Some days are just not good days for working. You’ve got a million things distracting you from your work: the dogs are whining, the kids are crying, you’ve got too much on your mind, or you’re so eager for a package coming in the mail (that’s me) that you simply can’t drag yourself to your desk.
Fortunately for us, we’re freelancers which means we don’t have to work Monday thru Friday, eight to five. We can take off on Tuesday at 11 am. And you should–you deserve it.
Instead of feeling guilty for it, enjoy it, there are a ton of other things you can be doing today instead of client work that will not only be enjoyable and fun, but will actually help you along as a freelancer. See, you can have fun and grow your business at the same time!
1. Catch Up
A lot of the time when I find myself unable to concentrate on work, I also feel obligated to stay at my desk, or that I really don’t want to do anything else. I try to use this time to catch up on everything I’ve been missing, from blog posts, to tweets, to even my personal Facebook updates.
Getting busy with work is great, but it can often lead to a period of disconnectedness. You’re so focused on getting your work finished and dealing with clients, that you step away from the social aspect of the web, which if you’re like me, is one of the few ways we actually get to talk to people.
Therefore, if you find yourself unable to concentrate on work, spend the time simply catching up, chat with your followers, get involved in a debate in your industry or find out what other people are working on. This fosters relationships and is great for both your personal and business health. No one wants to be a lonely freelance hermit!
2. Get Lost in a Bookstore
We stay stuck inside of our office or our coffee shops all the time, sometimes longer than 14 hours a day. Do you remember what it was like to step inside a huge library as a kid? To see the thousands of books and feel the uncertainty of where to start first?
Getting lost in a large bookstore or library is one of my favorite things to do. I’m a huge book worm and I believe it’s one of the main reasons I’ve been so successful in what I do. I’m not just talking about business or development books either, I love all kinds of books from the historical to the supernatural. The more you read, the better you become at communication and writing, which are two very essential skills for the freelancer. Plus, it’s a very relaxing past time that gets you away from the hectic drama of work.
3. Work on Yourself
What things have you been wanting to do lately that you’ve been putting off for work? Working on yourself can not only make you look or feel better, but can also increase your productivity and make you look forward to going into work. I’m talking about improving yourself both online and off of it. When was the last time you:
- Updated your portfolio?
- Got a hair cut?
- Cut those nails?
- Got a mani/pedi? (guys, this is for you too!)
- Took a bath? (yuck!)
- Updated your social profiles on sites?
- Bought some clothes?
- Dressed in anything other than PJs?
- Went on a date?
- Changed your Gravatar/online image?
The better you look online and off, the better you’ll feel, the more confidence you’ll emit and the more you’ll attract awesome clients. There’s your excuse for a spa day!
4. Enjoy a Hobby
Some days, you really are wound so tight that you shouldn’t do anything other than something you really love to do. Do you love to read or go fishing? Hunt or build things?
Whatever your hobby is, take some time to enjoy it, even if you’re really busy with work. The break from work will allow your mind to rest and let you come back ready to finish work quicker than you thought possible.
If you don’t have a hobby (Yes some people claim not to!) Try out something you’ve been thinking about. Take some cooking lessons or join a gym or something.
5. Do Something with Your Office
Stop and take a look around your office. When was the last time it was cleaned? Organized? Is it even decorated? You spend most of your time in your office so it should be the best looking room in your entire house. It’s been several months since I moved and redid my office, and it’s still my favorite place to go to every day. Talk about a motivation to work!
6. Spend Time with Family and Friends
When I first started freelancing, I got so caught up with work and clients that I neglected the most important things in my life–my family and friends. For awhile there, I didn’t really have any friends anymore because I worked so much.
This, of course, isn’t healthy at all. Everyone needs a social life, a real social life that doesn’t include Twitter or Facebook! Take time often to visit your family and hang out with friends. One of the things I look forward to most is my weekly coffee with my best friend at Starbucks. It gives me some time to take a break from the office and unwind from work, so I’m ready to come back fresh.
What Are You Doing?
What are you doing instead of working? Is it person, for business or both?