This summer I’m doing something a little crazy. I’m on a two-month trip with my son. It started as a two-week trip across Canada. Then we added the idea of dropping my son off to see his dad. I’ve got work conferences in Chicago and Baltimore and my sister lives in Massachusetts. Every time I turned around, the trip seemed to lengthen.
Now it’s two months away from home — and I have to figure out how to keep my freelance business running through it all. The good news, of course, is that I have a degree of location independence that isn’t available with most “real” jobs. Even so, the idea that I can just type away on my laptop and keep up with all the business stuff is a little faulty. Here’s how I’m managing my freelance business while I’m on the road for a full eight weeks:
Identify the Priorities
As always, the first thing to do when keeping your freelance business up and running is to make sure you know your priorities. Which articles need to be written first? How can I make time for them? When a new client needed a rush job, I dropped nearly everything to track down sources and talk to people so I could write the article. I did most of the interviewing for the article sitting in a hotel room overlooking Niagara Falls.
I make sure the priorities are covered first so that I can maintain those gigs and earn the bare minimum of money that I need to keep this train rolling.
Set Aside Days to Just Work
One of the advantages of such a long trip is the fact that I am able to find days to just work. We spent four days in Calgary, AB. That provided me with time to work almost an entire day (or at least what counts as a day for me). I got up, worked until lunch time, and then my son and I were able to explore a little bit.
On this trip, I know that I need to block out time I can dedicate to work. I try to work ahead as I can so that I don’t end up falling behind or missing too many deadlines. In some cases, the days set aside to work are those spent on a train or airplane. I find I can accomplish a lot more when I’m stuck on a train or plane and have no option but to work.
Let Some Things Slide
Sometimes, you let things slide. This includes with my work. There are some days that I don’t accomplish much. Additionally, this trip has also helped take a hard look at some of my clients. Do I really need to keep up with them? Is it worth it to give up some of my trip-related leisure time to do the work? I’ve moved on from two different clients as part of this trip, and I’m only 1/4 of the way through.
If you are planning a long trip, make sure you stay on top of your freelance business. Bring what you need to keep invoicing and to keep up with some of your work so you can continue to finance your chosen lifestyle.