Once freelancing gets boring, it can become tough to stay motivated. Self-care is often about entering the flow– that moment where we enjoy the right level of challenge and autonomy and become fully engrossed in the task in front of us.
As we get better and better at what we do in freelancing, we get fewer and fewer opportunities to reach that magic level of flow. We need to increase our challenge level to get that same feeling of timelessness and accomplishment.
When freelancing gets boring, it’s really hard to get that same all-encompassing high.
This is where trying new things can come in handy.
One of the most exciting moments I have had as a freelancer is attending a two-day conference that had nothing to do with my mainstay freelance business. I was volunteering at Lifeline and wanted to increase my ability to deal with people facing end of life and death. I had been inspired to do this as I had taken a call from someone facing their own mortality and wanted to be better prepared. It got me thinking about the kind of end of life I wanted to have. So, I went in search of more information.
At that conference, I was surrounded by grief counsellors, doctors and nurses, academics, end of life volunteers, hospice managers, death doulas, art therapists and a whole world of professionals I had not previously intersected with. I adored being the least most qualified person in the room. That challenge made me feel alive. It also made me feel free from the responsibility and constraints that come from being the person who has the answers. I could simply be myself- curious, incomplete, naïve and a sponge for knowledge.
It also gave me renewed interest in mental health, an appetite to understand the end of life care scene, a new idea for a business and a better insight into what to write for clients dealing with life limiting diagnosis as well as traumatic death situations.
You may never go quite off the map as I did for those two days (although I thoroughly recommend it!)
But as a freelancer, you may find it refreshing to:
Ø Learn a new skill such as a new software program or technique
Ø Take an online short course or MOOC
Ø Read non-fiction books and imbue the lessons within
Ø Return to university to complete extra studies
Ø Try to learn supporting things like UX for a copywriter, animation for a videographer, jingle writing for a musician or similar stretch outside your core offering
Ø Take a course in leadership or coaching
Ø Formalise some of the soft skills you have with certification
Ø Carve out specific time to create things outside your client work to stretch your abilities
Ø Adopt a protégé to learn through teaching
Ø Accept a mentor to guide you through your own growth
There are so many different ways to try something different and challenge yourself once freelancing gets boring. Go grab the opportunity with both hands!
You can even challenge yourself with the Freelance Jungle Deadline Party ($2USD a month via Patreon) or join us for the Marketing for Introverts course ($10USD a month via Patreon).