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6 things a freelancer can do for a stress free vacation!Melissa Le Piane
Taking a break or going on a holiday is always a good idea, whether we are talking about employees, freelancers or clients.
Why is that exactly?
- Holidays contribute to a better life/work balance.
- Having a break clears your mind & gives you more energy.
- The quality of your work improves by getting some rest.
- Vacations lead to inspiration & fresh, new ideas for your projects.
For freelancers, however, taking some time off might require a bit of preparation. So, how do they take a stress free vacation? Here are some tips!
1. Warn clients in advance about your holiday
First of all, let your clients know that you are taking some time off. Inform them as soon as possible, so that they can make the necessary arrangements for your absence too. It’s a sign of respect and taking your customers’ needs into account. As long as you finish their project before your holiday or warn them in advance that you won’t be able to make it, they won’t have a problem with it.
The benefits for freelancers warning their clients?
- Less chance of extra demands in the last weeks before a holiday
- No angry or panicky calls from customers
2. Charge enough for your work
It’s important to plan well in advance for a stress free holiday. When setting your rates, you need to take into account that paid holidays, sick days, … are no longer a given for freelancers. So make sure that you charge higher fees for your assignments than in your old, regular job.
Another important thing to remember is that you should always think about saving for holidays and unexpected events (illness, a broken-down car, …), besides your budget for living and business expenses, from the beginning.
3. Get organized before your holiday
Set a strict schedule for all assignments that you need to finish before going on a holiday. By making a to-do list about your current projects and their deadlines, you will be able to keep track of your progress.
This way, you will know in advance, if you won’t be able to make some deadlines and you can warn your clients.
The benefits for organized freelancers?
- No angry calls from customers during their time off
- Knowing whether they can take on new assignments
4. Set an email bounceback (& stick to it)
When the time for going on a holiday has finally arrived, setting out-of-office replies on your email and phone is a great idea. Your clients will be reminded that your vacation has finally started and that you will only reply upon your return.
Another important aspect for having a stress free holiday is not checking your email or voicemail. The stress of work will immediately come back and ruin the rest of your holiday, if you choose to keep track of your incoming messages.
You can always plan a catch-up day for your emails, if it makes your feel better about taking time off. By designating your first day back to catching up on your mail, you won’t be as overwhelmed by a full inbox. Of course you won’t be earning any money during this day, but communicating with your clients is important and reaching an inbox zero will bring you more peace and creativity on your second day back.
5. Arrange projects for your return
Planning some assignments for their first week back will give freelancers the necessary peace of mind during their holiday. So arrange some work for your return, but also not too much. You will never be able to compensate the time that you spent on a holiday, so don’t even try. It will only exhaust you!
The benefits for freelancers arranging assignments for their return?
- Knowing that earning money starts again after some time off
- More peace of mind & a stress free holiday
6. Forgive yourself if you have to do some work
Last but certainly not least, it’s always possible that you weren’t able to finish all your work before going on a vacation or that some communication (like panicky reactions from clients) slips through. Sometimes you don’t have a choice but to do some work. Just don’t stress too much about it and don’t let it ruin your vacation. It’s better to successfully finish an assignment than feeling guilty about taking time off.
Going on a holiday is a wonderful feeling that anyone should be able to enjoy, also freelancers. Taking some time off isn’t always easy, but these tips for a stress free vacation will give you a head start.
Don’t hesitate to contact IT MATCH, if you have more questions about freelancing in Belgium!