The Freelance Slow Season

If you know me, you know that I like to be active, productive & busy. Being so not only gives me focus, and perhaps this sounds counter-intuitive, but it also gives me energy.  Inevitably, there are a few slow weeks in the winter, usually right after the holidays, where the number of estimate requests dwindle, there are no shoots lined up, and things sloooooow down.

In past years, those weeks have made me anxious. I like to be busy. There’s the fear that you are NEVER GOING TO WORK AGAIN, and then you remember: oh yeah, this is that time of year where this always happens. This is a cycle. Clients don’t like to spend their year’s advertising budget within the first quarter. Breathe in, breathe out. It’s going to be ok.

These days, I have a new approach to this. I try to relax into it, enjoy having more free time and focus on that ever-elusive work-life balance. For me, this has taken on a few different forms:

1.  Take a vacation. And avoid burn-out.  No major explanation needed!

2.  Check off items from my personal mile-long to-do list.  I run a business on my own, so it’s often easier to focus on my immediate projects rather than tackling my personal list. Now’s the time for that!

3.  Get inspired. Find the time to check out new photo galleries,  art shows and break out my tango shoes.

4.  Do some strategic planning for my next year’s goals. 

How do YOU deal with a slow season? What do you like to do with your down-time to stay productive or inspired?