Over the last year, the world has had to fight one of the hardest battles that we’ve ever had to face in this century. With the country moving in and out of lockdowns and tight restrictions it has made some jobs nearly impossible, or very difficult. Creative freelancers have been some of the individuals that have been hit the hardest due to them being sociable, close-contact jobs with huge teams which means the whole dynamic of this kind of work has had to have been adapted and changed to keep everyone safe. It’s a tough time for absolutely everyone. Being stopped from seeing your loved ones, enjoying a drink at the pub on the weekend or grabbing a nice lunch on your break at work are just some of the things that aren’t allowed to happen anymore which can be very damaging for our mental health. That feeling of stagnancy and having no motivation can be an absolute killer, so how can you stay motivated and optimistic about the future that still feels so far away?
#1 Remember why you chose this career path in the first place
One of the most important things to remember is why you chose that career path in the first place. It’s okay to feel disheartened during this situation and with the stresses of money coming into the equation you may feel as though you want to give up. But, think back. Think back to when you chose this path and why it’s fulfilling for you. It wasn’t necessarily about money at the start because it’s something you put your life and soul into and can’t picture yourself doing anything else. Just because times are tough is it worth throwing away everything that you’ve worked for? Remember that eventually, this will all be a distant memory and that you love what you do! It’s perfectly fine to have doubts and anxiety so don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
#2 Don’t be afraid of change
Adaptation and change are some of the key skills you have to master for anyone to be successful. This is something we do subconsciously in our everyday lives and there will be many other hurdles we have to face and adapt to in the future. Being a creative is all about being innovative, so try and remember this is something you are perfectly capable of doing. It doesn’t mean it won’t return to normal eventually, but instead of holding onto feelings about not being able to work as normal, look for new exciting ways you can do so. Change can be scary at first, but try and see the positives in it. This situation may improve your craft and it will improve your resilience.
#3 Set yourself small achievable goals
Make some checklists for tasks you want to complete throughout the day. Don’t overdo it though! If you make these goals achievable you’ll be more likely to complete them and therefore feel more accomplished. It’s okay to only feel as though you’re surviving some days. We all have off days and we need them to recharge and come back stronger. Even if these tasks aren’t work-related that’s absolutely fine! Washing, getting dressed and going to do a food shop are things that seem impossible when you’re just not feeling it so be easy on yourself and give yourself credit where it’s due.
#4 Try to create some structure
Being in a lockdown without a routine can seriously stunt your motivation to work and get on. Trying to keep yourself busy with some structure is a good way to get you into the swing of waking up and feeling like you’re not wasting away the days. Have you ever laid in bed all day just to end up feeling guilty about it? I think we all have. Trying to keep a regular sleeping pattern is the best place to start. If you’re tired you definitely won’t want to sit at your desk working for hours on end.
#5 Give yourself a break and focus on what matters
There is massive pressure on productivity and this idea of constantly working, but the truth is. it isn’t healthy at all. Remember what matters most is you and your health which is why we’re in a lockdown in the first place. Give yourself the odd day to do nothing and don’t sit up for hours past midnight trying to push work out. Burnout is real and it’s not worth it. You’ll probably find yourself working better once you find the right balance of work and rest time and find that you have more motivation after a day off to yourself. So please, remember to look after yourself and check up on each other!