What does your day look like? AKA staying motivated
Kirsten H. 638 posts - South Africa - Joined Mar 28 2012
I have been freelancing for a year now and, when it comes to maintaining motivation, I am high maintenance. I have built up some occasionally nonsensical and occasionally sensible ways to keep myself stimulated, sane and creative. I write for between seven and 10 hours daily, which can end in my having the sense that I am swimming in words, none of which make any sense whatsoever. I am interested to hear your 'best practices' for producing inspired work day in and day out. These are mine:
If I wake up hours before the sun does, I feel motivated to push myself towards an early end to the work day. I wake up at 5 am, inhale a whole lot of caffeine and drink a ton of nicotine (you never know which way it happens at 5 am.) It takes me an hour to absorb enough poison to get me in the shower. I begin work at 7 because it gives me a long stretch of time between breakfast and lunch to become absorbed in my work. It makes me work harder and in a less pressurised way because I know that if I finish late, at least the sun will still be up and there will still be time to go out. That keeps me creative. I also know that if I finish in seven or eight hours, I will be able to twiddle my thumbs, watch a movie, visit a friend and listen to Radiohead for hours on end.
I have moved my PC into the room with the most foot traffic passing the window. Waving at neighbours who are off to work
a) gives me an opportunity to feel smug about the fact that they're heading into peak hour traffic while I listen to Radiohead, put words together, work from coffee shops and perhaps catch the afternoon movie at the mall.
b) takes away some of the isolation working from home can create. Sometimes I invite a home-comer to tea.
I take an hour every afternoon to walk down my favourite street, visit the neighbours, have coffee with a friend--anything sociable that can be done nearby.
I have downloaded Cold Turkey so that I can bar myself from entertaining sites when my brain is misbehaving. Setting it for an hour does not, unfortunately, prevent my kettle from working but it does keep me out of Facebook.
When I need turbocharged inspiration, I take my laptop to the coffee shop down the road and work for the rest of the day from there. I know the regulars, they make excellent coffee and, for a while, I almost feel as though I have colleagues.
I see my writing as a kind of giving that needs some receiving if it's going to work so I take what I can get from open mic poetry evenings, workshops and readings every week. Sounds hifalutin but mostly, we just sit around and mock people.
I don't take public holidays but I do occasionally take a day off when I had no intention to. If I considered it the night before it doesn't count. It's only relevant if I wake up feeling lazy and have no deadlines for the day. If I can't do my own thing every once in the while, I'm losing out on the benefits of freelancing.
My new year's resolution: Every month that has had public holidays in it has set my banking off. This year, I shall kick up my work load for a few months so that I can pay my salary from my earnings three months ago.
Score: 10.0, Votes: 4