It’s summer and everyone seems to be travelling or constantly chilling by a swimming pool – at least if Facebook is any indication. Meanwhile, you’re sitting at your desk and worrying about deadlines. Sound familiar? As a freelancer, your summers won’t always be free even if there are periods when you get fewer jobs. But don’t despair. You have a degree of freedom that no 9-to-5 employee can enjoy, you just have to figure out how to use it.
Here are some of the best ways to treat yourself during the summer as a freelancer (it tends to be a quiet period for many freelancers, so make the most of it!):
1. Take your office outside
When you’re sitting at your desk and look out of the window, you might find yourself longing for the sun. Well, why don’t you just go out then? Many freelancers don’t need much more than a good Wi-Fi connection. That opens up a variety of possibilities – anywhere can be your office! Especially in the summer, that’s great. Whether you go out on your balcony, have the luxury of your own garden or simply visit the nearest park or café with tables outside, working under the open sky can be a blessing.
With the sun, a cold drink and fresh air, working can feel like vacation. You can even schedule your meetings outside.
Special tip for writers: leave your laptop home, take a notebook and a pen to the park and try working there. A whole new way of working can inspire you with new ideas.
2. Have a working vacation
You’ve seen all those Instagram photos of people lying on the beach with a laptop by their side and an exotic location tag. Those really are possible, you just have to trust yourself and think in advance.
Whether you book a trip by yourself or with your significant other, the number one rule will be setting a schedule. You can’t properly enjoy a vacation if you’re always trying to decide between working and going for a swim.
That’s why you should plan ahead. How many hours do you want to work during the days of your vacation? What does that equal to per day? Having a full work day is probably not in your best interest – after all, you are having a vacation. Pick only the most important stuff and focus on it. That’s how you reach the work-life balance you are looking for from a summer vacation.
3. Change your hours to fit more leisure time (the good kind)
Even if you’re not having a vacation in the sense of going somewhere for an extended period of time, you should still consider switching up your working hours. Try finishing work until the late afternoon and spending the last several hours of the sunny day outside with other people. And if you’re living in a place where the summer heat tends to get too much, try to start working after lunch. Spend the morning outside while the air is still cool and fresh.
Flexibility is one of the greatest boons of freelancing – and it can be utilized on a day-to-day basis. You will be spending plenty of time outside come winter, so try to minimize it while it’s still warm. Switch up your entertainment programs. Series and movies are great when going outside is unpleasant, but you can try putting them off for a couple of months.
Bonus advantage: you’ll have a backlog for the winter, making sure you have stuff to watch that you actually like instead of getting bored.
4. Do more sports
Whether we like to admit it or not, on some level, we are all a bit vain. And summer has a way of reminding us that freelancing mostly involves sitting at your desk – which doesn’t necessarily lead to having abs. But it’s not just about looks. Staying fit will keep you happier and more motivated. And summer is the best time for all sorts of activities. Swimming, running, even just taking a walk is a bit more pleasant when you’re not getting weighed down by three layers of clothing.
Even better, consider participating in a sport as a social activity. The advantages are easy to spot – you keep healthy, interact with other people face-to-face (which isn’t exactly a daily activity in the work life of most freelancers) and spend more time outside.
What do you do in the summer as a freelancer? We’d love to get your feedback in the comment section below this article!