How To Take A Christmas Break When You Have To Stay Online
It’s tough when you work for yourself – you’re never really offline, even during holiday periods. When everyone else is taking time off to celebrate, rest and reset over the Christmas break, you’re often still hard at work. But remember – if you run your own business or freelance, there’s nothing like that freedom. You can choose to work or not over Christmas, but if you choose to, or have to because your clients require it, here are some tips for you.
1. Set up Google alerts
Set up Google alerts for your business name, your clients and any keywords that will help you do your job. That way you’ll be notified if anything has been posted online during the festive period that is a red flag or something you should know about.
2. Schedule social media posts
This cannot be stressed enough – schedule your social media posts. Of course some posts need to be in real-time, but most can be written and scheduled ahead of time. Use Hoootsuite, Buffer or any other tool that works for you.
3. Set up Facebook auto-responders and email out of office
I’m in two minds about Facebook auto-responders. I do see their value, but I think customers see right through them, and know they’ve just been sent a ‘holder’ message which doesn’t address their question or concern. I do definitely think an out of office message stating something like “During the festive period I am checking email intermittently and will respond as soon as possible” is a good idea. If you decide on specific work hours you can list them in the out of office and then feel confident that at least clients know when you will be likely to respond.
4. Work in small chunks
Try early in the morning before anyone else is up (ok, this doesn’t work if you have young kids – they will ALWAYS be up before you haha!). Personally, after 7pm works well for me, because I have time to focus and no other commitments (such as small children, meetings, appointments, etc.)
5. Book time off in January
This is so you have something to look forward to, and motivation to keep you going. Down time is essential, and if you have to schedule it in then so be it. Many businesses in Australia also have quieter periods in January, so it’s a good time.
I also want to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy Christmas and a very successful 2020! Lots of exciting things planned for my business next year, and I’m looking forward to sharing them with you.
Yours in digital,