How to Prepare for Vacation as a Freelance Designer

It’s that time of year again when most people enjoy much-needed rest during the summer. In the corporate world, you usually receive paid time off (PTO) and holidays as benefits of employment. As many of you know, this is not the case for independent contractors and freelance artists.

I know the necessity of breaks, rest, and balance in our lives. So in the last couple of years I have made it a habit to take about two weeks off from freelance work. (Freelancers need rest too!) I make a point of excelling at rest and relaxation so I’m actually taking a break soon and not answering emails during my upcoming break.

Here are four things I do to get my freelance business ready for my all-important breaks:

1. Plan ahead

If you make this a routine every year you’ll become pretty good at knowing when your vacation is coming, so plan ahead. Get detailed dates and schedule your projects around your vacation.

2. Give your clients a heads-up

If you give your clients a contract with deadlines like I do, add a note in there making the client aware of your pending vacation during your work on their project. That way they are not only aware of your upcoming break, but they’ll have actually signed off on it.

3. When possible, finish your projects before going on break

When scheduling your projects, consider finishing the project before going on break. Some clients don’t have the patience to wait.

4. Set up an automatic email response

Don’t forget to set up a friendly automatic email reply while you are gone to notify (or remind) clients and potential clients of your vacation. Thank them for reaching out to you and let them know when they can expect to hear back from you.

Take a break, folks! I am!

I write about the relationships between design, business, faith and personal living. Looking for more? Check out my previous posts here and sign up for future newsletters here.

Originally published at on December 23, 2015.