No matter how much you may love your job as a web designer, there will come a day or two that gazing into your computer monitor is the last thing you want to be doing. But chances are you more than likely have a deadline or goal that needs to be met and therefore you feel forced to work, rather than wanting. When this happens you have to be careful as to what you use as motivation, this can sometimes make or break your ability to remain focused and properly motivated throughout your career. One thing they failed to teach most of us in design school, is that in the mist of dealing with clients and other aspects or our careers, there will be various times where you don’t want to design, and that could be deadly if you don’t know how to approach the situation.
This is why we’ve compiled five positively fresh ways to keep your motivation running at its peak. If you have any other ways in mind, please feel free to share with us in the form of comment! We’d love to hear your suggestions.
Reasons We Fail at Motivation
In order for you to become un-motivated, there had to have been a combination of one or more reasons why you ideally lacked that motivation. Within this section we’re going to focus on those reasons and why they occur sometimes in the life of designers.
Lack of Faith
One of the deadliest reasons why your motivation could be suffocated is due to one’s lack of faith in their abilites, skills, and/or financial stability within their career. Lacking faith in your abilities as a web designer can cause massive damage and set backs. Unless you’re faking your career, then you are a web designer and no matter at what level or stage you’re at with your career, you still posses certain skills and attributes that allow you to call yourself a designer. You should build up on these skills, take on new ones, and continue to learn.
Once you’re able to put what you’ve learned in practice with new projects, your confidence level will rise giving way to new gained faith in yourself and most importantly what you can do. Also, the lack of faith in your financial stability due to the possible mediocre projects, clients, and pay you deal with at this moment and time could bruise your motivation. This can be addressed by searching for different ways to produce a more steady and incremental sort of income rather than to solely rely on taking on new projects. You could build web templates and sell them on marketplaces such as ThemeForest, or offer consulting. We’re just discussing the “tip of the iceberg” here, but there are truly countless of opportunities for designers to expand and increase their income.
Fear of Failure
Mostly everyone has felt or feels a fear of failure some time in their life. For a web designer, especially one whose freelancing, the fear of failure can lead to self-destruction. No one wants to feel as though everything they’ve worked so hard to achieve can be stripped from them at the blink of an eye. This is why many designers stick to a 9-5 job rather than taking the leap to freelancing or running their own business. Whatever the case may be, fearing failure will only act as a blockade between you and the goals you’re destined to achieve. When times like this arise, it’s imperative that you remain focused, and develop somewhat of a tunnel vision so that you’re able to push past your fears.
Work should always remain separate from your personal life. Once you begin to combine the two, things will begin to go downhill from there and motivation is at a lost. Even as a freelance designer who manages to work from a home office, you should strive to keep from mixing the personal from the professional. The expression of “when you come to work, leave your problems at home” couldn’t be truer. Regardless of what may be happening around you (personally), you should be able to maintain some type of motivation to continue to work. Try to shift problems into becoming your motivation rather than your downfall. Personal problems with the right state of mind could result in more motivation at work.
Loss of Interest
Having a healthy amount of interest in the things you love to do is a blessing. “Do something you love for a living, and never work again”. True words that remained locked away in my head before making the move to pursuing web design as a career. But in reality it’s much more than loving something you do, because in order for you to love you career you must first be genuinely interested in it. If you’re interest is at a high, your motivation isn’t always through the roof, but it’s one step closer to achieving consistency with a feasible level of motivation. You can continue or create a spark of interest in your career by assessing the pros and cons, the things you personally like about web design, and the goals you plan to set in place.
Procrastination and Stress
Dividing procrastination and stress into two separate sections would’ve been harder than I thought, simply because although many times overlooked, stress is 9 times out of 10 the reason for procrastination. Once we begin to procrastinate this means we’ve for one lost interest, have a substantial amount of stress, and lack motivation. Without any form of motivation we give in to the tempting and overwhelming “obligation” to procrastinate. We find ourselves battling the days we don’t feel procrastination rather than the other way around.
As designers we usually deal with a large workload and we need to push procrastination aside and focus on what we have to accomplish. Being stressed can definitely hinder motivation on all levels and can decrease productivity as well as your overall monetary compensations. One way you can combat stress is to use productivity managing tools, don’t take on more projects than you can handle at a time, and set realistic goals. The moment you’re able to do at least two of the combats agains stress, from then on procrastination will begin to dissolve and motivation will soon replace it.
Ways To Stay Motivated
Now that we’ve touched base on the reasons we fail to remain motivated, we’re going to focus on the ways you can stay motivated and what you’ll need to do.
Shift Your Work Enviornment
Whether you freelance or you work in a traditional office you should always strive for a comfortable and appealing work area. Having an uncomfortable and sturdy work environment can easily decrease ones level of motivation. You’ll be starring at a computer for long periods of time so make sure that you’re sitting the right way and proper ergonomics is at its maximum.
If you’re a freelance web designer then you have the option to work from anywhere you’d like. be careful where you choose to work and make sure that it is more comfortable than convenient. Try to have at least 2-3 different areas where you can comfortably work, this way you can effortlessly shift your work environment from one to the next every once in a while to keep motivation brewing.
Never Overwork Yourself
Just as we spoke about in the above personal problems section, remember to keep your personal life personal, and the precessional strictly professional. You can easily overwork yourself by not being able to juggle your outside of work life the right way, or by taking on more work than you can possibly handle. Try to remember that you’re only a human being and you need to rest. Being unrestful and overworked is a surefire way to reach an un-motivative level. Start by getting a substantial amount of sleep, managing your workload effectively, and knowing which clients to take on and which projects to deny.
Set and Achieve Your Goals
In order to keep motivation at its maximum we must set goals and follow through with them. You can even strive to set a goal and actually beat the deadline you had in mind. Not reaching your goals will hurt your motivation and may eventually leave to nothing but procrastination and sleepless nights. The trick is not just to set goals, but ones that are realistic to your level of skills and abilities. Setting unrealistic goals will result in failure everytime.
Work Through and Around Habits
There are two sides of the story when working with habits. Having a daily work routine may benefit you just as likely as it can hurt you. This entirely depends on the type of person you are. If you’re the type that is easily distraught once you change certain habits, then working with a daily routine will not only instill stability but will ensure that you remain motivated as well. However, if you’re the type of individual who has a hard time following a routine because you feel like you need some “space” to breath freely and act spontaneously, then routines are out of the question. Finding a way to work with or around habits is vital. If you know you can’t follow a routine then try to keep things as fresh as possible.
Know When to “Throw in The Towel”
Staying motivated means you need to know when to work and when you should take a vacation or breaks such as the weekends off or one specific day out of the week that you don’t work. Knowing when to throw in the towel is far from giving up, it’s the reason why so many designers and freelance professionals abandon their careers; because they weren’t able to manage their time in an effective manner.
Free time equals rest, enjoyment, and relaxing activities. If you have a family you should find a way to take breaks here and there to spend time with them. You can use them as your motivation and part of your strength. If you don’t have a family yet, then with more reason you should be relaxing and taking things slow once in a while. Never having any time for vacation or breaks is positive for deteriorating motivation.