Time management is always something that can be improved and keeping to a routine with scheduled breaks is essential to working at your peak as much as possible. But sometimes you need a more extended break from work—no, not a whole hour. I mean a real vacation.

Taking a vacation, say a week or two, can be anxiety producing for a freelancer. After all, what if a new client tries to get in touch while you are gone? What if a current client has an emergency? What if the best contract comes and goes and you’re not there to have a meeting?

Breathe.

Here are some things to remember when you are considering taking a real vacation:

  • Your clients (and potential clients) take vacations, too. They will get it. Let them know well in advance when you will be away and stick to it. Take the time to contact long-term clients and meet with them about upcoming projects before you go so you know you have something in the pipeline for your return.
  • It’s only a week or two. It’s not forever – even if it seems like that to someone who only takes 20 minute breaks. Set up an out-of-office email response explaining when you will be back on the grid.
  • Plan ahead. Being out of the office doesn’t mean your marketing efforts have to stop too. Schedule Tweets and Facebook posts for the time you are away to make sure your social media outreach doesn’t also take a break.
  • Re-entry can be worrisome. Build an extra day at the end of your vacation to be home but not “in the office” to give yourself time to relax from your trip and attend to non-work related items.

The holiday season is a great time to take a vacation, visiting family and friends or regenerating your creative energy. I know you can do it!

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative