Building Momentum Forward

Building momentum is difficult for many freelancers to start their careers. I know I struggled heavily with this until recently. But once you can get that ball rolling, you’ll find yourself unstoppable. Here are my insights into how you can do that.

Of course, right now, I am still in the process of moving into my new home. So I have to build momentum all over again as I try to find the rest of my office supplies.

Still, I am managing to get everything back on track quite easily. The trick to doing this is taking it one day at a time.

Why Building Momentum Matters

If you’re anything like me, it’s often difficult to stay focused without a structured plan. I’ve seen many potentially good writers fall off because they couldn’t get into a good groove and stay productive.

Another failing is expecting overnight riches, especially when you read or watch content from “experts” who make freelancing seem glamorous. It’s hard work and requires an immense amount of dedication and motivation.

Building momentum in your life helps you keep everything in check. You’ll form positive and productive habits that will keep you going. And if you play your cards right, you can easily weather the most serious of recessions.

It’s all about repetitive actions to form habits. And that’s probably the more difficult part. Before the habit can form, you need to keep up with the action every day…even on days when you “don’t wanna.”

How to Build Momentum as a Freelancer/Blogger

It took me an awfully long time to finally come up with a plan that works for me. And that’s the biggest point, really. Everyone is different and will have their own experiences.

However, these are the elements I focus on to keep myself with upward momentum.

Identify and Remove Diversions

The hardest part is finding the little diversions that suck your time away on any given day. For me, it is YouTube and Netflix, especially in the mornings.

But, you need to be completely honest with yourself. Many of us don’t want to believe that certain activities are actually time sinks that drain away the day.

What I do is track every moment that I am actually writing for myself or a client to see how productive I am throughout the day. As I am a bit of a dork when it comes to spreadsheets, I have something elaborate for tracking productivity.

Set Realistic Daily Goals

It’s good to have a primary goal, but you need to make sure it’s realistic and only focus on what you can do today. If you break up major goals into smaller objectives, they’re easier to reach.

For example, let’s say that I want to make an extra $20,000 in a year from writing. Instead of focusing on the 20k, I would try to make an extra $55 per day (20,000 / 365 = 54.79).

It doesn’t seem as overwhelming when you think of it this way.

Another part of setting realistic daily goals for building momentum is understanding yourself and what you can handle. This is another reason why I track everything in a spreadsheet.

I know me and what I can do on average.

Devise a Schedule that Syncs with You

This is perhaps the one thing that took the longest for me to put together. Having a working schedule that jives with your day-to-day lifestyle is vital to success.

Having the freedom to set your own hours as a freelancer is one thing. But you need to find a good pattern of behavior that keeps you the most productive. Not everyone can work all day in their pajamas.

Not to mention some of your clients may need you at specific hours.

You need to be somewhat flexible with various clients and plan out your day accordingly. Sure, you can wing it. But you might find yourself overwhelmed or less productive while being spread too thin.

Have a Plan for “Downtime”

Global pandemics and recessions aside, you need to have a plan for any downtime that may happen. You won’t always have a steady flow of work, especially if you use content mills like Textbroker.

Part of building momentum as a freelance writer for me was keeping myself busy. That’s when I started blogging with WriterSanctuary.

Creating a blog gave me a chance to keep writing and put what I learn into practice. So when a client needs me to write, the quality of work I produce is better. After all, practice makes perfect.

When planning for downtime, make sure you’re doing something productive that improves your abilities. In other words, don’t spend your downtime playing the Xbox or Playstation.

Every moment of your schedule that is not spent working for a client should be spent working on your knowledge and abilities. Because the more you know, the better are your chances of landing a high-paying client.

Don’t Talk Yourself Out of Being Productive

Another habit that still proves difficult for me is talking myself out of doing certain things. This is especially true when it comes to my health.

Talking yourself out of being productive is exceptionally easy because, let’s face it, you know what buttons to push on yourself. And yes, that means sometimes you literally have to force yourself to work.

Take this morning, for example. I was happy with just watching YouTube, but I listened to the little voice in my head that said, “Blog, you idiot. You’re wasting time!

Though, I should really be blogging on the sites that are actually making me money. But, this is a subject that really wouldn’t fit on the sites I own.

I guess I could have created something for Hubpages or Medium.

My point is that it’s super easy to talk yourself out of being productive because you know yourself too well. Sometimes, you have to step out of the comfort zone if you’re building momentum as a professional.

Learn to Say, “No”

I still have a problem saying “no” to people simply because it’s my nature to help. Unfortunately, people ask me to do things when I am in the middle of trying to work. This means less gets done and I have a hard time getting back into the daily groove.

Now, I’m not saying that you should say “no” to someone who needs a ride to the hospital because they’re bleeding.

What I am saying is that sometimes you’re more likely to say “yes” to a distraction because you don’t want to work anyway. Or, perhaps you feel obligated to help someone even though they can clearly do it themselves.

Just keep in mind that every time you say “yes,” you’re taking time away from being productive.

Don’t Compete with Anyone Except Yourself

Part of building momentum is not getting discouraged if you don’t measure up. The only one you should be competing with is yourself. It doesn’t matter how many orders or words I produce on any given day. It matters what you can do.

Self-improvement is key in any career. Which is why I push setting daily goals as often as I do. Anything you do today that is more than yesterday is an improvement. Even if you type a single word more, it’s still a victory.

Competing with yourself is a great way to understand who you are and what kind of person you want to be. Strive to beat your personal daily records and you’ll easily start building momentum when it comes to productivity.

That’s how I started. Since 2012, I’ve worked to surpass my daily quota for either words typed or time spent working for clients and personal projects. It’s what helped me maintain the workflow.

As a result, I’ve been a full-time freelancer since 2013 by creating certain work habits.

Building Momentum Leads to Success

It’s incredibly easy to start a freelance career in this day and age. But being able to maintain it is another story altogether. There is a lot of work, both personally and professionally, that goes into becoming a success.

Find methods for building momentum that work for you. And don’t forget, there’s nothing wrong with experimenting and finding better routes.

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