As some of you may have guessed from my last post, last week I was away with my mum and dad down in my favourite place in the world, St. Ives in Cornwall. This was the first time I was taking some ‘time off’ since I started this whole freelance venture back in January and I worked really hard the week before to make sure my work load was at a minimum. I did, however, take my laptop with me and still managed to do maybe 4 hours of work a day… I just didn’t know how to stop all together. It didn’t ruin the holiday at all because I got up early to get the work finished but I am certainly not as sleep rested as I usually would be from a trip down there (normal sleep in St. Ives ranges from 10 to 12 hours of sleep a day…)
Anyhow, I thought it appropriate (more for myself) to do a little research in how to shut it down for a week as a freelancer and really cut off without waking up with anxiety about the well being of your clients and business. This is what i found out.
‘Plan’ is the word of the week.
- Tell all clients one month in advance about your trip, then two weeks before, then one week before so they are prepared for your departure.
- Prepare the week before by doing as much as you possibly can to help things run smoothly. Social Media Managers need to spend some quality time with their Hootsuite account for example.
- Set up an autoresponder in your email account so that everyone who emails you knows you are away, another means to contact you in an emergency and when you will be back.
- Outsourcing the daily work is a great way to make sure you switch off and relax. Like a babysitter for your business, if you know someone else has the reins all week, you will more likely relax and let things go for a week.
It is completely your decision how much you take with you on your holiday. Your mobile phone might be enough. Maybe you need your laptop too. A 3G USB dongle is always helpful so you know you will have internet wherever you are. The only problem here is that all of these things tempt you to check your emails or just spend 5 minutes on a project. Your holiday is your time to relax, unwind and let everything go for a week so you return refreshed. As freelancers we work work work all day and night long, so some quality rest time is vital. Make sure you are determined to do it and stick to it.
Next time I am definitely going to take more of my own advice and switch off all my devices.
Until next time,