At the time of writing this, there are 43 ‘sleeps’ until Christmas (yes, I still count how close Christmas is by the number of times I have to go to bed before the big day. I love it that much). As unbelievable as this is on a personal level (where’s the year gone?!), as a freelance writer it’s important you start to think about your work preparations for the Christmas period.
Over the festive season, I like to take between ten days and two weeks off. Finishing somewhere around December 22nd, I try not to do any type of work until around January 3rd. Everyone’s different, but it’s one of only a handful of times throughout the year where I get to truly relax and see friends and family regularly.
Although I’m now working a full time salaried role, I still have to prepare just as much as I did when I was working freelance, for the simple fact that just because I’m taking two weeks off, it doesn’t mean clients want their to be a two week break in the content they receive. Sure, most organisations tend to reduce their blogging activities, for example, over Christmas, but a reduction is still not the same as a complete pause.
Everyone’s preparations for Christmas will be different and I know plenty of people, although aiming to take two weeks off, will do a bit of work every now and again. It might just be sending a few e-mails or it could be spending an afternoon or two producing some content. In these instances, preparations could be something relatively simple, such as telling your clients you’re not going to be available for most of the festive period. Content will still be delivered, but communication will be minimal.
For me, however, I like to have the full time off and do as little work as I have to – ideally none!
Therefore, what I personally do is get everything finished and sent to the client beforehand. I’m completely honest and open with them and say I’m taking the time off and that all content will be provided a few days before I leave for the holidays. This gives the client time to check the work, request any amendments and gives me the chance to make any edits that are required (as well as giving me a bit of breathing space to tie any loose ends up before Christmas).
While I used to work like a mad man the week before Christmas (or in fact any time I wanted time off), what I’ve started to do is spread the work that’s required to be completed when I’m away over a longer period of time on the lead up to the break. So for example, if I had a client who requested five blog posts per week, I need to create 10 extra before Christmas. Rather than leaving this until the last week, which can cause problems for the client in terms of approval, I’ll spread them out – two extra per week for five weeks, for instance, is much more manageable than 10 extra blog posts in one week.
Christmas is almost within touching distance. I’ve started preparing for taking time off, but have you?