As a freelancer I am my company. It’s just me and I have to wear all hats – designer, admin, marketing person, customer contact, file clerk, etc. As such, I shut the studio down completely a couple of times a year for a week – or two – depending on workload, what else is happening around me, etc. to recharge. I have been asked why I would do this. Don’t I feel I’m jeopardizing the business? Shouldn’t I be available all the time? The answer to all this is no. It’s not sustainable.
In addition to the company, I’m a wife and mom and while I have teens at home, I plan breaks around their schedules (they’ll be gone all too soon), so I will be shutting the studio for my summer break for the next few weeks. This allows the “crazy working mom” time with them, unencumbered by tasks or deadlines. We can play it by ear and do unplanned fun stuff.
It also allows my crazy active brain a moment in which to just be. To absorb all that’s around me that I don’t always take the time to appreciate. I can take time to indulge in things that can fall by the wayside when busy – travel, reading, spending a day with friends, being outside, enjoying the breeze, nature, naps, etc. I have a standing date with the patio sofa and a good novel. There will be walks to Main Street for ice cream and concerts in the park!
I make a point of ditching the screens as much as possible – the laptop is abandoned, ditto the iPad. The phone only for non-work contact and taking family pics. Paper books instead of the Kindle…
Have I missed a few projects by doing this, I really don’t know. What I do know is that I couldn’t do what I do if I burnt myself out so I unplug a few times a year. And I come back the better for it every time.
Enjoy your summer everyone! I’ll be back late August and you can reach me then.