Contrary to a persisting belief, a lot of people choose gig work not out of necessity, but due to the extra perks that come with this form of employment – flexibility, variety in work, entrepreneurial ambitions and so on. So no wonder that the gig economy keeps growing in numbers.
But nothing in life comes without a flip side. Taking extra gigs can come at an emotional toll. “On the job” burnout and lack of motivation is an equal issue for traditional employees and the gigsters. For whenever you are feeling those gig “blues”, try to the following tips to get your mojo back.
Revisit your primary motivation for signing on
A lot choose to explore the gig economy just out of sheer curiosity. In fact, 42% of workers named “fun” as their main motivation for joining in the first place. However, after the initial honeymoon period is over, you may find yourself to longer that entertained with your chores. Gig work is still working. It can be fun at times, but challenging and taxing as well.
So if you initially were among those fun-seeking types, you may need to find some new stimuli to get yourself going. If it’s just for the money (that are no longer as good as you hoped), consider an “exit” plan. There are plenty of other remote, part-time and freelance gigs you can pursue instead.
If it’s not just the finance factor, try to remember what made you tick in the first place. For instance, an LA-based psychotherapist who charges $130/hour at his main work gladly chauffeurs with Lyft for social reasons – it’s his way of relaxing after spending hours with the demanding patients. So what’s in it for you? Try to find and bring that original the “fun factor” back into your everyday work.
Periodically check-in on your mental and physical health
The problem of being self-employed and working part-time with a variety of customers and other specialists often makes you questions where do you “belong”. The lack of “identity” and loneliness often dents even the most motivated workers’ spirits.
A study conducted in 2005 in Germany revealed that 37% of participating freelancers reported poor subjective health. Specifically, most were complaining about having a chronic strain and a reduced ability to relax. Those were mainly attributed to long working hours in conjunction with an unpredictable workload.
Your current lack of motivation can be explained by the lack of proper work/life balance and mental issues coming as a result of “isolated” work. So be sure to regularly check-in with yourself on both fronts and schedule downtime – network in-person with other freelancers, exercise, spend more time outdoors and watch your diet.
Plan your day the night before
Mornings should be filled with the scent of endless possibilities, not the longing to stay in bed and pass on the new work. Don’t let those “down” days become the norm. To start your day with the right foot and remain energized until the evening plan, plan the first 3-5 actions you will make the night before.
That’s what Olympic athletes do. They get up at the wee hour every day, do their training routine, follow their diet and train hard without a hitch. Having a clear plan cleans up additional “operational space” in your brain as it no longer has to think about what to do next – it has a very clear, step-by-step plan. Before you fall asleep the night before, make a quick mind plan of the essential things you plan to accomplish the next day.
Dress for success, literary
Forget about working in your PJs if you really want to accomplish a lot for the day. Mike Slepian, professor at Columbia Business School, says that what we choose to wear can greatly affect our focus, productivity and motivation to accomplish things. People who wear casual attire tend to think less abstractly and more concretely – handy for completing detail-oriented tasks such as writing code. He further observed that being formally dressed could make people more productive whenever they need to tackle higher-level abstract thinking tasks and creatively think about the bigger picture. So start paying more attention to what you are wearing during the day. Also, try planning your outfits the night before to further reduce the load on your morning brain.
Sometimes motivation can be an elusive and cranky work companion for independent workers. You will need to establish your personal set of proven routines to dial it up on command.