Yo Prinzel wrote a great blog entry aimed at all of us who felt slightly guilty for taking a glorious four-day weekend off for the holidays. Adding my own two cents to this blog post, I’ll just say that one way you can offset the guilts for taking time off to stuff your face full of turkey is to pre-position some content or work for submission during your down time. If you’re running a blog or a for-pay website and have content that shows up over the holidays, you can feel confident that you’re feeding the audience while still giving yourself some much-needed down time.
Another way to offset the time-off guilts is to calculate how much overtime you’ve put in on various projects earlier in the year and consider a four day holiday a sort of make-up vacation for all the time you sacrificed to those projects.
I personally like to warn my clients far in advance that I’ll be taking holiday time off. This helps them get used to the idea that A) I have other needs outside the immediate demands of the projects I work on and B) that the time I do give to them has value. It’s easy to take a freelancer for granted—we try to convey the impression that we’re always available and ready for work. But that impression can work against a busy freelancer the moment the client assumes you don’t have any other work to do except for them. It’s good to remind them that other concerns are equally pressing.