the blog

Self motivation techniques for freelancers

Jan 21, 2022

The only reason I wrote this blog post is that this week I had to remind myself this week of my own self-motivation techniques. I was supposed to be working on my next month’s marketing and I don’t know if it’s just because it’s winter but I am lacking in energy and I’m a bit unmotivated.   To say the least!

Motivational messages and prompts – really don’t work for me so I am not going to start posting lots of quotes and uplifting images. 

Instead, I thought I’d ask for help – if I share with you my tips to get motivated will share yours with me?

Putting the client first

Self motivation techniques

It sounds obvious typing this but when I’m feeling a bit unmotivated the first thing I do is work out my schedule for my clients.  If I can I make sure I give myself some buffer space so that if I am working slower than my standard speed then I have a bit of wiggle room. I also make sure I take a bit of extra care managing their expectations – just to give myself some peace of mind.

And finally, and most importantly if all I get done that day is my client work then that’s a successful day and I make sure I congratulate myself – even if it is in a small way.


I discovered this way of working during the pandemic and I love it. 

There are different approaches but I use a 25minute timer to focus on a specific task and then I take a 5-minute break. There are loads of apps or tools which you already use which have this as an option. If not then there are a few free apps you can download on your phone.

In my breaks, I get away from the desk so I move about and get some rest from the screen. My activities vary from a burst of housework, some star jumps and just today I did some disco dancing.

Ok so not a self-motivation technique but certainly a big issue!

I knew I was going to write about procrastination today and as surely as night follows day – I have just spent 15 minutes procrastinating about writing about procrastination. 

I have now learnt that men are more likely to procrastinate than women and that older person more than younger. 

For some procrastination is a time-management problem – in which case yesterday’s Pomodoro technique will help.  For others, it is a self-care issue that is obviously a lot more complicated but working on my energy levels is always key for me.

It turns out we are quite similar to dogs and will perform tricks for treats.  

There has been a fair amount of research into what works best in this situation.

Apparently, it works best if:

  • the treat is roughly the same as the size of the task,
  • it is only allowed after you’ve finished,
  • the reward should be fun (not a domestic chore). 
  • Finally, its at the end of my list for a reason – don’t do it too often as the bribery becomes a form of procrastination in itself! 

Any questions or comments?