A holiday is one and only escape from a hectic work schedule and especially clients. This much-needed escape recharges your battery, lets your stress sink back to a tolerable level, and gives your brain and body a rest. Don’t you need that?
But, can I holiday as I want?? Of course, you can! There’s nothing that can stop you. Still not excited? Oh, that freelance work, you are worried about?!!? The challenge here is, how to relax and go on break without getting off-track.
Since you are a freelancer and you work from home (and anywhere possible), you are expected to take your laptop along with you whenever traveling in order to deliver what is committed. But wait, why do you need to carry your hefty laptop along with you even when you are holidaying at your favorite beach or resort.
Agree, it is not easy to just leave work behind and relax carefree being a freelancer. But there are ways you can enjoy your holidays without causing any damage to your freelance work. Here’s how you can do it. Read on!
11 tips to go on holidays without causing any damage to your freelance work:
- 1 11 tips to go on holidays without causing any damage to your freelance work:
- 1.1 1. Mark your calendar and guard it
- 1.2 2. Notify clients well in advance
- 1.3 3. Handle ongoing work schedules professionally
- 1.4 4. Keep your clients happy
- 1.5 5. Put technology to use
- 1.6 6. When emergency hits
- 1.7 7. A virtual assistant isn’t a bad option
- 1.8 8. Network and find the one who can help
- 1.9 9. Manage the finances
- 1.10 10. Plan smartly
- 1.11 11. Plan projects for your return
- 2 Relax & take a break!
1. Mark your calendar and guard it
As soon as you finalize your vacation stuff, mark your calendar. This helps in preventing you from committing/attempting anything important around that time. Schedule your time off and guard it!
2. Notify clients well in advance
Once your vacation is all planned, let your clients know that you won’t be available to work for some time. The prior announcement is important. Clients are humans too. They understand that freelancers too need a break, from time to time. Keep them informed about your holiday plans and send a reminder email a week before you go away. This shall help you in planning the projects well in time.
3. Handle ongoing work schedules professionally
It is strongly suggested to get through all the to-do(s) with your regular professionalism. Do not underestimate any task because of the excitement of your break. If required, do extra work before your time off. This practice signifies your dedication towards work. Another benefit of doing so is that it builds a perception in your clients’ mind that you are serious about them and respect them.
4. Keep your clients happy
Make your clients happy by delivering the work right before you go on holiday. Try to deliver everything that is dated prior holidays in time. This builds trust and strengthens your relationship with them. Do not procrastinate work with the excuse of ‘Vacation’.
5. Put technology to use
By technology, I mean ‘Voicemail Message’ and ‘Vacation Responder’. Ensure to have these in place in order to prevent any sort of disparity caused because of your absence. You can set up a relevant voicemail message on your official phone/mobile informing about your unavailability. Also in the voicemail message, assure the caller that you shall connect when back from the holidays. A similar rule goes with the email. For clients with whom you connect on emails, you need to set an automated vacation responder informing about aforementioned.
6. When emergency hits
If you are a web developer or a PR professional, you can be a victim of urgent client requirements even on a vacation. There are chances when clients might call you up requesting some urgent deliverable. Being a web developer or PR professional, you cannot avoid any website failure crisis or brand reputation issue respectively. Hold on! Do not panic, this situation can be avoided too. You can easily get such concerns addressed. You can simply ask a reliable fellow/freelancer/work acquaintance to be an ‘emergency contact’ for your clients. Simple! Problem solved! Just share their contact information with all your clients and your job is done.
There can be another way to handle such situations; offering an emergency, ‘out-of-hours’ on-call rate. Share your rates and preferable time for ‘emergency tasks’ with the clients. Be available (if required) and respond to the request. What’s the harm in earning some extra while you are laid off with all day tours?
7. A virtual assistant isn’t a bad option
You can get your calls and emails redirected to a virtual assistant for prioritizing the tasks for you in your absence. They can help you decide what is to be scheduled for your return and what is urgent.
8. Network and find the one who can help
You can practice this right away. Networking is always a beneficial process for a business. Join social groups, attend networking events, participate in virtual discussions and be always available to offer help. The art of networking not only aids you with work but also helps you build relations on which you can rely. You never know, you may find someone who can come to your rescue when you are away.
9. Manage the finances
You are aware that you won’t be getting paid for the time you are on a break, aren’t you? So manage your finances accordingly beforehand. You can work extra and save as much as possible.
10. Plan smartly
Plan your vacation when others are holidaying too! It would be smart if you take off at that time of the year when work is not persistent. Festivals are one such great example for taking time-off from the work. Knowing that not many people would be working around that time and workflow will be less, can ease your stress about work and let you enjoy the fullest. So take advantage of festive breaks and go on a holiday! By doing this you won’t witness a major dip in the business/freelancing.
11. Plan projects for your return
Last but not the least! Since you have not been working for quite some time, you need to ensure you have some tasks on your plate to manage your finances when you return. Remember, you can never compensate for your time off. So do not try to overload yourself with work when you return. You need to be in that light mode for a while before it starts getting hectic again. And it definitely will, you know that for a fact!
And that, my friends, is how you do it!
Relax & take a break!
You see, taking breaks rejuvenates you and helps you stay productive and happy. So, just relax! And take a break because it is going to be LEGEN-wait-for-it-DARY!
If you have any other tip on preparing for a holiday break, do share with all of us in the comments below.