It’s been nearly two months since I’ve posted anything. A few posts back, I explained why: I recently moved to Cornwall. Any house move is a busy and hectic time with lots to do. That has coincided with an upturn in work volume, so it has made things especially critical.
I’ve not had a chance to blog much. First world problems I know, but it can be tricky to experience a fundamental shift like this and keep all priorities juggled. So, how do you prioritise when things get hectic? How do you keep everybody happy while doing all the things you need to do during your move?
Only Do The Work You Can Manage
Realise that you have a lot to do and you can’t do it all and not all at once either. Of course, you want to keep your clients happy and work ticking over with the money coming in, but an exhausted freelancer is no good to anybody. Don’t try to over-do it – you are not Superman/Supergirl. Don’t try to be or you will end up exhausted and get nothing done. Moving home can be physically, mentally and emotionally draining.
Plan, Plan, Plan
It’s not always easy to work out how long things will take you, especially when you are on a tight time frame. I had just one day to move all of my girlfriend’s stuff from her old place to our new place. Granted, it was only about three miles one way, but when you are collecting the keys to your new place at 10am on a Friday and must drop the van off by 6pm or have to pay for an extra three days, you have to get it done. And she has heavy furniture. And plants. And several suitcase full of clothes. And we had to carry them up three flights of stairs. We planned it well and was able to get the van back on time. I am still not sure how we managed it but the Dominoes Pizza was gratefully devoured that first night… before we then set about assembling the bed and collapsing into it around 10PM.
Keep Your Clients Up To Date
I did not get any work done during the four days of our move and was in no position to do so. I told all my clients about the move way in advance and planned what I could and could not do in the days up to and after the move. I have myself a firm cut off date of when to stop work, and when not to even think about it.
You need to be honest about what you can do and be as up front as you possibly can as early as you can. I contacted most of my relevant clients to inform them to experience disruption. For those who expect a certain number of articles per week, I made a realistic assessment of what I could manage (erring on the side of caution) and informed them too. An informed client is an appreciative and flexible client.
Get Plenty of Rest
Don’t forget to make time for yourself in this time. It’s easy to neglect your physical and mental well-being, but you shouldn’t. Take the time to sit back and simply enjoy a cup of tea, coffee, wine or beer. It’ll recharge you. During your scheduled rest time, take your mind off everything and simply soak up the sun, some music or anything else that helps you to chill out. You can perform much better when you have recharged. It’s tempting to plough through, especially when you have a house/flat full of boxes and there is only hard graft, more boxes and work to catch up on. I feel lucky to have the choice of four beaches where I now live in Cornwall – three of them around 15 minutes away. The fourth is a little farther out, but walking distance.
At the end, simply enjoy the fruits of your labours and your new home. You are about to embark on a new adventure.