photo credit: Sybren A. Stüvel via photo pin cc

Maybe you own your own firm. Maybe you are an employee. Or maybe you decided to try the freelancing route after employment didn't seem like your gig. Or you could be one who has freelanced all along. I'm sure that no matter your work history, you have had at least a few points in time where you felt less than productive.

Freelancers and other small business owners are in a unique situation. Because we are our own bread-and-butter, we have to stay as productive as possible as often as possible, points out. After all, not only do you have to operate your business, you also have to spend time marketing for your business and constantly coming up with new techniques and strategies to keep your business going. While it is important to continue being as gung-ho as possible, it is often easier said than done.

However, no matter if you own your own business or are employed, everyone experiences a lag in workmanship from time to time. For a day, a week, or sometimes even for weeks at a time, you may experience feeling very unproductive and a lack of motivation. If this is the case, there are several different techniques you can try to help you push past this lapse in productivity.

Quick Tips

Depending upon your type of work, these small tips can make a big difference:

  • Stand up and go for a short walk.
  • Check out some inspiring art or quotes.
  • Take 10 deep breaths, holding the air in your lungs for 5-10 seconds each breath.
  • Close your Internet browser.
  • Make a quick list of tasks you can get done very quickly and start checking items off.
  • Decide right now what's priority and focus on that task only.

Beside the above quick tips, the following are some ideas for bigger picture productivity issues.

Getting Your Emotions Together

Emotions play an important role in continuing to remain productive and motivated. You should always be prepared to deal with letdown. If you expect setbacks, you will be less likely to allow them to effect your motivation. A good perspective to have is to view a difficulty as challenge to overcome. Always remind yourself why you are choosing to run your own business; remind yourself of your strengths. Then stand up and keep moving forward.

Create a Strategy and Set Goals

When it comes down to every aspect of your business, you should always have a different strategy. When one strategy does not work, always have a Plan B and even a Plan C. Make sure that you not only know how to adapt like an entrepreneur but also have a new strategy to pull from. With several plans in place, you always have something to fall back on, which helps to alleviate some of the stress that can be caused during letdowns. Also, make sure that you continue to set not just goals, but realistic goals. When you have goals put in place for what you want to do for yourself and for your business, you will feel more inclined to meet these goals and they will basically keep you as motivated as possible.

Stay Rational and Balance Out the Highs and Lows

Another important thing to remember is to always stay rational. This effort may sound harder in reality, but this is actually just a "mind over matter" viewpoint. When you remain rational, you can deal with business dealings much better than you would if you allowed too many "what if" scenarios to play out in your head. Always remember that the highs and lows can be balanced out. Just stay focused on what your business is about, take care of what you can right now, and do not let future possibilities ruin your ability to act productively right now.