Over the past couple of weeks, the slow plague of death has been working its way through our house (I am exaggerating a little).
First, my 8-year-old got sick with a cough. Then, a week later, the 2-year-old caught it, but her case was even worse. Yesterday, I finally caught the dreaded illness and feel terrible today.
But, there are still deadlines looming and stuff I must finish.
When you work freelance like I do, there are no paid sick days. When I take off, I take off from my income as well.
I know many of you are freelancers as well. Today, I’m sharing with you writing tips to overcome lack of motivation (from sickness or for any other reason).
3 Simple Ways to Overcome Lack of Motivation
Pare the To-Do List
I always have way more on my to-do list than I can get through in a day. I always have two lists: my “must-do” list and my “hope-to-do” list.
Even on my “must-do” list there is some wiggle room. When I am feeling bad, I pare down my list to the very bare-bones list. If I have a lot of deadlines coming up and I know I can’t get through them because I am sick, I will ask for a deadline extension. I’ve never had any client ever say that I couldn’t get an extension for a few days.
Find a Way to Perk Up
Sometimes, you are too sick to move or leave the bathroom. In these cases, nothing is likely to perk you up. But for lesser illnesses, there are things you can do to perk up a bit and push through to get the essential work done. I use the following tricks to perk up when I want to overcome lack of motivation:
Go outside: I am a firm believer in sunshine as a health cure. It might be extra vitamin D boosting my immune system or it might be the placebo effect, but when I go outside in the sunshine for a few minutes, I usually start to feel better. This can often give me the necessary pep and motivation to get my essential jobs done.
Drink coffee or tea: When I am sick, I find hot coffee and tea soothing (tea more than coffee). Hot tea feels like it can ease headaches, body aches, sore throats, congestion, and other minor health issues. Coffee has an extra boost of caffeine that can supply energy that is waning from illness. Even on regular days I often depend on coffee to overcome lack of motivation.
Dress up: When I am sick and wearing pajamas all day, I feel like I should be lounging around all day binge watching HGTV. While this is good for my body (I think), it isn’t good for pushing through my to-do list. I find that when I dress up, put on some makeup and brush my hair, I feel a little better and find it easier to knock out that essential to-do list.
Distractions will keep me from working any day, but distractions seem particularly powerful if I am feeling bad. This week, I had my husband take the children out one evening so I could finish up my essential work before collapsing in bed.
Sometimes, there are no tricks to it. If you have to get a job done, sometimes you just have to suck it up, act like an adult, and get the job done no matter how crappy you feel. It is easier to relax and focus on getting better when you don’t feel guilty about missing a deadline or having to skip a project.
Overcome Lack of Motivation and Get Stuff Done
Illnesses are inconvenient, but I find that these strategies help me wrap up any looming deadlines so I can focus on getting better without sacrificing income or feeling guilty. Sometimes being a freelance writer is tough, and during sickness is certainly one of those times!
How do you overcome lack of motivation when you don’t feel well or just don’t feel like working?