Festive Freelancing – Coping with Christmas

Being a freelancer can be both rewarding and challenging over the Christmas period.  On one hand, you get to choose your own time off without having to request it from a mean-spirited boss.  On the other hand, every hour you take often means both zero income and the possibility that your clients may go elsewhere in the meantime.

So in order to help ensure you get through the Christmas period without having to panic or work yourself to death, here’s a quick rundown of a few essential tips:

  1. Schedule

First of all, you need to create a schedule for the festive period and be willing to stick to it like glue.  Which days you will work, which days you will take off, which days you will work just a couple of hours in the afternoon and so on.  If you don’t, you are guaranteed to find yourself all over the place – struggling while you work and worrying that you should be working when you are trying to rest.

  1. Communicate

If you have any ongoing clients, or clients that come back to you on a regular basis, you need to be as clear as possible when it comes to communicating your plans.  Don’t leave things until the last minute and don’t make the mistake of giving the impression that you will be available as and when required at all times.  Once again, create a schedule you can stick with.

  1. Premium Rates

Should you be presented with any jobs that absolutely cannot wait and will potentially eat into your time off, don’t be afraid to charge a premium rate.  The simple fact of the matter is that anyone else in your position would, so don’t allow yourself to be short-changed.

  1. Season’s Greetings

Never overlook the potential value of what is a relatively small and simple gesture of extending season’s greetings to your clients.  If possible, send each of them a personal e-mail written to them and them alone, or better yet an old-fashioned greetings card.  Just don’t make the mistake of sending out a generic and uninspiring e-mail, with nothing but their name copied and pasted into the template.

  1. Switch Off

Last but not least, the last thing you want is to return to your desk after the festive period, resentful at the fact that you have had no time off or relaxation whatsoever.  Nevertheless, this is exactly what will happen if you do not go ahead and switch off your phone, your computer and all other devices to give yourself a break.  Refer back to your schedule and be as bold as necessary, in order to ensure that you start the new year in the best possible frame of mind.