How freelancers can make the most of holiday downtime
Many freelancers experience significant downtime over the holidays. They don’t have as much work coming in, so they wind up wasting time on social media or other frivolous pursuits. If you want to make the most of holiday downtime, try some of these strategies this season.
Organize Your Finances
Now that you have some time on your hands, consider getting your financial paperwork and systems ready for the New Year. Start collecting receipts and invoices for tax purposes or create accounting strategies that allow you to better track your income and expenses and manage paid and unpaid invoices.
You could also follow up with clients who haven’t settled their balances or start brainstorming ways to increase your revenue next year. Use this time to get organized and to think creatively about your freelance business’s future.
Add to Your Skill Set
Freelancers must constantly adopt and perfect new skills if they want to remain competitive in a growing marketplace. Graphic designers, for example, need many skills to satisfy their clients. If you haven’t mastered Adobe InDesign’s sophisticated tools or taught yourself Flash yet, now’s a great time to start.
You can take online classes, attend in-person courses, or buy a few manuals and learn as you go. Use the holiday season to pad your resume, which will make you more attractive to potential clients in the future. You can even create mock-ups or examples to use in your portfolio.
To find out more about the most profitable freelance skills, check out the Payoneer Freelancer Income Report.
Research Fresh Markets
Maybe you’ve always wanted to work for an industry or market, but you haven’t yet given it a try. For instance, perhaps you’re a freelance writer who focuses on advertising copy, but you’d love to write technical manuals. Use the holiday season to research the new market and to create a marketing plan for it.
Start a Personal Venture
Maybe you could finally start the blog you’ve always wanted to create or begin a creative project that has been marinating in the back of your head for the last few months. If you’re a freelance photographer, for instance, maybe you’ll start a personal photography project that will add to your portfolio and renew your creative spirit. Writers could start work on a book, while graphic designers could create icon packs to sell on stock sites.
Downtime doesn’t necessarily mean finding ways to fill it. If you’re feeling a little burned out from a long year of hard work, consider dedicating the holidays to family, friends, and relaxation. Stretch out in front of the fire with a good book or take long walks in a local park.
You don’t have to go full-steam all year long. Many freelancers work many more hours than the standard 40-hour work week, which means they’re tired by the end of the year. Allow yourself the freedom to catch up on sleep and to devote time to yourself this holiday season.