Christmas is just around the corner. Frankly, I’ve been counting down the days since August, this is an acceptable level of Christmas craziness, yes? Our thoughts are turning to the ton of gift-buying, turkey-cooking, chocolate-consuming in the weeks ahead. If you’re freelance, chances are you’re also thinking about winding down your workload so you can have a little time off over Christmas.
Here’s how this usually works out for me:
- 1st December: Hurrah, just a few weeks to Christmas! All this work will totally be done by then. Think I’ll take a gift shopping break. And make some mince pies.
- 8th December: Ah, extra workload from clients wanting to get things done before the new year.
- 15th December: Writes To Do list of everything to do in the next ten days. Begins to panic.
- 24th December: AAAAAAH ALL THE WORK TO DO IN AND STILL DOING IT! At this stage, I’m a grumpy, snappy mess. Not exactly feeling the festive cheer.
This won’t be happening this year. This year, I have a plan. It’s foolproof*. It includes doing the following:
- Ask clients for their expected workload at the end of November, to plan ahead and work out how much time I’ll need. Be firm that additional work can only be requested up until the 8th December.
- Email all clients to let them know which days I won’t be working over the holiday period.
- Try to get ahead in that first week, by clearing my diary and focussing on getting ahead as much as possible.
- Accepting that this won’t be the time to start new projects. January is that time.
- Plan each day. Now is the time to get super-organised and plan out each day to make sure you’re as efficient as possible.
Is this your first Christmas as a freelancer? Or are you a seasoned pro? How are you going to plan ahead for the Christmas working period?
*There will still be panicking. There will always be panicking. Just less of it.