Worry-busting Checklist for Freelancers
4 weeks ahead... (or more)
Let your clients know as far in advance as possible that you'll be off the grid! And for how long.
Realign deadlines if necessary (properly set expectations are happy expectations!)
Talk to your team & collaborators about what will happen while you're gone
Consider whether it'd be more useful to shuffle around parts of of the project, e.g. finishing a critical piece before vacation so others can continue working
3 weeks ahead...
Consider any hands-on maintenance that will need to happen even while you're gone (such as processing new orders, paying affiliate commissions, or sending out invoices)
Check: are you absolutely certain Horrible Things Will Happen if these are put on hold for a week or two? If yes, then continue to the next step...
Write 'em all up, document them in detail, and divvy 'em up to delegate
... Consider hiring a temporary Virtual Assistant or intern if you don't have a team to rely on!
Or, if it's really not possible for you to share responsibilities, either plan a way to sensibly finish them in advance (without freak-outs) or put them on hold
2 weeks ahead...
Tie up loose ends and wrap up current gigs, where possible
Put the kibosh on new projects!
Choose a date (after your return!) when you'll begin new projects that arise
Refer away any new clients that cannot wait until your chosen return-to-new-projects date
1 week ahead...
Queue up blog posts
Create a vacation auto-responder
Update any contact forms with your return-to-new-work date, to properly set expectations
Bonus points: set up an email blast to your clients a few days before you return, to remind them that you're coming back so they can prepare to jump right back in!
2 - 4 days ahead...
Connect with your clients to remind them about your upcoming holiday
Set clear (and cheerful) communication boundaries ("I won't be checking emails, but you can call my cell in an emergency" OR "I'll be dwelling in a hollowed-out tree, with no electricity").
Take care of any last-minute tweaks and queries, so your clients don't succumb to separation anxiety
Prepare your workspace & to-do lists for your return
Ping your collaborators, partners, team, intern, or Virtual Assistant to be sure you're all on the same page
In case of freakouts: Write down all the times you've left your work before and nothing bad happened. And write down all the ways that some real honest-to-blog time off will help your work, too, not just your personal sanity!
Say buh-bye! You're outta there!
The Bottom Line
At Freckle Time Tracking, we believe that everyone wins when freelancers are aware of their work rhythms (and take vacations!). So for Freelancember, we've lined up lots of great gifts to help you do it! Keep checking back.Feeling guilty for not tracking your time? Freckle can help!