Considering the uncertainty and isolative nature of gig work, gig workers can be especially susceptible to burnout- arguably just as much or even more than traditional employees. Gig workers often face irregular income, unpredictable work schedules, and a lack of job security, which can yield a lack of motivation.

The risk of burnout in the gig economy underscores the need for supportive policies, access to benefits, and resources to help gig workers manage their workload and well-being. Here are some ways a gig worker can stay motivated and productive:

Defining Precise Goals and Setting Clear Boundaries

Gig workers may take on multiple jobs or projects to make ends meet, leading to long working hours and little time for rest. Gig workers who face unpredictable work schedules can often find themselves managing heavy workloads, which is why it is important to set clear goals/boundaries and to stick to them.

When establishing goals, a gig worker should identify specific criteria for long term and short-term goals. Taking preventative measures against burnout includes constructing and maintaining a consistent, realistic, and sustainable work routine/plan that will lead to the successful completion of these goals, ultimately contributing to a healthy work life balance. A work routine can resemble a traditional 9-5 schedule, or- because gig work warrants flexibility- limiting the number of hours a gig worker works on a daily basis.

Once one’s work plan is established, it is important to stick to this plan. A gig worker should ensure that they are setting clear boundaries regarding the heft of the tasks they manage and when they can work.

Taking Caring of Yourself while Maintaining a Heavy Workload

Situations where a gig worker must step outside the boundaries of their work routine are inevitable. When a gig worker is facing a heavy workload, they should ensure that they are taking care of their health by taking periodic breaks, exercising, eating well, and getting enough rest. Physical health holds a direct and heavy effect. on one’s mental and emotional well-being, which impacts motivation.

Taking care of oneself can also look like celebrating achievements. Gig workers should recognize and celebrate their success to boost self-esteem and motivation.

Seek Continuous Learning

Remember that any type of employment can be a fulfilling and enriching experience. Motivation derived from personal satisfaction can carry greater intrinsic value than motivation driven by monetary pursuit or external recognition. In this aspect, gig work is beneficial because it allows gig workers to diversify their gigs to take on new and exciting challenges. Seeking continuous learning through gig work can be a direct funnel to an improvement in skills and development. Learning new things is intrinsically motivating and can help a gig worker to further their career!


Article by
Zoe Maung
Content Writer and Researcher

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