Here’s how to take time off as a freelancer - Deepstash
Here’s how to take time off as a freelancer

Here’s how to take time off as a freelancer

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Taking time off is essential

Taking time off is essential

A freelance business owner can find it difficult to unplug and unwind when on vacation. There always seem to be deadlines to meet, emails to answer, clients to manage and marketing to do. This is all driven by the fear that you'll lose work or clients if you slow down.

Time off means a loss of money and day-to-day business admin piling up. However, taking time off is vital to avoid burnout.


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Plan ahead

Plan ahead

Build vacation into your schedule ahead of time. Then, block out the time you'll dedicate to vacation and plan around it when scheduling client work.


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Tell your clients early

If your time off will impact regular client schedules, notify your clients a few weeks in advance. Tell your clients you're taking time off.

For example, "I wanted to give you a heads up that I will be taking some time off next month and will be unavailable from [date to date]. In the meantime, please keep sending work my way - I have the capacity for 1-2 projects a week before I take off."


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Budget for your vacation

For freelancers, time off work is time not making money. However, it doesn't mean you shouldn't take a vacation - it means you need to budget for it.

For example, it could mean raising your rates and taking on more assignments in the months leading to your vacation.

Set up a business account for your freelance income, then schedule regular automatic payments to your personal account so that you have a regular "paycheck". Build some savings in for a cushion.


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Get ahead on your work

Without burning yourself out, front-load your work so that you can fit all your projects early. This is easiest when planning ahead and communicating with clients early so that they have a chance to send projects your way.

It might mean doubling up on work for a few weeks, but it keeps your income steady.


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Set boundaries for yourself

A key to freelance survival is setting expectations up front.

Learn to say no to work opportunities scheduled on your vacation, and communicate with clients to set deadlines that work for both of you. 

During a vacation, refrain from checking in on email or following up on work.


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Consider subcontracting work

Consider hiring a subcontractor to keep things moving when you have busy seasons where you don't want to say no to work.

If you want to subcontract work during your vacation, start the hiring process early as it can take time to onboard the right people.


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Work on your mindset

Create a few mantras to help ground you in reality.

  • Your clients will be there when you return.
  • You have found work before, and you can find more when you return.
  • Vacation is essential. It makes you better at your work.


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Start small

If you can't afford an extended vacation, start small with a few days or a long weekend.

Stepping back to unwind will give your mind and body a chance to recharge and allow you to return with a fresh perspective and renewed energy.


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