Take Time Off As a Freelancer: Success Depends On It
A Freelancer Needs a Break When: Dreams Include SEO and You Forget to Brush Your Hair
The dangers of being a freelance blogger (or any freelancer) with lofty goals are no joke. It’s a slippery slope into trying to do everything — all the time. Can’t you just hear that refrain from the awesome Eagles’ hit — “Life in the fast lane…”?
My husband is a wonderfully caring and encouraging guy. He puts up with the long hours I work on the computer — and finding me in yoga pants with hair unbrushed most days when he comes home.
He helps me stay balanced by sending me away when I get that crazed, sleep-deprived, technology stupor going.
Freelancers who work from home usually struggle with the concept of taking time off. It’s not good.
Let’s be honest — how productive can you really, truly be if you’re on day 86 without having a real break? I mean the kind where you totally turn off the business mindset, unplug, and breathe…fresh, outside air.
If you’ve spent more days hunting SEO keywords like valuable treasure than enjoying the wonders of the outside world , it’s definitely time to check out for a bit.
Related — Home Office Set Up: Best Ergonomic Workstation for Freelancers
Christmas Snowmen in March
When you forget to come up for air, go to bed at a decent hour, do your dishes and laundry — it’s a bad sign. But when you’ve failed to put away the snowman decorations from Christmas, and it’s March, you need a ticket to get the heck out of dodge.
In my case, the snowmen were the last straw. I needed balance, and a reminder to look out the window — take note of the changing seasons — focus my eyes elsewhere.
Desperate for a fresh perspective on the manic tendencies of working from home — and my drive to reach blow-your-mind blogdom, I flew away to the soul-filling waters of San Diego.
Take time off, freelancer. Open your eyes and really enjoy your world — and this one life you have in it.
Find Your Soul-Soothing Place
Whether you’re an ocean fan or an outback hike-till-you-drop sort, find your spot. Freelancers and folks who work from home — your mental health, clarity, and inner balance depends on it.
A constant, laser focus on work will wear you down and make you forget how important it is to get outside. It’s way too easy to convince yourself you’ll get out tomorrow…but tomorrow never seems to come. Make a plan and do it now.
If there was ever a place that could soothe my soul, it’s Carlsbad — a little beach town north of San Diego. For ten glorious days, I turned off my computer and immersed myself in paradise. There is no better place to get grounded, for me, than the ocean.
I also discovered the Omni Resort and Spa right down the street from my parent’s neighborhood. Man, what a place. I could sit and stare at these grounds forever.
With two majestic fountains, a coffee shop, spa, yoga center, and various shops — a girl could pitch a tent and live right under one of these trees.
Or I could just sleep on one of the dozens of chaise lounges and couches that grace the courtyard area. Do you think they would notice if I’m careful to switch up spots every day or two?
Revisit Your Goals in the Fresh Air
This is why all freelancers need an escape to their personal paradise — to be reminded of important goals. Having lofty intentions requires solid planning. It also means stepping away from the desk and computer to dream about and visualize where you want to be in the future.
It doesn’t mean belly flopping back into a manic fury and losing self and sanity trying to get it all done YESTERDAY. Slow and steady wins the race.
Time with my daughter, parents, and brother refocused my attention on balance and self-care. Once I’m home, maybe I’ll be easier on the eyes of my beloved. I can’t promise anything — but I’ll sure try.
Believe me, he’s a saint and would never say a thing about the scary, disheveled wife he sometimes encounters. If I happen to glance in the mirror before dinner, it’s then that I realize what he’s come home to. I’ll tell you, friends, it ain’t pretty.
A little bit of makeup and a lot of fun did wonders for this frenzied writer. That scene from The Shining says it all — when Jack Nicholson’s character sputters, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” That’s where I was headed.
Work-Life Balance Must Be A Freelancer’s Priority
We’re excused from guilt when on vacation — freelancers especially! Have that ice cream, and selfishly claim that day at the beach or on the trail for yourself. Don’t forget to have fun, move your body, and get out of the house if you work at home.
Back home in Colorado, my quest is to find and maintain a healthy work-life balance — and try to recreate the world’s best smoothie bowl. I’ll see you guys on the calmer seas of freelancing, sipping my coffee and dreaming of palm trees.
Take time off as a freelancer — and do it regularly. You need air to fan the flames of a successful business.
For more fantastic reading on this important topic, Ramsay, over at the wildly popular Blog Tyrant blog, has written this amazing post about getting out of the house on a regular basis if you work from home.