It’s summer – obviously – and we’re in the middle of a heatwave here in the UK. Lovely when you can go outside or visit the beach. Not so lovely when you have to remain at your desk and work.
This is my sixth summer as a freelancer and over that time, I’ve developed my own methods of dealing with the season, whether it’s how to work in hot weather, getting my business ready for my summer holiday, or handling a lack of clients as they all jet off abroad.
Here’s what I do.
Summer-proof my home office
It would be lovely to think that as a work-from-home copywriter, I could tap away at an article on my laptop as I lounge in the sun with a tall glass of something cool. Wouldn’t that be fabulous?
The reality is that my brain needs the boundaries and discipline of my home office to get any work done. I envy those who can work from anywhere but apart from an occasional sojourn to the lounge or a coffee shop with a pad and pen, I really do need a keyboard and monitor to be in the right mindset to write with all my ‘stuff’ within reach.
So if the summer is hot, I make sure that I won’t melt in my office by wrestling the fan off my husband and teens, drinking plenty of water, and moving my working hours to when it’s cooler.
Handle the lull
Clients are people, and people take summer holidays. July and August can therefore be quiet on the work front.
To be fair, that generally suits me as I want to take a break too. Plus, the temporary lull in workload gives me time to get my admin done and re-assess my business.
I always try to take a break over the summer, even if I stay at home and pootle around the garden and Chester. To make sure my business ticks over while I’m off, I have a process to prepare:
- I tell my clients when I’ll be away and arrange my workload with them around my holiday dates.
- I make a plan of everything I need to do before I go and what I’ll return to.
- I get all my admin done, including scheduling blog posts and social media.
Then I can head off on my holiday with as little worry as possible.
Take a break
This one is self-explanatory. I take a holiday. It might be abroad. It might be in the UK. It might simply be a week spent dragging my family around North Wales and Chester.
I know that when I return, I’ll be refreshed, both physically and mentally, and keen to get back to my business.
Ease back into work
After a holiday, the temptation is to jump back into work straightaway. Over the years, though, I’ve noticed that this just doesn’t work for me.
So instead of beating myself up when my brain doesn’t want to play ‘copywriter’, I ease myself back into work by taking a fresh look at my business, checking my boundaries, catching up with my clients, and just generally being kind to myself.
This is my last week at work until August and I’m already preparing my business. My clients know I’ll be closed, the admin is almost finished, and most importantly I’m ready to pack a suitcase or two. However you spend it, have the most fabulous summer.
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash