July 28, 2014

Why Freelancers Need the Sun – Both Literally and Figuratively

Freelancers need sun

Freelancers need a little sunshine in their lives.

Freelancers need the sun. They need it for the normal reasons – vitamin D and its other health benefits. But freelancers need the sun for reasons other folks don’t.

Freelancers: Have you tried using mobile Internet under the bright sun? Have you been off skype for more than 3 days? Have you ever tried to connect to free wi-fi that has a poor-to-medium signal only to see that you missed two freelance projects in the process? Have you ever been “that” insane (you know what I mean)? How could you prefer lying on the beach or breathing some fresh air to earning 50 or 60 bucks? How hard is it for you to “let go” and take the risk of enjoying a summer vacation or even a short break that keeps you isolated from work and the Internet?

When faced with the possibility of going off the grid, perhaps you counter with a variation of one of these classic freelancer arguments…

There’s always the tanning salon where I can get a spray on tan or lay in a sun bed. And I can’t afford the possibility of losing potential clients, let alone spend money on a holiday excursion. [Who can?]

The summer season can get very hectic and it’s a goldmine for landing new gigs, especially if you’re a newbie (veteran). [Whatever]

Or one of these gems…

The sun causes skin cancer. [Sunscreen, people!]

Entrepreneurs have to work 24/7 to establish their businesses. [Burnout kills business]

I just had a baby (got a new puppy…kitten…pet tarantula). [Seriously?]

Get the Real Thing ~ Away From the Screen

The real thing – not just for Coca~Cola – your “getaway” doesn’t count as a vacation if you work. Get away from the screen.

Humidity, the cold, the rain, they’re bad for you. At least too much of it is. You do need to let those sun rays caress your poor, suffering waist and rescue you  from all the hours of sitting at the computer. Close your eyes and let the sun’s beneficial qualities heal your tired eyes.

But sun therapy works for more than just defending your health and preventing illness. It works  as an antidote to Internet addiction. Oh yes. Think about it. You can’t “really” surf the net while under the sun. Your screen gets dark. You need to sit in the shade or a darkened room or in the presence of an artificial light source to successfully cruise the digital landscape online!

So, What Can Freelancers Do While Relaxing Offline?

Freelancers can fill their digital void with a variety of relaxing activities that will recharge and renew them. Browse the waves. Open the windows to a garden profused with roses. Skip a step over the staircases on little alleys on a Greek island. Follow the trails of turtles. Delete pessimistic thoughts. Escape from your schedule. Shift your viewpoint.

Black hole sun won’t you come, take away the rain…”

The self employed can become dominated by many fears — financial ones, mainly. How many of us can actually afford a holiday in the Maldives? Taking a break some way, some where, somehow could be doable, though. Plan a mini getaway in your own country, at your parents’ house, with relatives, on exchange programs. The options are endless if you use your imagination.

freelancers vacation

Freelancers need time away from their digital communities.

Freelancers are a special group of people. They have to spend lots of time online to provide a quick response to clients’ requests, look for new work, engage on social media, research for projects. Regardless of the excellent weather, freelancers will usually stay put in their home office in order to get things done. While other working people can book their vacations in advance, freelancers can’t really plan anything. The sun may shine; freelancers are frequently office bound (even if the office is at home).

For freelancers, spontaneity is the name of the getaway game.

Sun Can Wash Away Fears of Freelance Failure

You will feel healthier almost immediately as you bask in the sun that washes away your fears of freelance failure. A sun that can remove the black stains and cobwebs of your constantly busy mind. A sun that has many black holes and spots, but still shines on and gives you new life.

Your say: How about letting go of social media and actually chatting with others under the sun? Perhaps you’ll discover more people who need a break from the Internet as much as you do. Have you taken a break from the digital world? Tell us about it.

About Magda Papas

Magda Papas worked in the finance industry for 12 years in London and Milan before making a foray into the world of freelance translating. This multi-lingual creative powerhouse can work with the English, Italian, and Greek languages. In addition to translating, she revels in writing. Her core interests include mosaic art, work life balance tips, culture and accessories. She authors Mosaicology blog where you can learn more about the craft of creating mosaic masterpieces and how mosaic art can relate to fashion, travel, history, interiors. Connect with her on Twitter or contact her via email.

Comments

  1. I love the sun which is one of the reasons why I moved to Arizona in 2007. Ahhhh…I miss the 100+ temperatures and hiking South Mountain when it’s about 104 degrees. Good times, good times!

    Currently, I’m living in the Midwest and cherish hot days. I can do without the humidity thought. Anyway, I discovered some hiking trails (not my preferred terrain) and have been hiking a few days a week. I’m feeling better now that I can hike.

