How to prepare for holidays

I’ve returned from 11 days in Sri Lanka this past weekend. The few weeks before I left I spent frantically trying to finish as much as possible.  12-hour work days and 1/2-day weekends had made me into a stress ball ready to explode.  But, it was all worth it.  After 11 days away in Sri Lanka without internet (okay, I checked my emails ONCE half way through, but that’s it, I swear!), I have returned with a fresh perspective on where Capra will be heading for this year.  Mid-february is now the new January 1st!

Tips for self-employed going on holidays

Lots of warning

Let clients know as long as humanly possible before-hand that you’re going away. If you can, arrange deadlines up to a month before– no project goes according to plan, and having some extra time will help you wrap things up.

Arrange trustworthy replacements

For big projects, it’s not always possible to just leave things in place until you get back.  If the client is happy to, use other freelancers you’ve worked with before and bring them onboard at least a week before.  If you’ve not worked with them before, try to do a small project with them a few months before.

I was lucky enough to get Pete from FoamCow to work on one of my bigger projects while I was away.  I know he’s good and flexible and we were able to get through a small portion of the website before I left.  It meant I didn’t have to worry about anything until I got back.

For other projects, I left them in the capable hands of Jena, who now works with Capra.  She was in contact with my biggest active clients, and could check things out if the Capra website went down. Capra was still earning while I was away too– meaning I didn’t have to absorb expenses with future work.  With all this help, I have returned to only a small mountain of work to get through, and it feels less daunting!

Don’t bring your computer

If you can arrange your clients well, it’s best to leave your computer at home.  The temptation for work-a-holics is to obsessively check to make sure everything is okay.  The reason you’re going on a holiday is to get away from things!  So get away!

A time to step back

When you’re working, sometimes you’re so focused on the every day that the bigger picture gets a bit lost.  When I came back I began to focus on what I want Capra to be all about, and will be working hard to make it that way.  Stay tuned for some new stuff coming very soon!

(About the holiday)

Ollie and I went to Sri Lanka for our friends wedding.  While I suffered from some brutal stomach problems, I had a great time– highlights included the wedding (our friends looked amazing!), the elephant orphanage, white water rafting and A LOT of doing nothing!  We are glad to be back though, and England is beautiful in the snow!

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