Going on holidays? Here are our tips to plan your time off without stress
Is that a holiday we spy on the horizon? 😍
We love seeing freelance translators doing their thing, but we love it even more when they take well deserved breaks.
Unfortunately, taking the time off they deserve is something a lot of translators really struggle with.
They might assume they’re taking enough.
But when they actually sit down and add up the days, they realise they’re not even scratching the surface of the holiday someone in employment would get.
We get it. Taking a holiday can feel daunting when you’re a freelancer, especially when you’re just getting started. Because if you’re not working, you won’t be earning, right?!
But once you start prioritising time off, you’ll see it needn’t be stressful. All your clients will still be there when you get back, and your rested brain will deliver far better results.
So, are you ready to start really enjoying that freelance freedom you signed up for?
Here are our top tips for transforming your approach to holidays and taking stress-free time off.
1. Think employed thoughts
There are lots of excellent things we can learn from our employed friends. And one of them is the approach that most jobs (although sadly, not all) have to provide holiday days.
When you sign an employment contract, you agree to a certain number of holiday days a year. And in all likelihood, you take them!
You plan out your year carefully to make sure you take all your days and get to enjoy the fruits of all your hard work.
Now, one of the lovely things about being freelance is that you won’t have to worry about not being allowed to take a holiday because someone else has already snaffled your dates.
But, although we can take all the holidays we like in theory, that doesn’t mean we actually do.
So, think employed.
Decide on the number of holiday days you can/want to take a year. And be generous! You’re your own boss, so be a nice one.
Then keep a running total of the days you take. That will help take the emotion or guilt out of taking time off, as it’s just what you’re entitled to.
Try and spread them out throughout the year. If you get to Q3 and realise you’ve got a lot of days still left to take, you better get cracking!
2. Factor holidays into your rate calculations
Once you’ve decided on your magic number of holiday days per year, use that information to set your rates.
Your rates are only sustainable if they mean your business is making money. If it’s covering all your business expenses and your living expenses.
Figure out how much you need to earn in a year to cover all those costs.
Then divide that by the number of hours you can (realistically) spend on client work in a year, making sure you include both sick days and holiday days in your calculations.
That will give you your hourly rate. Factoring in your holidays will mean you can take time off safe in the knowledge that you’ll still be on track to earn what you need to.
3. Train yourself to see rest as a priority for your business
Rest is not an optional luxury. It's essential.
And the only way to really understand that is by taking regular time off. You’ll come to see how it can boost the quality of your work and get you feeling motivated again.
Be strict with yourself about how you talk about taking a holiday. Frame it positively. Don’t make excuses or apologise for taking time off to yourself, your clients, your colleagues, or anyone at all.
4. Let your clients know well in advance
You probably don’t need to let them know about the odd day off here and there very far in advance. But if you’re taking a longer period of time off, make sure you let your clients know about it in plenty of time.
That way they can easily plan around your absence. If you have any regular commitments to them, like weekly or monthly projects, you can come up with a plan that works for you both.
A good way to make sure everyone is aware of your upcoming holiday is to add it to your email sign off.
Oh, and if a client ever makes you feel like you shouldn’t be taking time off, even when you’ve given them plenty of notice, then they almost definitely aren’t the right client for you.
5. Take enough time off to really switch off
Long weekends are great, and in our opinion you should take them as often as you can.
But they don’t give you a chance to properly disconnect, as you might just end up worrying about the projects you’ve got lined up for when you’re back at your desk.
So we reckon you should try and take an extended break at least twice a year, if possible.
6. Take a social media break
Turn your holiday into a proper digital detox by saying goodbye to social media for the duration.
As freelancers, social media is often a big part of our marketing. So if we don’t take a break from that too and we’re seeing other people posting away, it’s hard to properly get out of work mode.
Let people know you’ll be away from your social media accounts whilst you’re off work, and then log out of everything.
If you’ve got the apps on your phone, delete them so you’re not tempted to scroll.
7. Set your OOO and delete your email app from your phone
This is a pretty basic one, but in the whirlwind of getting ready to take time off, it can be easy to forget to actually turn on that out of office message.
Make sure it’s written in a style that reflects the tone of voice you use in your website copy and your social media posts. And in the languages relevant to your business.
Once that’s done, we recommend you delete your email app from your phone for the duration of your holiday, so you don’t slip up.
Checking your emails whilst you’re on holiday will mean you never properly switch off, so do yourself a favour and stay well away from them!
Work can wait. Rest can’t.
*It’s much easier to take stress-free time off when all your business ducks are in a row. And when you know exactly what’s going on with your finances, you know a break isn’t going to stop you from hitting your income goals. LSP.expert is designed to give you the peace of mind you need to properly enjoy the time off you both need and deserve. Try it out for yourself with our 30-day free trial, and see what a difference it could make to your business and your life.
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