Attention full-time freelance creatives: We need more time off.
A little R&R can do wonders for your productivity, creative thinking and overall business growth.
But, when you’re a business of one, it’s tough to be away from your work tasks for even a day. I completely understand.
When I first started out, I never took time off because it was too much work to catch up later, I’d miss paid writing opportunities and my customer service would suffer.
But, now I’m more creative with my time management and follow these three time-off strategies since I don’t have co-workers or an assistant to step in when I’m taking time off.
Schedule Half-Days Often
Most people try to tackle the most difficult, brain-consuming tasks during the first part of their work day. It’s a great way to feel productive and accomplished.
So, when business is a little slower, or you’re working on flexible tasks and projects that don’t have a hard deadline, pencil in a few half-days. Use the first part of the day to get important things done, and use the second half for self-care.
I’ve started incorporating this idea into my week. I celebrate #WellnessWednesday as often as possible with a free afternoon to read a book, watch a movie, go on a walk or take a nap. This planned rest period gives my brain time to decompress and shift gears away from my writing projects and business development plans.
I find that Friday afternoons are also an easy one to cut short. Why? Many people take three-day weekends, especially in the summer, so most of my colleagues, customers and contacts aren’t available anyway!
Take Three-Day Weekends
Speaking of Friday, it’s a great day to take off in general. Having a short work week to look forward to actually seems to boost my energy Monday through Thursday. And again, during the summer, many businesses give their employees Fridays off or they use PTO so they can sneak in summer mini-getaways.
Entrepreneurs can take a cue from this practice and follow suit. Taking a three-day weekend here and there is better than no vacation time at all! Although I’m creeping up on eight years as a full-time self-employed creative, I still have a hard time being away from my business duties for a full week. I get antsy and wonder what I am missing. Plus, I miss my friends online.
Make the Most of Holidays
As an entrepreneur, there are always lingering feelings of pressing forward 24/7. I used to look at holidays as a time to get ahead and be extra productive because I knew my email (the main connection between me and my clients) would be quiet.
I do still use that approach on occasion, but now I’m realizing it’s OK and beneficial to also enjoy a holiday off to recharge my physical and mental batteries. Whether it’s one day, or an extended weekend, set up an away message on your email and business social media accounts to keep everyone informed of when and how they can reach you during the holidays. Then, relax!