Freelancing offers so much more in terms of flexibility than traditional employment. When it comes to summer freelancing that flexibility really pays off. Provided that you are prepared to be flexible too, the summer season should be manageable. It could even be enjoyable.
Summer Freelancing When School’s Out
Working when the children are off school is always going to be something of a juggle. I have two children who are now twelve and seven however when they were younger, the struggle was real. How you manage summer freelancing will depend on your own individual circumstances.
My own experience is that childcare, when children are little, can be a real blessing. I had a fabulous and fairly flexible childminder who did so much more than just watch the children while I worked. Once my youngest started school he left childcare and so I had to be a little more creative. I started getting up early. Really early.
Thankfully I am an early riser. I naturally wake up between four and five in the morning. If I’m awake, I get up. I come downstairs, make a brew, open a window, get comfortable and work. If I’ve prepped work properly the day before I can get sometimes as much as a five-hour deep work session under my belt before the boys require my attention. This might not work for you, everyone is different. If you want to work from home over the summer you need to find your own way of making it work.
One of the hardest things many freelancers have to deal with is finding a way to take time out for themselves over the summer. When the sun is shining and you want to be outside or really do need to take a couple of weeks off to recharge, additional planning is needed.
First up, you need to find a way to cover your clients while you are off. You could do extra work in advance to cover some or all of the period that you are off work. You could ask a trusted colleague to help out or even hire a VA. How you will get over this particular hurdle will depend entirely on what you do and your client base.
The financial strain that comes with summer freelancing has also been known to put people off taking time out from work. Unlike employed workers, self-employed individuals don’t get paid annual leave, sick pay or much of anything else. Putting a little money aside weekly or monthly so that you have a little nest egg come summer to allow for time off is a great idea.
Summer Freelancing and Summer Weather
We are currently in the midst of a heatwave, quite possibly the longest and most drawn-out heatwave the UK has ever seen. It has been muggy, sweaty and miserable. I’m clearly an autumn gal. What the last few weeks and months have shown, if nothing else, is that the weather can really hit your productivity.
Sadly I don’t have a magic app or top tip to help you control the weather. What I will say is that if summer heat affects you like it does me, employ self care measures. Invest in a decent fan or three, drink a lot (water or squash as opposed to gin) and give yourself a break. If you hate working in the heat, work early. If you need to take a break, take a break.
Summer freelancing offers a wealth of opportunities those sadly stuck behind a desk tend to miss out on. You choose whether you take the family on a day trip on a weekday because you can choose whether you make that up at the weekend, on an evening or not at all. Employ your full arsenal of motivational tools and do whatever you need to do. Love it or hate it, summer freelancing can be managed effectively with a little outside of the box thinking and high-level planning.
Do you have top tips for managing summer freelancing or are you planning on winging it?