How to enjoy time off at Christmas as a contractor or freelancer

Time Off at Christmas

The freelance sector is booming. As of January this year, according to the Professional Contractors Group, in the UK alone there are over 1 million freelancers. This number has grown over the last 10 years by 14% – and there are no signs of it slowing down.

So, although freelancing offers the modern worker all kinds of flexibility, there are many downsides, too. One of the main downsides is taking worry-free time off – particularly around the festive season.

If this sounds like a predicament you’re currently facing, take a look at some of our tips below. Hopefully, you’ll manage to take at least a few days off over Christmas this year.

Put in extra hours before the holidays 

Sadly, if you don’t do the work, you won’t get paid and this will damage your reputation as a freelancer or a contractor. As a contractor, try and schedule contracts with the Christmas period in mind. Make sure your new client is aware that you have time off planned – this way you can adjust your contract accordingly.

As a freelancer, however, simply scheduling time off can be much trickier. You aren’t necessarily working on one client project, you’re working on multiple client accounts with work to be delivered each month. This is where you’ll benefit from getting the work done earlier and putting extra hours in in the run-up to Christmas. Still deliver the work in the same timeframe, but get it done quicker than you would normally do. Send it to your client on the agreed date – they don’t have to know you finished it weeks ago.

If you can afford to, simply don’t apply for new projects

This is a big IF. Work out what you make on average each day. If you were to take out four days’ worth of pay, for example, what would it cost you? As long as you have savings and a solid plan to get new business after Christmas, it just might be taking those days off unpaid.

Time off is important when you’re self-employed – it’s important to avoid burning out.

Come up with a solid new year plan

Having a solid strategy in place to go out and get new clientele can help take the pressure off over the holiday period. Knowing you have a great new strategy can help you relax and enjoy your time off.

If you didn’t have a plan and your plan was to simply coast along, you might feel the need to continue working through Christmas. Don’t let that be the case. Plan, plan and plan some more!

Extra tip: This tip is for all-year round. Anything you have spare from January, money-wise, squirrel it away. The odd fiver and tenner here and there will amount to a fairly sizeable amount come next Christmas. Then you’ve covered any time off you want to take in the next festive season!

Take some more weight off your mind before the New Year and check out our freelance and contractor insurance. Our insurance comes neatly packaged with five insurance products. Find out why you should choose us here.

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