Holiday Working Tips for Freelancers


– ‘Bank Holiday’, Blur

It’s Bank Holiday time again, and workers across Britain are preparing for a long weekend of damp drinking, sodden barbecues and rain-drenched fun. But some of us aren’t. For freelancers, public holidays are more of suggestion than a date to look forward to, and we’re all looking forward to a day of getting some work done without interruptions like ringing phones or new emails.

But are you prepared for the travails of holiday working? Or are you dreaming of a lie-in after an afternoon huddled under an umbrella in a beer garden with a brand-new water feature? If your work ethic trumps the call of the local, then make sure you follow this advice to make sure you’re prepared for a productive long weekend.

Rule One: Don’t Run Out of Work

If you’ve decided that you’re going to spend the long weekend filling your coffers instead of filling your boots, then the chances are that you’ve already told all of your mates that you won’t make it down to the pub for an afternoon beer.

When you turn up at 2pm anyway, you’re going to look like an absolute chancer. And when that client calls because you “were actually going to stay in the office over Easter” to find you six deep, you’re going to look even worse.

The best thing to do at a time like this is to book in as much work as humanly possible. Overbook if you can. By dropping your weekend rush fees and sending out a holiday discount email, you should manage to keep yourself busy from dawn until dusk.

At dusk, you should be too tired to head down to the local, and that’ll mean you’re fresh for a day of work tomorrow.

Rule Two: Don’t Lose Sight of the Prize

Focus. You’re doing this for the money. That’s all. All those things you told yourself about going freelance? Choosing your own hours, having a flexible lifestyle, taking the time to enjoy your life – get rid of those thoughts right away. This game is about filthy lucre and nothing else.

If you have time, stick a post-it note to the wall explaining what you’re going to do with all that extra cash you’ll have after four days of weekend work. Make sure it’s something really compelling, like “getting away for a weekend” or “taking some time off.”

Then settle in for the long hard graft. Remember – by working yourself to the bone today instead of enjoying time with your family and friends, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to have a day off at some unspecified point in the future when everyone else is back at the 9-5.

Work will make you free.

Rule Three: Don’t Burn Yourself Out

This might seem stupid, but remember – you’ve got a whole working week ahead of you too.

You want to fit four solid days of work into this long Easter weekend, but you need to follow it with four solid days of work too, so you want to at least have enough energy to scrape through the working week. Find a way of rewarding yourself at some point.

Taking an extra hour for lunch on Monday seems fair. Just make sure you take your laptop with you. Get a few of those little jobs done. They hardly count.

Rule Four: Don’t Bother

You’ve probably got the idea. You didn’t sign up for freelance life to work yourself to death. The hardest lesson to learn is that sometimes it’s OK to do nothing.

In fact, when everyone else is doing nothing, you’ll be better served taking the time to enjoy yourself than hustling for rush jobs that you wouldn’t normally touch.

Go on. Andrew’s giving you permission. Get out there and have some fun.

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