It can often be difficult to stay productive when you have to focus on a task that bores you. This is something that many freelancers experience when going through periods where work dries up. It may mean you have to accept projects that aren’t ideal just to make sure you can keep paying the bills. However, freelancers may also find themselves unexpectedly working on a mundane project, imagining when they accepted the gig that it would be more engaging. In this article, we offer tips on how to maintain productivity when working on boring freelance projects.
Trying to Focus on Boring Freelance Projects
Freelancing projects often feel boring when they are extremely repetitive. For example, many content-writing gigs can involve working with the same template over and over again, while just making changes to the wording. Repetitive work does not lend itself to creativity. This kind of work can feel uninspiring, causing you to lack the motivation to complete it. If you have a strong creative impulse and a desire for intellectually stimulating work, these projects can feel like a waste of time. One clear indication that you have a boring freelance project is the tendency to procrastinate. It’s also normal to dread these boring projects and think about giving them up.
How to Tackle Mundane Freelancing Gigs
If you’re finding it difficult to maintain your productivity when completing boring freelance gigs, there are some effective ways to get through these tasks efficiently. Let’s flesh out some of these strategies.
Have an Exit Strategy
First, look for more engaging work in the meantime. If you work toward gaining a more fulfilling freelancing opportunity, you can consider your current mundane gig temporary. It can feel harder to complete repetitive projects when you can’t imagine them coming to an end. Plan your exit strategy. Take some time in the day to find other freelance jobs. You can do this through freelancing job sites, by getting in touch with previous clients, and by networking on social media.
Gratitude Can Go a Long Way
Remind yourself why you have the freelancing gig. If it’s simply to stay financially secure, you can at least feel thankful for that security in spite of the downsides of the work. You may also benefit from this work through the ability to save toward fulfilling activities like travel.
If you work in a competitive industry or the economy is struggling in general, the upsides of boring freelancing gigs will seem even more apparent. You shouldn’t feel guilty if you are deflated about boring work. This doesn’t make you ungrateful. However, you can feel grateful about the boring work you have (which will motivate you to do it), whole at the same time recognizing that it makes your days feel quite uninspiring.
Power Through These Projects
Try to get these boring tasks done as quickly as possible. This could mean starting on these projects first thing in the morning, drinking coffee to power through them (so long as you don’t overdo it), and being disciplined with your use of time. Referring to the last point, you can be strict with your time by working in 30- to 60-minute increments, with a short break in between. This will help prevent you from becoming fatigued by your work.
You can also block sites that would normally distract you. Since it’s normal to often become distracted when tackling a boring project, it’s worth using a browser extension like StayFocusd that will prevent you from accessing sites of your choosing on specific days and at particular times.
Have More Engaging Activities to Look Forward To
Make sure you have more creative or engaging tasks to focus on, such as hobbies, personal projects, or other freelance work that you genuinely find interesting. Having these other activities to focus on can also motivate you to complete the boring tasks more efficiently. Set time aside for these interesting activities, such as during your breaks in the day, when you have finished your dull freelance task for the day, or on the weekend.
By following these tips, you will be in a better position maintain your productivity on boring freelance projects. It’s important to remember that freelancing won’t always feel fulfilling. There will be periods of stagnation. Nonetheless, as you build your skills and portfolio, you will find it easier to secure work that you find personally fulfilling.