Self-employment is, in general opinion, a synonym of freedom. Full-time employees envy freelancers having no supervisor above them. Or the fact that they have a greater freedom in the selection of projects, and, above all, the opportunity to take vacation at any time without the need to submit an application. At least so much for the theory. But those who did work as freelancers at least once in their life knows that the reality looks less rosy. Freelancing and vacation for many freelancers are concepts that are mutually exclusive. In the long run, however, it is impossible to put your clients’ needs over your own all the time . Every freelance needs longer holidays at least once a year to clear their head and change their environment. Prepare your business for a break and do what you can to really wind down and take the most of your out-of-office time.
How to wind down during the holidays?
Try not to leave any issues unresolved
What’s the point of going on holidays in the first place? Basically – to relax. It doesn’t matter whether you chose to engage in physical activity and adrenaline of mountain hiking, or prefer to lay idly on the beach. The point is to break free from current affairs and think about something else. That’s why it’s better to start preparing yourself and your clients’ ahead of time. Don’t take any last-minute gigs just before departure, to be make sure you can finish everything before you get on that plane. If there are any issues that will need attendance while you’re gone, perhaps you can ask someone: a colleague, or a co-worker to fill in for you?
Take some time to prepare for the holidays before it actually happens. Think about packing a few days ahead of time – don’t leave it for the last moment. Make a list of things you think are necessary, and whenever a new item comes to your mind, put it down. Packing can be a very stressful activity, so don’t make it worse by waiting until the last day.
Speaking of things not to do on the last moment – reserve some time to actually getting to the airport or station. Leave early just to be on the safe side and not get surprised by traffic or road accidents. Even if you manage to make it on time, you will feel stressed, nervous and exhausted. Things like that can set you off and ruin your journey right at the start.
Take some time to adjust
If you’re feeling sleepy, irritable and your head is killing you, you might be experiencing a jet lag, which is the effect of a sudden change of time zone. Don’t forget that your body needs some time to get accustomed. They say you need as many days to settle in a new place, as many hours there are between your home time zone and that of your destination. Get some sleep, go for a walk, don’t pace yourself to do anything – it will get better with time.
Turn off your mobile
If you’re planning to truly have a rest, you know that’s what you should do. Forget about answering business calls, checking your mailbox for new assignments, etc. If you’re on your holidays – be on holidays.
If you want to have a stress-free holidays, let yourself take a rest from the information chaos. Things like answering emails, browsing the internet, reading news and so on. On a daily basis, we tend not to notice how much tension this uninterrupted stream of information is causing. And whenever something happens, you’re expected to act on it. Respond to it, or otherwise relate to it. While on holidays, you deserve a small rehab from all of this. Let your mind wind down, release the tension and enjoy the moment.
Think about what a beautiful place you found yourself in. Focus on what is happening around you, enjoy the picturesque views and breathe the fresh air. Just feel the touch of soft sand beneath your feet and enjoy it. Try engaging in some physical activity to loosen your body. After all, the translator’s bread and butter is mostly sedentary work! Choose something to your liking and have some fun with it.
When working on your own, it is easy to fall into the trap of being available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Many entrepreneurs and freelancers, especially beginners, do not want to lose a single client. It’s hardly surprising, but eventually comes with a price. Each order is the opportunity to earn extra money. But does more work always mean more money? Not necessarily. Non-stop work is a straight way to professional burnout in the long run. Without a proper dose of rest, our efficiency decreases. It can be the biggest challenge for a freelancer to break away from everyday duties and allow yourself to truly relax. However, letting it happen is an investment that will bring you new energy and motivation to work.