The holidays are such a joyous time of the year for so many reasons! However, being burdened by a lack of control in the time department can put a serious damper on things. This is something I know all too well.
A microwavable turkey dinner, large coffee, and lots of tears. That was my Thanksgiving dinner on my first holiday working as a nurse. The reality of this new adult life hit me hard. I had gone from a glorious, responsibility-free college student to a night shift nurse at the bottom of the totem pole, working weekends and holidays.
It was time to accept the fact that I’d be missing my fair share of family events, I wouldn’t be out with my friends on New Year’s Eve, and I might even miss Christmas morning when I became a mom. It was circumstances like these that made me want more.
More freedom. More flexibility. More time. This is where my freelancing journey started and I’m incredibly grateful for said journey! Don’t get me wrong, the freelance life isn’t for everyone; it certainly comes with its own set of challenges. But there’s just no trade-off for the type of freedom you’re allotted when you work for yourself.
One of the greatest times to relish in the freelance life is the holidays, so I’d like to share with you the top reasons I’m so happy to be a freelancer this time of year!
No More Permission
As I covered above, freelancing equals freedom. There is no need to request off for your holiday break in July or try to switch holidays with a coworker because you are in total control over your work. And while that responsibility is intense, it helps to remember that it’s worth it.
Even if you have a busy workload, take advantage of this freedom. Schedule a midday massage or meet a friend for a weekday lunch. Spend a little time thanking yourself for all your hard work over the past year!
Because you have control over your workload and schedule, you have the freedom to take time off during the holidays. I love being able to take extended time off at the end of the year. When our daughter was a baby, I was working full time and out of vacation time due to maternity leave, but I still took almost two weeks off to be with her around Christmas.
Make a list of all of the fun holiday activities you love, but rarely have time for. Put them on the calendar, then schedule work around your personal and family time. You’ve worked hard to be your own boss, so be kind to yourself! Take time to go see Christmas lights, wrap gifts, send cards, and meet up with friends.
Maybe you prefer to take on more work during the holidays? The costs of presents and hosting can add up quickly, so having a little financial padding is a huge stress reliever. Fortunately for you, many of your freelancer colleagues are taking time off, so pitch away! You’ll have less competition, so go ahead and fill your client load to the max for the next few months.
If you find yourself working more during this time due to sheer necessity, don’t beat yourself up. Make a plan starting in January to set aside a little extra each month to be able to pay yourself vacation time in December 2018. Learning lessons the hard way is a big part of any entrepreneur’s journey!
As a freelancer, your brain has a tendency to stay in overdrive. You have to pitch yourself, do the work, follow-up with clients, and figure out your budget. Doing it all makes it easy to get sucked into the day-to-day busy work and forget to take a step back to look at your entire business, but the holidays are a perfect time to reflect!
Make a list of all of your accomplishments, big or small. Did you land that big client, pay off your student loans, or cut back at your day job? It’s common to to hit your goals, then immediately move on, but you deserve more, so take this time to soak it all in.
Next, look at what didn’t go so well. What changes do you want to make in 2018? How would you like to grow? Perhaps you know that you no longer want to do social media for clients or you want to become more specialized. Don’t dwell on what didn’t go well; just chalk it up to experience and move on. Taking some reflection time will give you invaluable clarity as you move forward.
I could list plenty more things I love about the freelance life, but we wouldn’t have time to cover them all! What do you love about working for yourself? If you don’t work for yourself, but would like to, is there something about this time of year that motivates you to make the change? Share in the comments below!
And to all my freelancing friends out there – please take time to enjoy this wonderful time of the year! You’ve earned it!