Everybody’s workin’ on the weekend…

Do you work on the weekendenjoy today ?

Is your weekend still Saturday and Sunday?

Wait… do weekends even exist anymore?

So many people work from home these days, most retail and food service businesses are open all “weekend”, and a lot of business (like voiceover) is global now, so time zones mess the whole thing up anyway.

This thought came up because over the last weekend, I received two requests (early Sunday morning and late Sunday evening) from a video producer in Europe, in need of a quick turnaround for some voiceover.
Both times, I replied saying I’d be happy to get the recording done and over to them first thing Monday morning. (I thought about doing it straight away, but decided that I needed my day off.) And both times, the producer replied saying never mind, someone else can do it now.

Which is all well and good. I was having my day off, and “Someone Else” wasn’t. They were happy to be the person that guy needed at that moment. More power to ‘em.

I guess it’s another one of those “line in the sand” decisions we make as freelancers. Do I make myself available at the drop of a hat, and potentially have more clients and more income? Or do I honour my set work days or hours, which may limit some income but result in a more balanced life?

Or, do I just wing it and follow where the spirit leads at any given moment? This one is rather tempting to my spontaneous side.

Every voice actor – and other home business owner – will have different answers.

The traditional Monday-Friday work hours, with some Saturday mornings, works for me and my family because of our childcare routine.

And my need to spend all day Sunday in front of the fire, in varying states of undress with my partner. (My friends, if you can’t relate to that one, you’re officially working too much!)

voice acting is fun; Sundays are funner. ;)

I still sometimes work on my weekends, but I charge extra, and clients understand that.

Other voice artists might not have kids or partners and so working more flexible hours is their jam, baby. Some may be just more mentally capable to cope with working every day and they get their down time some other way. Like playing Candy Crush till 2am… or baking experimental birthday cakes before their 6am reiki session, I don’t know…

Watch out for dead voiceover pirates...When I was coaching with J Michael Collins, an amazingly prolific voice actor and coach who appears to work about 27 hours a day, I asked if he ever slept and he replied “sleep is for the dead!”

So, you know, whatever floats your boat!

Whatever your fancy, you can probably make it work. There are bound to be clients and customers and other creatives who have similar fancies as you and it’ll all happen. Like I said in last week’s blog, this freelance business thing takes time, and choosing your work/life balance style is one of the decisions – or realisations – to make along the way.

What’s your style? Tell me in the comments. Are you a strict-hours-and-days kinda voiceover, or an experimental-baking-and-spirit-following sort?

Please somebody tell me about your experimental baking. Preferably using chocolate. I’m on an elimination diet and I wanna live vicariously…

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Images by @lena_otvo, @kravmaga , @Elisall and @tinamallia via Twenty20

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4 comments… add one
  • Reece George Aug 26, 2020 @ 15:34

    I deliberately remind myself to have some time off work each weekend. My current job is very creative and I enjoy doing it. Often on Saturday mornings, I remind myself that I do much better creative work after I am rested. And, customers like working with people who are fun. That works for me.

    Your partner is very lucky, you sound like you have a sexy balanced lifestyle.

    • Sumara Meers Aug 26, 2020 @ 15:37

      Thank you, my lovely. ❤

      It’s definitely fun and sexy around here. 😁

  • Joshua Alexander Aug 26, 2020 @ 23:31

    What a great article! Balance is so critical. I admit I am imbalanced. I really do watch my phone and email all the time, and so if a casting notice comes in, or something comes in from a potential client who needs a quote, or a previous and highly valued customer needs a pickup (especially if paid!) I will usually jump on that ASAP even outside of work hours. There have been times where I’ve just laid down to go night-night, and that email comes in! And it’s back down to the computer to send a quote or record a pickup or send that high-value audition. There’s no real “off switch” for me. Oh well! I don’t mind the trade off because it puts food on my table and the cumulative amount of effort for each of these usually takes just minutes. But I do need an untethered vacation soon, ha! 🙂 Thanks Sumara.

    • Sumara Meers Aug 27, 2020 @ 9:31

      Thank you Josh! 🙂
      I think we all go through seasons where we can be busy busy busy and it works okay, but then there’ll be time when there needs to be more awareness and ease.
      I do jump up sometimes for the high-value auditions, too, and just last night I offered to do a couple of pickups for a great client straight away, simply because it felt okay at the time.
      Definitely take that vacation, though! Give yourself a rest. 🙂

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