With the holidays here, now's an ideal time to plan some time away. But how?
A few months before my daughter turned 1, I left my full-time job to freelance full time. It was 2008, and I could no longer afford the cost of gas to commute to my beloved publishing job — along with the cost of daycare for two kids and myriad other bills. My freelancing income grew steadily. By the time the holidays rolled around, a friend and I had launched a new site that was booming, I had multiple deadlines every day... it was crazy.
I don't remember much from the holiday season that year except for intense stress. Just thinking about it makes the muscles in my shoulders tense up. That year, I learned the immense importance of building holiday time and a break from work into my busy freelancing schedule.
You can too. And you should.
"As a work-at-home mom and blogger, I not only need to take time off to care for my daughter while she's on holiday vacation, but I need time to relax and unwind myself," says Holly Reisem Hanna, founder and publisher of The Work at Home Woman.
Hanna plans weeks in advance for her time away. "I send out a call for guest bloggers and start filling in my editorial calendar with guest blog posts. WordPress allows me to schedule my blog posts in advance, and third-party applications like Hootsuite, allow me to schedule updates and automatically run my RSS feed to the various social networks," says Hanna. "By putting my blog on auto-drive during the holidays, I'm able to enjoy some quality time with my family as well as some much needed rest and relaxation."
New mom Mridu Khullar Relph has always taken time away from blogging when she needed it, but this holiday it's more important than ever to her. "I feel the need to go on my son's first holiday without being constantly at technology's (including my blog, Twitter and of course, FB) beck and call. So I'm putting in the effort now to make sure I can have a fun, relaxing holiday without worrying about losing readers, not updating, etc., while I'm gone," says Relph.
She's working ahead to make the time away seamless. "My plan is to write up a few posts in advance and schedule them to automatically publish while I'm away. (I'll let my readers know I'm away though, so they don't expect immediate responses to comments, etc.)," says Relph.
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