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I know many work in where they enjoy but lately after spending all day at work I get home and all my thoughts and ideas for my freelance projects all day become annoying after I am drained and exhausted. So how do you:

  • manage your energy with your work and freelance?
  • not burn yourself in your field?
  • balance your time with work and freelance?
  • Stay inspired to complete what you've been working on?

I know I tend to bounce around on projects because I believe in managing my time when I get into a design block. However, is this method bad? Should I stick to one project until completion even when battling a hurtle?

I have read many articles on this but nothing seems to motivate me. If it helps someone else:

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Besides the energy drink or taking a quick walk, I usually do one of 3 things when tired or burned out:

  1. Switch to a quick easy task. Completing something small is quick and fulfilling. The productivity/accomplishment helps build momentum.
  2. Take a break by reading an article or checking out a forum, write a quick post/answer (just like this one - I'm a little burned out at the moment...).
  3. When all else fails, switch to a pet project that you are more excited about.

By having a few projects at a time it helps give you the flexibility when you really couldn't be stuffed working on something. You need to be disciplined though not to keep pushing all the undesirable projects back though (something I do too often).

On the other hand, when I've got a crunch/challenge to complete one project, usually the challenge itself is motivating enough.

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Should I stick to one project until completion even when battling a hurtle?

I know what you're going through, I am currently going through the same thing.

The one answer I can give you that seems to be the answer to all your questions above is:

Take a break!

Depending on how tight the deadlines are, I take a break when I'm stuck. I do something else, I enjoy like playing bass.

Step away from the computer, pick up something you've been meaning to learn. Allow yourself to recharge for a while, because you're only human.

Just last night I was working on a deadline. I was dog tired, and stuck. I found another task to do that was a bit more fun for me. Spent a hour designing and completing the fun task, which charged me up to complete the first task.

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I'm a bit envious as I am a freelancer and have been since 1998 - my last full-time job at an agency. My days are long, though. I have discovered something that helps, that I heard about but never expected would work for me.

Exercise with your favourite music (mine is Latin). I use a NordiTrack X-country type, full body machine that I got used, years ago. It lowers your blood pressure and after a few minutes workout, a quick shower, and a snack like chocolate milk, you'll feel great.

This might sound a bit excessive, but it works for me.

During the exercise, my mind wanders and seems to recharge itself.

Good Luck

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