Summer is without a doubt one of the most relaxing seasons of the year. With the sun driving away our cares and opening up possibilities for beach vacations and never-ending pool side hangouts, it always seems like life moves just a bit slower this time of year. But with nine-to-fivers finally getting some time away from their hum-drum routines and you still busy trying to meet your deliverables, it may seem impossible to enjoy your holiday and keep up with your freelancing career. Don’t be envious though. With the right planning, you can still make the most out of your summer vacay and keep your clients happy. Read this blog to find out how.
Planning! Planning! Planning!
This is probably the most important advice you’ll get as a freelancer working through the summer; plan ahead! But this shouldn’t worry you- we’re sure you’re already adept at planning, being your own boss and all. However, for the summer, you need to kick it up a notch if you want it to sail smoothly.
The first thing would be to discuss the tasks your clients have in store for you during the summer, at the beginning of the season. Go into as much detail as possible, to help you plan your calendar down to the hour if possible, so nothing catches you by surprise.
Another thing you should be prepared for is late responses from your clients, since they may be enjoying their holiday as well. This is why it’s important to discuss all the minute details beforehand, so you don’t get stuck in the middle of a project without any way to reach your clients. Do as much research as you can and have in-depth discussions of expectations before the summer kicks off.
If you’ll be handling large projects, break them down into small actionable tasks that you can work on effectively. With task management apps like Asana or Trello, it will be easy to keep track of your goals, deadlines and achievements.
Have a daily schedule
Balance is key to getting the most out of your summer freelancing. You want to enjoy a bit of sun, hang out with your friends and family but not at the expense of your job. This is unlikely to happen if you start every day with a plan. And since freelancing puts you in charge for your time, how your summer will pan out rests greatly on how you organize yourself.
Know what you need to accomplish for each day and plan your time accordingly. If you’re going on a vacation with your loved ones, keep them in the loop so they aren’t disappointed when you have to pull away from group activities to hop on a Zoom call. This will go a long way in preventing conflict during your holiday.
Alternatively, you can decide to work during specific hours of the day, and reserve the remaining time to relax and enjoy your summer. For instance, you can work during the morning hours, say 7-10am when there isn’t much going on (and the rest of the vacationers are asleep) then spend the rest of the day indulging in the sights and sounds of your vacation. Choose whatever time is convenient for you and take advantage of the flexibility that freelancing gives you.
Spend more time outdoors
Even if you don’t have an exotic trip planned, you should take time outside your workspace to unwind. If you’ll be home for the summer, enjoy your local tourist scene, visit the places you’ve been planning to go but haven’t had the time, enjoy morning walks/runs, or take your laptop to the park or a café and get some work done there. You can even schedule your meetings outdoors to get you in the summer mood.
If you’re going on a destination vacation, don’t spend too much time in the hotel room. Go sightseeing, immerse yourself in nature, go on that hike, take that drive. The bottom line is you should make up for all the time you’ve spent cooped up in your home-office enjoying some fresh air. And since you’ve been telling your 9-5 friends that you can work from anywhere, what’s a better way to walk-the-freelance-talk than working by the beach?
Do more social activities
Freelancing can get incredibly lonely at times. Without the daily socializing that comes with having co-workers, you may find yourself craving human interactions from time-to-time. This is why you should plan to see your friends and family more over the summer holidays, especially since they may be free from their regular jobs or school.
You can invite people over for a cook-out if you have the luxury of a backyard, or attend a pool party, potluck or whatever your loved ones have planned. You can even enjoy some team sports. But don’t limit this to just the summer. For your well-being, it is important to enjoy the company of people regularly, since as a freelancer all your work-related interactions may be virtual.
However, since the Coronavirus is still active, be sure to take the necessary precautions like avoiding crowded places, wearing your mask, sanitizing, and keeping social distance.
Unplug for a while
This may sound counter-intuitive, but it can be really helpful to spend more time away from your phone or computer. As a freelancer, it’s almost second nature to refresh your email every few minutes or scroll through your profile to check if clients have gotten back to you on your pitches or proposals. Inasmuch as this helps you progress in your career, it may not be that great for your mental health or relationships. But in the summer, when things are moving just a bit slower, it can be a good time to pull away from your computer to just relax and focus on your well-being. If you plan in advance, and communicate with your clients on time, you can go on a little sabbatical without any work weighing you down. You can finally take the trip to that remote location you’ve been wanting to go to without worrying if there’ll be WiFi.
Taking time to recharge will help you unwind, stave off burnouts, and make you a more productive, well-adjusted freelancer which translates to more clients and more money in your pocket!
It can get overwhelming trying to balance work and play over the summer holidays. But as we’ve discussed in this blog, with enough planning, you can enjoy both without missing out on any part of your holiday or income.
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