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The Joys of Balancing Family, Work, and the Holidays

Posted by Valencia on December 17th, 2007

Around this time every year it seems that more and more blogs focus attention on how to balance work with the holiday season. We all need a little time-off. This gives us the opportunity to visit family, relax, or simply sit at home and do absolutely nothing. Yet, many freelancers dread the holiday season.

While the 9 to 5′ers get to enjoy paid vacation time and holiday bonuses, most freelancers will work throughout the holidays. We don’t have vacation time, nor do we receive year-end bonuses. In a nutshell - no work, no pay.

It’s one of the perils of being self-employed. True, most people can earn more money as a freelancer. Then again, they often work longer hours and enjoy little down time.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

A few weeks ago, a post on Freelance Writing Jobs asked the question, “Are Writers the New Slaves?” At first I thought the idea was a little exaggerated. But the more I thought about it - there might be some truth to the statement. Some freelancers work seven days a week. They rise early and go to bed late. Plus, many companies don’t want to pay livable rates, and expect freelancers to work for little or no pay.

Burnout is real - and so is carpal tunnel. You’ve got to take time-off. And when I say time-off, I mean more than a day or two. With careful planning, you can enjoy the holidays and still earn a paycheck.

Ask the Career Counselor and Get Paid to Write Online offer great suggestions on how freelancers can plan for the holidays. Advance preparation seems to be the key. If you plan to be away for a few days, or want to take time-off, talk to your clients and make arrangements to complete work early. I usually work longer hours the week before a vacation. It can get a little hectic, but it’s worth a few days of relaxation.

Also, it is important to create and stick to a schedule. With so many activities happening around the holidays, getting sidetracked or forgetting a deadline is easy. Even if you’ve never kept a schedule, this is a good time to start. Write down each day’s activity, including work and family affairs. This way, you’re able to complete all obligations and no one feels neglected.

work at home, time management, holiday, vacation, self-employed, telecommute

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