Rest and Recharging (Karina Mikhli)

There is one major advantage to being full-time: you get paid time off, and when your employer is closed, like on Memorial Day, it's easy to take advantage of the time off and rest.

This is not that easy as a fractional.

If you're getting paid on retainer, you may or may not have the luxury of taking time off, depending on your arrangement with your employer, but for those getting paid by the hour, if you don't work, you don't get paid (and yes, that's another reason not to charge hourly, but that's another topic and post). Add to that the potential feast and famine nature of working for yourself,  and is it any wonder many of us don't take the time off?

I've been there so can totally relate, and it's something I still struggle with. It's one of the major reasons I had gone full-time with one of my fractional clients.

But if you think about it objectively:

  1. You should be charging enough, whether hourly or retainer, to be able to afford some downtime and if you aren't, you should revisit your rates.
  2. If you burn out, you will be useless to your clients and will probably end up in a worst financial place than taking those few unpaid days off.
There've also been enough studies and books written about all the benefits of taking some time to rest and recharge, and many of those benefits will allow you to be more effective on the job, so a win for your clients as well as yourselves.

One of the books on the topic I always recommend is Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang. He writes about the standard ways of recharging (ie sleep and exercise) but also some nonstandard ways that are equally beneficial (ie a hobby that gets you into flow state).

Also worth keeping in mind is that each of us rests and recharges in different ways. I spent the last two days not doing much except sleeping in, taking walks with my son, and lots of reading. Today and tomorrow are for sleeping in, chores, books/TV, and a few things that are "work" but will give me a head start on the week (like this blog post). And this works as a "restful" break for me.

To wrap up and help you prioritize rest and recharge, think of it this way: being a fractional implies being a leader, and leaders have to start with leading themselves and setting good examples, both professionally and personally. So if you can't rest and recharge for yourself, do it for the benefit of your loved ones and clients.

Now back to more rest and recharging.


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