July 18th, 2022

Take a Break! Why Freelancers NEED Time Away From Work

Category / Freelancer

Being your own boss is great, except when it’s not. When working for yourself, the paradox of having the flexibility to adjust your schedule as needed for errands like picking up kids or a doctor visit, contrasted with the ability to actually take “time off” for a vacation, can be extremely difficult. 

For freelancers and solopreneurs, it can be hard to unplug as you don’t have anyone to cover for you when you’re gone. Concerns over what time off could cost your freelance career and how you can make up for lost revenue are real and often weigh heavily on any real plans for extended time away from work. However, there is plenty of evidence to suggest not taking a break from work can have the opposite affect on your finances and end up costing you in more ways than just financial concerns.

Burn-out is real and costly

Burn-out is real and can also affect your bottom line. In fact, burn-out has become a genuine concern for both employers and employees across the globe, so much so that the World Health Organization (WHO) included burn-out in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Disease. The WHO has characterized burn-out as:

  1. Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion.
  2. Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job.
  3. Reduced professional efficacy.

Dr. Carla Marie Manly, clinical psychologist and author of the book Joy from Fear: Create The Life of Your Dreams by Making Fear Your Friend,” states, “this verbiage from the WHO is important, as it is specifically related to work and chronic stress. This issue is finally reaching mainstream awareness.”

Do you live to work or work to live?

Taking a vacation is not only necessary to avoid burn-out, but according to a 40-year study published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, it may also help you live longer. The benefits of taking time away from work are immeasurable from a physical and mental health perspective. There are also many professional benefits. A break allows you to reflect, review, recharge, and return with more energy, optimism, and productivity.

How can I actually unplug?

You can take specific actions to ensure you get the break from work you DESERVE. It starts with being intentional and planning ahead. Here are a few helpful tips to start you on your path to unplugging:

While taking a real break from work is essential, we all know how difficult it is to unplug in this digital age. If going for a week or more without checking your email or phone is stressful, do what is best for you to relax. Remember, the goal of a vacation is to spend more time in the pool than in your inbox.

Topics

7 Freelancers 3 How to budget

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