Yes, Even Freelancers Can Take Breaks From Work
Some people are worried about making the transition to freelance work because they know it means no paid days off for vacation. You don’t have to see no paid time off as a massive negative. There are ways you can get around it. Sure, the stereotypes of freelancing may include not taking any vacations and working long, long hours, but I know lots of freelancers who are able to take time off when they need to. Including me! If planned correctly, taking a vacation as a freelancer shouldn’t hit the bank balance too hard either. Want to know how to set up your own freelance vacation? Read on!
Plan Well in Advance
One of the key factors in being able to take time off from your freelance business is planning your escape well in advance. Once you know which days you are going to be away, you should block those days out in your calendar so that you don’t accidentally sign up for any work or projects.
You might also want to try to book in a bit of extra work in the weeks running up to your vacation. That way, you still get paid while you take time off. Planning well in advance also gives you enough time to save up a bit of extra cash so that your bank isn’t strained by a few days of no work.
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Consider Handing Some Tasks Over to A VA
If you are worried that your inbox will be flooded with important emails while you are away, you could always hire a freelance virtual assistant (VA) to manage your inbox for you while you are away. This could be especially important if you won’t be checking your emails at all during your vacation. If you use a company like Virtual HQ, you would also get the benefit of their efficient telephone-answering service.
You might even want to hire a virtual assistant who is able to take care of some of your projects for you while you are away. Outsourcing your work will mean that your clients won’t notice any disruption in the services that you provide. However, it does mean that you need to find a VA who you completely trust with all of your work projects.
Have Some Projects Planned for Your Return
It’s a good idea to have a few projects lined up that you can start as soon as you get back to the office. You’ll then be able to start earning right away. If you don’t do this, then you may spend a couple of weeks hustling for some new work, which means even more time not bringing in an income. Plus, having some work to start with as soon as you are back will help you get into the swing of running your business. Your post-vacation blues won’t last for too long if you are busy working!
Take Advantage of Weekends
Most freelancers are able to work to flexible schedules. So, if you do need to take a few days off during the week, at least you will be able to make up for them at the weekend. If you take advantages of weekends in this way, then you should find that you are able to take more breaks through the week.
Let All Your Clients Know
Make sure that all of your clients know you will be taking some time away from the office. They will understand. Trust me! After all, you are only human and will certainly deserve a break sometimes!
Turn on Your Out of Office Email Notification
Don’t forget to turn on an out-of-office automatic email reply before you leave the office. Most email providers will offer this service free of charge. Just go into your email settings and look for the Vacation Responder option.
You will be able to customize the message, so it’s a good idea to mention how long you will be away and if there is an alternative way to contact you. Once your out of office is switched on, anyone who tries to contact you will be reminded that you are away when they send you an email. This way no one will be annoyed if it seems like you are ignoring them!
It’s Ok to Check in During The Break
It’s perfectly fine to continue checking your emails while you are on your vacation. In fact, you might want to even take your laptop with you so that you can carry on with a small amount of work on your travels. Quite a lot of freelancers follow the 80-20 rule of vacationing. It basically means that you spend 80% of your time relaxing and enjoying yourself, while the other 20% is dedicated to work. Your whole vacation won’t be completely spoiled by constant work, but you'll still get things done.
Of course, you should ensure that you do have plenty of time to take a breather and relax while you're on vacation. Recharging your batteries allows you to return to your desk a lot more energized and rejuvenated.
Taking a break is perfectly reasonable and acceptable even if you are a freelancer. I’m sure you deserve to get away for a few days, just make sure that you enjoy yourself!