For freelancers, every day is a bit of a balancing act – but during the festive season it becomes even more difficult to smoothly balance time and tasks.
Here are some of our top tips for staying on track with work at home (while still retaining your Christmas cheer!) over the Christmas period.
Many freelancers will want to keep up with work at home throughout the Christmas period, as paid holiday leave often isn’t an option. But between gift shopping, tree-decorating, relative-visiting, present-wrapping and opening and cooking, how will you balance your time?
It’s also important to take some carefully planned time off to recuperate and enjoy yourself with loved ones.
Here are some things you can do:
With the best will in the world, freelancers will often experience interruptions in the run-up to Christmas, whether it’s during down-time or during an afternoon of working hard.
The key is to be flexible. Halfway through an article and your neighbours arrive at the door bringing tidings of joy (and maybe biscuits)? Don’t panic – put your work aside for half an hour and enjoy a cup of tea. It’s good to break up your workload anyway, and you may as well have some pleasant company when you do so.
In the middle of a Home Alone marathon and get an urgent email from a client? Let them know that you’ll be with them right away, finish what you’re doing at the time and then get going with your work. The final movie will be waiting for you when you finish, and you’ll feel calm knowing you’ve got the work done. Plus, it’ll certainly earn you brownie points with your client…
Put aside a few hours each morning or afternoon to get your work done
Though client requests could come through at any time and disrupt your quiet-time or Christmas movie binge, it’s good to maintain some kind of routine throughout the festive period.
Depending on what time of day you find you work best, set aside four or five hours to sit at your desk, stick your headphones on and whizz through some work. Resolve to really relax and enjoy yourself when those hours are through with – perhaps treat yourself to a hot port, or meet some friends to go ice-skating together. Either way, reward yourself for working hard!
Assign yourself a ‘shopping day’
In the run-up to Christmas, people often book a day off or an early finish during the week to get on top of their Christmas shopping lists. Why not do the same? Choose a day in the week to buy all the gifts you need, and stick to it. That way you can apply yourself to your work properly the day after, without the worry of looming present shopping.
Inform your clients of your assigned ‘downtime’
Long-term projects can be done according to your own schedule, but ‘quick jobs’ can pop up when you least expect them. If you’ve got a trip planned around Christmastime, have relatives visiting, or just need two or three days to fully relax, make sure to let your clients know and tell them when to expect you back in the office, so to speak.
If you’re heading away somewhere with low connectivity, make sure to let them know how to contact in an emergency – in case they feel they’re being ignored.
Send some season’s greetings
It’s always a good idea to stay on your clients’ radars and make sure they have you on their mind for new projects beginning in the new year. Take advantage of the time of year and send out some cards to remind them you’re out there.
Posted by The Secret Businessman