Monday, November 24, 2014

Become A Better Freelancer by Taking Breaks and Yearly Sabbaticals (Part 1)

In some ways, freelancing professionals work harder and should be better in time management and negotiating than employees on a payroll. There's no denying the fact that a regular cash flow  depends upon a freelancer's ability to act fast on his feet.

But while the majority of us choose to have one day out of the week as a day off, we also need the equivalent of vacation leaves, birthday leaves, and non-working holidays in order to stay focused and maintain our long-term sanity.

You may think that since freelancing, as a career, operates on a no work, no pay basis, it won't be right to justify taking vacations. Take too many, and not only will you find your cash flow slowing down, you'll also discover that you're losing your momentum.

But here's a fact: we all need brief periods of time to rest and recuperate, and longer periods occasionally for reassessment, so that we can end up refreshed and rejuvenated enough to once again face the challenges that freelancing brings.

When it comes to taking periodical breaks, keep the following in mind:

(1.) Allow for more frequent yet shorter vacations. 

What could be better than scheduling a weekend visit at a relative's house, or going on a hiking or fishing trip with a group of friends? Granted, your mini-vacations should be planned ahead, so you may want to make arrangements by getting in touch with anyone who has a spare bedroom in his vacation house.

Another excellent idea would be to sign up for a group tour in places or sites within your city or town with historical or cultural significance. Group tours are usually offered at reduced or discounted rates to attract more people.

Before 2014 ends, obtain one of those inexpensive planners sold at bookstores, and start penciling in any activity you may want to try all throughout the year. 

(2.) Opt for a "stay"-cation. 

A "stay"-cation is a brief period when you abstain from anything work-related and engage in activities that could be done indoors, like inviting some friends over for card or board games, having a movie marathon with your family, or catching up on your reading.

Stay-cations are ideal if reducing costs is your current priority, or you're saving up for something (e.g. computer software, tuition fee for a certificate course, a post-paid mobile phone plan, etc.) that will boost your income in the future.  

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