If there is only one thing shared by people who are actively working the gig economy, it might be their above average motivation. It cannot be helped: people who rely on gigs for their daily bread will be highly motivated to keep those gigs coming in.

Staying motivated is a bit different than having your basic, internal motivation. Keeping motivated and building on momentum is critically important in many freelancing situations. Here are some basic tips to help you stay motivated within the gig economy.

Bring It Back to Basics

It may seem basic but taking care of yourself physically will have a direct impact on the way you conduct your business. The healthier you are, the better results you will find every day.

  • What’re you eating? Look at your diet and be brutally honest about it. Are you eating a balanced diet at regular times? Healthy snacks? Hydrating? Staying off the fats and sugars? A well-balanced diet will affect you in many ways, including your ability to think, remember, and perform at your best. If your diet needs help, take control. Schedule a weekly salad bar visit. Cut out the chips and ice cream, replacing them with celery and carrot sticks. Be smart.
  • How’re you sleeping? Proper rest is a crucial part of success. Though successful people are typically very driven, to push too hard and not allowing your body time to recoup and re-energize is detrimental to your progress. You may not need eight full hours every night, but you do need a specific, regular regimen of sleep and rest, as a means to recharge and refuel.
  • Getting in some exercise? It is important that your body is not neglected as you apply your mind to the business at hand. Make it a point to get in some regular physical activity to keep your body strong and healthy. Closely tied to the preceding points, getting enough exercise is going to help you maintain your best weight, help you sleep, and keep all body functions at their best.

Once you have ensured that your physical needs are being handled responsibly, it can be rewarding to look at how you are handling other aspects of this “staying motivated” process.

Everyone Likes a Belly Rub

If you have ever owned or enjoyed a furry pet, you know that they truly enjoy getting their belly rubbed. Cats and dogs alike love to have their bellies rubbed and quickly lose themselves in a body-wiggling glee.

If taken in a more metaphorical way, it is easy to say that most people will also take well to getting a good belly rub every now and then. I know it works well for me.

While not as direct as it might be with pets, it can be just as simple:

  • Communicate throughout the entire team: being “in the loop” is a great feeling, no matter where it is applied – but it is especially true with freelancers. Keep everyone well informed.
  • Respect breeds respect: working on a team can be a challenge, for sure – other people are Hell, as Sartre implied. Treating everyone well, is pretty easy though, and it reaps instant rewards.
  • Simple rewards for mid-milestones met: every project has a series of milestones to meet. Attach a small reward to a mid-project milestone, and it becomes even sweeter to drive on.
  • Big rewards at the end of the day: attach a truly important benefit to the end of the project, like a bonus or a vacation day. Watch how the drive improves when the big reward is clear.

While these examples are assuming you are part of or more likely, leading a team, they might also be applied to motivating the professional soloist.  Don’t be afraid to clearly reward yourself for a job well done – it is often precisely what you need to keep trudging through the daily challenges of the gig economy.

Staying motivated about the gig economy may be challenging, but the rewards to be had will be plenty of inspiration to find a way to make it work.    

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