines. The result? The amount of work piling up dries up your creative juices, leaving you tired and overwhelmed. This is one surefire shortcut towards the road to demotivation.
Stop overwhelming yourself and keep things at a proper pace. Attacking one job at a time will give you the chance to focus on whatever it is you have to do without thoughts about the next two or three things on your list creeping in.
2. Get Some Rest
You know how some people say that they thrive on stress? A lot of people love working without sleep, thinking that the adrenaline rush pushes them to perform better. However, you are only led to believe this because your brain tells you how much you were able to accomplish with such a small amount of time, but what suffers is the quality of your accomplishment. You likely could have done something even greater if you worked on that project with proper sleep and enough breathers in between sessions.
Get proper rest and recharge your batteries every so often. Doing the same thing over and over again will only tire your brain out too much, and you’ll find yourself running out of ideas even when you’re still young.
3. Have an Outlet
Some people say that they’re lucky enough to be doing something that they love, and this is actually true. Not everybody has the privilege to do this, which is why a lot of people get stuck in jobs that they don’t really want in the first place. However, even if this used to be a hobby that turned into a passion, it's still a career. It’s a job that pays the bills and puts food on the table. Because of this fact, you need to find a hobby that does not have anything to do with what you do for a living.
Find an outlet where you can pour out your frustration when you’re running out of ideas, or are just too tired to work. This should help your brain find its proper balance again. It doesn’t have to be anything physical, such as a sport. It can also be something as simple as reading, watching movies, or even playing video games.
4. Have a Variety of Work Environments
You may have set up your home office in such a way that it has all the conveniences you have always hoped for, but staying stuck in the same place for too long can make you slowly lose inspiration, and eventually, your motivation.
Pack up your laptop every so often and try working somewhere else. You can try out a cozy coffee shop around the corner or a cheerful park downtown. You can even plan an out-of-town trip every so often and work from places you don’t frequent, such as the beach or the mountains. Not only will the variety in environment keep you from getting cooped up indoors for too long, it could also spark new inspiration with each new place you see.
5. Try Different Techniques
Everybody has a regular work routine that they follow, even freelancers and people who work from home. Some have their usual cup of coffee, work for five straight hours, grab lunch, and then work for the rest of the day. Some eat a heavy meal at the onset and work straight for eight hours without blinking.
These routines could get old over time, however, which is why you have to try a different approach whenever you feel like you’re losing your touch. Some use what they call the “Pomodoro Technique” which means working in 25-minute bursts and taking 5-minute breaks in between each stretch.
If this doesn't work for you, try juggling your tasks around. If you have gotten used to working on the easier tasks first before working your way up to the more challenging ones, try giving your brain a jolt by starting out with the harder ones first and slowly easing into the ones that you can finish in no time.
6. Remove Distractions
Pin Itone size-full wp-image-22483" />
Distractions are common among creatives who work from home. You set out with an entire list of things to do, and then open your Facebook account, thinking that a peek won’t hurt. You could also turn the TV on and see your favorite show and tell yourself that one episode won’t hurt. All those minutes when you’re not working could turn into hours, and before you know it, you’ve wasted another day without much productivity. This can then cause you to cram, pushing you to become stressed, triggering a reaction that would eventually lead to demotivation.
The moment you decide to work, make sure that it really is time to work. For this to happen, you have to remove all the distractions around you. Work somewhere that won’t give you easy access to the TV or the bed. Don’t open your social media profiles and stop checking on your phone every few minutes.
7. Continue Perfecting Your Craft
One of the biggest mistakes that a creative mind could make is to stop the learning process. Considering that this is a world that revolves around technology, it’s impossible to let a few months, let alone years, to go by without new trends, techniques, tools, and systems coming out. With each new thing that comes along, make it a point to consider trying it out and applying it to what you are currently doing.
Your continuous evolution will not only give you the edge of being able to work on limitless projects no matter what the conditions are, it could also make work more exciting as every project you work on is different from the last. This renewed excitement is just the thing that could make your motivation soar, allowing you to perform feats that you never thought you can do before.
8. Overcome Your Fears
Of all the fears that could affect the way a creative mind works, the fear of failure is perhaps the worst. This kind of fear can lead to self-doubt, self-hate, and eventually, self-destruction. This is especially common among people who freelance, or work on a project basis. Unlike a regular workplace where you have the security of being able to correct any mistake and be given second chances in case something goes wrong, not having a regular job can push people to be overcome with so much fear that they start to think negatively.
This is, of course, understandable. In a freelancing world, the smallest mistake can cause you a client. The effect that it could have on your reputation could be magnified as well. And we all know that a good reputation is one reason for clients to hire you for their project.
Instead of being overcome by fear, remember the goals that put you in this position in the first place. Why did you choose this career? Why did you want to do this? Remembering what you are truly passionate about could help you realize that your goals are more important than any fear that sets you back.
9. Have Faith
One of the reasons why people get demotivated is lack of faith. It could be a lack of faith in their superiors, or lack of faith in the system that they are working in. But what could perhaps be the worst form of this is the lack of faith in oneself. As a creative person, having a strong faith in what your hands and your mind can do is the ultimate secret to success.
Some start to lack faith in their abilities and skills, maybe because of new technology that they are not all that familiar with, and a feeling of being left behind creeps in. When this happens, remember the art of continuous learning. The creative streak and the skills are still there; you just have to adjust to the tools of the trade as they evolve.
If you start to lack faith in the stability of your career, figure out what you’re doing wrong and be flexible enough to go around it. These are only bumps along the way but with the right attitude, you can definitely overcome them.
10. Have a Reality Check
Sometimes we realize that we’re not really supposed to do what we’ve been doing all along. It is also possible that you used to enjoy what you’re doing, but you’ve outgrown it and are looking for something new to do. When you feel that your motivation is nowhere in sight no matter what you do and what you try, start setting goals again and look deeper into yourself. Were the goals that you had before the same ones that you have now? Once you answer this, set out what you feel you’re meant to be doing now. Motivation comes when you know that you’re doing something you’re meant to do.
Start looking for that source of motivation, and find yourself creating masterpiece after masterpiece once again.