Best 12 apps and techniques to keep you motivated as you work solo

Independent professionals owe to themselves to find the best ways to find motivation at work. That’s why we have taken the time to compose this list. We will take a look at some of the best motivation apps to keep you on task and introduce you to techniques you can use to keep yourself motivated.

Leon Cordier
Leon Cordier

Finding ways to keep yourself motivated as a solo worker is one of the bigger hurdles you will face. This is because the daily grind involved in freelance work requires you to wear many hats and tackle a lot of responsibilities. Being your own accountant, supervisor, marketing executive, and content creator can be exhausting, and that’s why finding ways to motivate yourself is key.

Independent professionals owe to themselves to find the best ways to find motivation at work. That’s why we have taken the time to compose this list. We will take a look at some of the best motivation apps that are available to keep you on task and introduce you to techniques that you can use to keep yourself motivated.

How does motivation work?

Before discussing how motivation works, perhaps it's best to start with what exactly motivation is. Motivation can best be described as the drive to do something. It can be said that there are two types of motivation. The first is extrinsic, which means externally driven like earning a sizable bonus for your work, and the second is intrinsic, which means internally driven like playing an instrument because you love it.

With this in mind then, here is how motivation works: by achieving these goals that we set for ourselves we get a sense of satisfaction and pleasure. So it’s best to align your work motivations with the things that move you the most: either external rewards or the intrinsic value of the work.

Why does motivation matter while working solo?

As we alluded to earlier, finding motivation is especially important for freelancers. This is because you have to continuously find work, manage your business, and do whatever it is that you're hired to do. That’s why it’s important to consider tools and techniques that can help you keep focused.

Motivation isn’t solely about productivity, it's also about maintaining a healthy balance between work and leisure time. If you never take the time to relax after work, then you carry that stress and anxiety with you. That’s why it’s important to find healthy ways to decompress because it ultimately helps boost your productivity.

7 techniques for staying motivated

Let’s take a look at some motivation techniques that you can use to get and stay motivated as a freelancer:

  1. Create and clearly define a single goal that you can integrate into your routine so that you don’t have to feel like you're going out of your way to manage your goal.
  2. Assess your goal and determine what it is you need to do to accomplish it and a time frame by which you aim to achieve it.
  3. Break your goal into small and simpler tasks that are easier to manage so that you can gain a sense of positive momentum when completing the tasks that align with your goal.
  4. Rely on people who are positive influences in your life such as your loved ones or perhaps even a mentor for encouragement and support as you go forward with achieving your goal.
  5. Review your goal and the progress that you have made towards it and celebrate whenever you have achieved some level of success.
  6. Practice healthy habits like exercise or meditation to help keep yourself balanced and refreshed. Also, take breaks from your tasks because stepping away from your tasks for a moment is a good way to reset if you feel tired or stuck.
  7. Take motivation from outside sources like books. Finding tools that can either help you accomplish your goals or keep on task are a great way to help you stay motivated.

Best 5 motivation apps for solo talents

Solo work requires motivation and commitment, so why not find the tools that can help you keep that drive. In addition to the techniques that are mentioned above, we have also curated a list of some of the best apps to use. These apps can show you how to stay motivated at work, some great tips for self-care, and ways to change or improve your routine.

ThinkUp

Price: Free with in-app purchases

ThinkUp is a great app that focuses on providing its users with affirmations that helps empower you with positive reinforcement. ThinkUp works by cutting down on negative thoughts and promoting good ones. The app lets you choose a focus/goal that you are aiming towards, and it then customizes the content that it provides you to help reinforce a positive momentum, pushing you to complete your target.

Strides

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Strides is an app that specializes in tracking the progress that you make toward achieving the goals that you set. You get to set the goals that you want to accomplish and log in your progress using the app’s tracking tools, creating charts and graphs that keep track of your successes. Using the charts that Strides provide, you can visualize the progress that you’ve made

HabitBull

Price: Free with a premium option that costs $5

HabitBull is the perfect app for those who run a solo business. It has multiple tools that allow you to set your goal, track the progress that you make with reports, set daily reminders, and even offers access to a supportive community that gives helpful tips and discussions. On top of that, it can sync to multiple devices, has multiple customizable tools and widgets, and can even keep your data stored in the cloud.

Fabulous

Price: Free with a premium option that costs $8

Fabulous is a great app if you’re looking to focus on improving or maintaining self-care routines. It tailors its services to the needs of the user and then crafts a program that features tools like coaching, tracking for your objectives, and a great community. Use this app if you are looking to introduce new healthy routines into your life and make them permanent additions.

Headspace

Price: $5.83 per month (Annual plan) or $12.99 per month (Monthly plan)

Headspace is a meditation app that specializes in providing its users with the tools to improve their mental space. This can mean meditation training, stress reduction exercises, and even advice to improve one’s sleep. Headspace promotes mindful activities and offers its users a wealth of exercises and information to help them focus on mental self-care.  


ThinkUp

Strides

HabitBull

Fabulous

Headspace

Price

Free with in app purchases

Free with in app purchases

Free with a premium option $5

Free with a premium option $8

Annual deal: $5.83/month


Monthly deal: $12.99/month 

Devices

iOS and Android 

iOS and MacOS

iOS and Android

iOS and Android

iOS and Android

Uses

Uses positive affirmations to help drive your motivation

Gives users data that charts their progress in achieving goals

Users have charts, calendars, and reminders that track their progress for goals

Focuses on self-care and provides a well rounded service including access to a community and reports 

Focuses on mindfulness by giving users techniques for meditation and stress release

Finding motivation

Self-motivation is key when you’re working freelance, as you are going to have to tackle lots of responsibilities to see your business grow and succeed. Dynamics like working remotely and inconsistency of work can make it tricky to stay motivated. Mental fatigue is extremely common, especially because there is often an overemphasis on being productive.

These apps and techniques will help you align your passions and goals with your career and keep you fully motivated. You should also look for other sources of inspiration that can help provide you with great advice that you can use in all areas of life. Using these apps and techniques can help you achieve the balance you need between work motivation and the personal drive you need to succeed in your career and other avenues of your life.

Leon Cordier

I'm an American guy living overseas that likes to write for a living.