I’ve finally found my head! The last few weeks have been quite hectic and crazy. But they were well worth it.
For now, it has slowed down but hey, work never really ends when you’re in business for yourself. At least that’s what me and my compadres on Twitter have been discussing over the past couple days.
And it makes me wonder, ‘Are freelancers and entrepreneurs taking enough time-off to ensure the sustainability of their business’.
For some, including myself, the word ‘enough’ might sound strange because forget enough, we’re lucky if we take any time off at all. Vacation is a luxury afforded to the 9-5ers, the super-wealthy and the veteran entrepreneurs who’ve already made it. Right?
Entrepreneurs/freelancers need time off more than most. Relaxation is key to avoiding the burnout of constantly working around the clock, a time to rejuvenate. Most importantly, taking a well-needed break will leave you feeling inspired to get back to work in full force, rather than continue on your current path of ‘not-wanting-to-get-out-of-bed-in-the-morning-ism‘.
But how can I do it?! I have so much work and no-one’s gonna do it for me. I could lose my clients. Blah, blah, blah…STOP MAKING EXCUSES! Here I list a few tips for getting that vacay time you dream of so you can stop dreaming about it and actually make it happen WITHOUT CONSEQUENCES. Hope it helps!
- Take a few short well-timed breaks rather than seeking to have a long one. 3 days every 3 months is much easier to plan and
quite as effective as a 2 week one.
- Go wherever you feel like, whether you’re going to guest house in another parish or taking a trip to Italy (yes, please!) but don’t stay in your work environment.
- Relax! Find a beach to lounge around or a good book to read, even better, go to a spa but no active sports or sightseeing or anything else that will make you tired. This will only make things worst when you return to work and have no energy.
- Plan ahead. Picking out dates in advance has a couple advantages. Firstly, you get to look forward to it each time you feel down. Secondly, you can inform all relevant parties, including clients, of these dates and that you should not be bothered or disturbed. And finally, you get enough to time to schedule all urgent work in before and reschedule all non-urgent work until after.
- Do it with a friend. Planning this with another entrepreneur friend will help you both motivate each other to sticking to this plan. Book a place, pay for tix in advance and plan activities together so either one will feel absolutely horrible if they do bail out. (You may not want to do it with someone you work closely with since you may just end up discussing work.)
- If you have family, don’t bring them along. Family outings are active gatherings. This is you time.
- Disconnect! The world will not end without you being available for a couple days. Don’t take the electronic gadgets along (except maybe your cell phone), turn off all email notifications and forward all calls to a trusted friend who you can trust to only contact you in an absolute emergency.
- Resist the urge to break your plan. Treat is as a client’s work if you must. You wouldn’t cancel out so easily on a client who booked dates in advance, would you? Block off the days and if anyone or anything proposes those days, YOU ARE UNAVAILABLE.
My trip’s being booked as we speak and a couple of the freelancing/entrepreneurial femmes of Twitter are joining in – @therealnickmack, @jomariemalcolm, @kimissasherlock and @RachieVPA. Here’s to hoping they take some of my tips above into consideration so we can all have a grand time!