In a corporate office, it was a no-brainer for me – between Christmas and New Year, you work.
Why wouldn’t you? It’s unquestionably the best time of the year to be in an office. It’s quiet so you can get loads done, mostly involving catching up on all those things that the stress of immediate deadlines prevented you doing all year.
You and your colleagues are in good spirits so the radio’s on and it’s a relaxed atmosphere. There’s usually some festive food knocking around the place. And best of all you can slope off home early because no one’s really watching, are they?
So given all that, why would you use up precious Annual Leave on the shortest, coldest, dampest, bleakest days of the year?
As a homeworking freelancer, the picture is different. Your “office” may be full of distractingly high-spirited family. Clients may be on Leave and you might not exactly be experiencing a clamour for your services. And, of course, the darts is on.
Is this finally an opportunity to take some time off when for once, just like your salaried social group, you won’t feel like you’re missing out on the money you’re supposed to be earning? Or is it the perfect time to sharpen your focus and Get Stuff Done: sort out your lamentable bookkeeping, figure out some new marketing opportunities, dream up a year’s worth of fresh material to work on?
I think that one of the (very, very many) beauties of being freelance is that the choice is entirely yours. You don’t have to book your seasonal break 11 months in advance or submit yourself to the depressing ritual of an office holiday rota.
If you wake up on December 28th to find the sun shining, the kids/dog/new winter coat pining for the great outdoors and your Inbox has seemingly agreed to an armistice, then just go.
If it’s -4°c and ice is falling diagonally from a charcoal sky then jack the heating up a notch, cut an industrial-sized slab of fruit cake, stick on the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack and give yourself a new year headstart. What’s more perfect than knowing you’re in control of your own life?
Now, where did I put those mince pies…?
Season’s greetings, fellow freelancers!
RESEARCH QUESTION: Chill out or knuckle down? What will you do this holiday season?