The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that there was no post for June - and that's because I spent a good part of June enjoying the Italian sunshine with the relaxed and Mediterranean lifestyle. Taking a holiday when you work for yourself demands a good deal of organisation, ensuring that clients know well in advance that you're not available but also ensuring they know when you're back. It also means having a clear inbox, invoices sorted and a tidy desk and office to return to!
For me, work and play need to get along together - whilst I always strive to give clients a first-class service delivering work within their requested timeframe, I also ensure that I don't fall into some of the habits which those working in fast, corporative environments can sometimes find themselves falling into. When I worked in local government, nearly seven years ago now, I was given a Blackberry - at the time I thought I was the bees-knees and marvelled at being able to check my emails and get messages from the staff I managed at all times of the day - but I soon came to realise that this meant I never really 'switched off'.
So, now I work for myself, I try to ensure that I make it a priority that if I'm away on holiday, whether here on the Isle of Wight (and particularly Ventnor with its lovely beach) or abroad, then work takes a back seat for a while. I know that not everyone who works for themselves sees it that way - they make arrangements to ensure they have excellent wi-fi wherever they go so that can keep in touch and keep on top of work. That's not for me, but everyone is different.
All I know is that having been out of the office for nearly a month, I'm back and ready to go, and my clients seem happy enough. Certainly, I was very pleased to have three clients contact me on my first day back which is very reassuring!
My summer holiday was spent on the Costiera Amalfitana, the Amalfi Coast, and we had a fabulous time visiting Amalfi, Maiori (where we based ourselves), Minori, Positano and, far down in southern Italy, Agropoli. Of course, having got a fabulous tan, I was able to come back to the Island and top in up in the 30C hot weather we've been having!