The holidays are fast approaching and that means deadlines are too. No matter what happens during the year and how hard you try to not have deadlines before the holidays, it always happens. That’s the life of a freelancer. This can add a lot of stress to get things done to create space to enjoy the holiday season.

One thing that we are all constantly working on is how to reduce our stress levels and this is very important to do during the holiday season. Without reducing your stress levels, you won’t be able to enjoy the holiday’s as much as you’d like.

To help you navigate the holiday season as a freelancer, we’ve put together our top tips to reduce your stress.

Boundaries

One of the biggest ways to reduce your stress during the holidays and anytime, is to have strong boundaries. You want to make sure that you are sticking to your normal schedule. This means no working 16-hour days just because you can get one more project done. It means maintaining that regular schedule that you have all year round to keep your stress low.

One way that you can increase your productivity to help alleviate the need to work more hours, is to set a timer. This allows you to focus on the task at hand without disruptions. When the timer goes off, you have 5 minutes to check your phone, use the washroom, grab some food or whatever else you need to do. Then set another timer and keep going. When our productivity goes up, it simultaneous lowers our stress levels.

To keep those boundaries, all you need to do is work smarter not harder. Use a timer and other methods you like to keep your productivity high.

Workload Management

Working smarter and not harder is not always the easiest thing to do during the holiday season. We can become overwhelmed with the amount of work that needs to be completed and all the requests coming in from clients. To reduce stress over the holidays, you need to manage your workload more efficiently.

Yes, this means that you may not be able to take on new projects until the new year. This is good because it sets you up to start the new year off will lots of work. Set yourself a maximum number of projects that you can take on prior to the holiday season to ensure that you do not overload yourself. You’ll want to make sure that all deadlines are schedule before the holiday seasons starts for you. It’s also wise to not set any deadlines for after the holiday season, unless in the new year as this can create more stress.

When you are firm about how many projects you can handle during the holiday season, you will be able to complete them with higher standards. This means that your clients will be happier with the results, you are not overwhelmed, and you will have time to enjoy your holidays.

Communication

Reducing stress during the holiday season as a freelancer can feel like an impossible task. It all comes down to how you communicate with your current clients and any new inquiries.

You want to keep your communication strong by letting your clients and new clients know your capacity for the holiday season. Being realistic with your start dates and deadlines will help keep client’s expectations in the right place. This is where your boundaries come into play and your workload maximum. Your clients will respect your boundaries when they are communicated and are realistic.

This means you can also reach out to clients to check the priority level of their projects to see if you can move things around should you feel your stress levels elevate. Being open and honest with your clients give you the opportunity to shift things around without feeling guilty. You never know until you ask.

Reducing Stress

Overall, it’s important to set yourself up for success during the holiday season throughout the whole year. This means that you should be honouring your boundaries, managing your workload, and communicating effectively with your clients all year round.