    My goal is to move back to Arizona or move to Southern California to be closer to L.A. There’s nothing like driving up the PCH on a sunny day, parking the car, strolling on the beach, and watching dolphins swim and jump in the Pacific Ocean. :)

  2. Thank you for reading Amandah! One of the places I would love to visit is Arizona.. I guess it’s because of the film Arizona Dream and that hypnotising soundtrack! Oh and LA…of course!

    • You’re welcome! I recommend Arizona. There’s so much to do and see from visiting Grand Canyon National Park to the red rocks of Sedona. And there are plenty of writers groups from East Valley to the West Valley. Driving is a breeze as it’s extremely easy to get from Point A to Point B. The shopping and nightlife are awesome. If you enjoy eating organic foods (or are a vegetarian), Arizona has plenty of restaurants that cater to a healthier lifestyle. There are plenty of grocery stores and farmers markets too.

      BTW: I’ve convinced five people to move to the state; others just want to visit. I’d love to work in Arizona’s travel and tourism department. :)
      Amandah recently posted..Sink Your Teeth into Better Content Writing with the Vampires from True BloodMy Profile

      • You must be a long lost blood kin to my Dragonslayer. He thrives on the oppressive, humid heat in the height of summer down here. Seriously. He does. It’s approaching an affinity of clinical interest, this love of things most of us deplore. Alas! Being married to such a fab guy has taught me to stop the inner bitter voice that complains about this environment that I cannot change without moving to God’s country…the rocky mountains where it nary rises above 70 in the summer and snow bunnies are welcome on the nearby slopes. Sun is beneficial in small doses as a pure health activity. But for many, it truly does provide relieve from seasonal affective disorder sufferers (commonly called SAD). I think many freelancers only get out at odd hours to peek outside or through a heavy drape, mysteriously moved aside for a brief moment, as they feign interest in the other world where flesh is real and not digital. LOL! I avoid that extreme while playing the semi-vampire of the Pam Northman (hot vampire queen of snark) in my fantasy world. OK, you got me going with that post about True Blood. Stopping now. Taking cold shower while flogging myself with a loofa and lye soap.

        • Lol! Thanks for reading and commenting on my “True Blood” post. Alas, season five is comes to an end on Sunday. It should be a good one. I believe the start shooting season six in January 2013.

  3. I have seen lots of useful points on your site about desktops. However, I’ve got the impression that lap tops are still more or less not powerful more than enough to be a option if you generally do things that require lots of power, like video editing. But for web surfing, statement processing, and many other typical computer work they are just fine, provided you may not mind the screen size. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

    • Most laptops don’t have the infrastructure or robust output ability necessary for heavy video editing (i.e. FinalCut Pro used to edit a commercial length or longer video) and other sophisticated graphic design applications. It’s best (for a number of reasons) to do the majority of these tasks on your desktop with the appropriate specs.

      But — if you can afford it, I recommend having a laptop as well to serve as your mobile office. You can use it when you’re on your mini-breaks or away from your main office space to work on tasks that require fewer resources (i.e. bookkeeping, emails, social media engagement, video edit project planning, pitching new clients).

      I have the largest iMac desktop made and a MacBook Pro laptop that serves as my mobile office. They integrate and sync perfectly, giving me a level of freedom and movement in my work that would be impossible otherwise.

  4. I have a dog (Tommy) and getting a dog was the smartest decision I took since I started freelancing. I walk him 4 times a day (applause!!!), i.e. about 1 hour a day. I have to go out not only when it is sunny, but also when it is raining or snowing. It is actually great! I grew up in countryside and I needed more contact with the nature. Before Tommy, I was literally working wearing my sleep pants.

    He is also my source of positive energy. Every now and then, when I get pissed at some of my clients, he is just there to comfort me, or to play with me.

    I would really really recommend to any freelancer to get a dog. Not any other type of pet, but a dog. A dog will take you outside everyday, you get to do some physical exercise too.

    Tip: adopt an older dog from the shelter. If you don’t have any experience with dogs, it will be difficult to train a puppy. Older dogs are usually already trained and have less energy, therefore won’t need too much attention from you, just once in a while :) And they are very smart too + they definitely understand more languages :)

    • Hi Veronica and thank you so much for commenting!

      It was great to see you here. I remember you from proz.com. My profile is MagdaTraduceGR.

      About getting a dog, that’s a good tip actually. However, those with children will consider it really well before taking the decision! Perhaps only when the children grow up and go to school which means more hours at home to freelance but still time is so precious.

      To tell you the truth my experience of not having a permanent internet connection while in Greece for the summer holidays was really beneficial. I read and finished a beautiful book of Dostoyefsky and this post was based on having no WI-FI. It was difficult and frustrating not to be able to download your emails at once but come to think of it now, it was a blessing.

      However, next time I go on holiday I am going to MAKE SURE I have internet.

      Take care!
      Φιλιά!

      Magda

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