Try not to plan the completion of any major projects for freelancing right before the holidays
Now I don’t mean to not schedule the completion of a project until January, I am stating that scheduling a project the week before or even the week after a holiday such as Thanksgiving and Christmas will only set you up for problems. With family demands and school nagging at you, you should schedule your freelance work in the times you predict will not be hectic. Personally, I would not schedule freelance work to be completed right after Thanksgiving and Christmas, mainly because I know I won’t be able to work on it much over that holiday weekend. Why set myself up for a potentially bad situation with my clients for when I don’t have the work completed?
Holidays are expensive, but don’t let that interfere with your freelancing
With the thought of purchasing all of those gifts, traveling expenses, and not to mention time constraints, don’t let such expenses weigh on you while making decisions in your freelancing business. Realizing that you don’t have enough money to buy Christmas gifts this year should not be a factor in how you price your work or bill your clients. Your clients will not appreciate receiving bills and nagging emails about payments right before the holidays. Stick to your regular billing procedures and pricing practices during the holiday season. Changing those things according to the season will only produce a short term benefit (if any), but will have long lasting negative affects with your clients.
Be realistic about your time before making promises to your clients
Holidays always eat up a lot of your time, either planned or unplanned, so be sure to take that into account when you start making promises of work to your clients. As discussed above, it is not the best idea to promise work the week of a holiday. Keep in mind that more than likely your clients will want you to have certain things done before the holidays, but don’t make promises you know you can’t keep.
Plan now to help make the holidays easier
If you have projects that you could finish before the holiday season gets going, then try to get those projects done and out of the way. The less work (and stress) on your plate going into the holiday season, the more hair and less pimples you will have coming out. Look at your plate, see how many things you can get done before Turkey Day, and work to get as much done as your clients will allow. This will also help with your cash flow issues when it comes to holiday gift shopping. This also includes your school work as well, such as term papers and projects. And it never hurts to get an early start on studying for those exams.
Rest, relax, and enjoy the holiday season
Most importantly, you should relax and enjoy the time you spend with family and friends. The holiday season is supposed to be relaxing, so don’t set yourself up for stress with your freelance workload or school workload. The best you can prepare NOW before Halloween, the better.