Fiverr Community Forum

Taking a break is impossible

Hey pals!

I had an unexpected mental health setback last month that was really scary and forced me to re-evaluate my work/life balance. I decided I desperately needed a complete break from work, meaning no responding to inquiries, no revising orders, nothing.

I spent 2 weeks planning it, put a notice on my gig page explaining I would be COMPLETELY unavailable from X-X, and on the last week I advised all buyers who placed an order that I would be gone from X date and any revisions would have to be requested before then. I went into OOO mode 6 days before the date so that I wouldn’t receive new orders and would have time to revise anything that was delivered that week.

This seems very straightforward to me. I am a human being. Fiverr is something I do for work. People take breaks from work. People go on vacation. What am I supposed to do, bring my audio booth and computer with me on vacation?

The first 24 hours of my official vacation, I had THREE revision requests. I spent the next 3 days resolving those. I was supposed to be relaxing, and instead I was helping buyers who had completely ignored my boundaries. I wasn’t willing to cancel and lose the money so what choice did I have?

I politely but firmly explained after delivering the revisions that I would be totally, 100% unavailable from this point forward, logged out of Fiverr, and truly took 8 days off of fiverr. Today is day 9, and I’m back online tomorrow. It’s been glorious.

I logged back in today to withdraw some funds and saw I had a ton of messages from previous buyers saying things like “I know you’re on vacation, but please can you work on this??? It’s urgent”

Wtf people? Wtf?

I realise this is something that comes with the territory. I just wish there was a better way to take a break on Fiverr. I have tried all the “tricks” like extending my delivery date etc, but the point is, you really can’t take a week off now and then, not fully, and be guaranteed that you won’t have to do any work or resolve any issues. Because buyers will ignore your messages and assume if it’s urgent for them, it overrides any of your personal needs.

I’m really not looking for advice here, this is just something I hate about freelancing. Lots of love y’all xoxo

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I had the same situation in my university. All my lectures start at 9 and last till 15-16.

Two summers ago I came up with idea. Instead of taking 8-15 days off (which was never possible) I asked can I get every morning off until 9 (so i came to work at 9 instead of 8).

So for last two summers in the morning I went to the beach 06:30 - 07:15, gym and then work.

LOVED IT!

Usually during summer I was too tired to go to the beach at 17-18 after 8-9 hours of work.

Now I am a freelancer but I still keep the same concept, morning beach, gym, and then I start to work. First me, then you.

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I’m a big morning person, I love waking up and doing lots of things and planning my day. Unfortunately because I suffered some bad vocal damage this year, my window for recording voice overs is very narrow and I have to record as soon as I wake up, before food, and before exercise. Then I have to listen back to my audio immediately in case I need to re-record anything so that I can do that as early as possible. So the first 2 hours of my day are inevitably focused on work. It is emotionally draining, but there is no way around it til I get my voice fixed. (Which will probably not happen any time soon with covid)

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Are OOO and “vacation mode” the same, or different … you could try the one in settings (vacation mode). May work.

Agreed, it’s completely unacceptable that clients can still contact you while out of office. But private clients do this too. It’s a common complaint …

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They’re the same.

OOO used to be called “Vacation Mode”.

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Thanks, @catwriter.

In that case @gwyneth_galvin - in future, you should probably include in your notice a sentence indicating you’ll be logged out with notificatons turned off during your vacation. And then actually do it!

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You can always outsource your work to competent freelancers and get your cut.

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Hi @gwyneth_galvin :wave:

First up, sorry to hear you haven’t been feeling well, that sucks. Hope you’re feeling a bit better now? Without wanting to sound like a cliche, I think in these ‘strange times’ we’re living in, it’s easy for people’s mental health to take an absolute pounding. The amount of my friends who have said something along the lines of “oh it’s OK for you, you were already working from home and it’s not like you can be made redundant”, without realising the stress that comes with the uncertainty of work, the stress of clients messaging you at every hour of the day, knowing that you can never really be away from your phone for too long if you want to be able to pay the rent next month…

It’s a tricky one… I think it’s great that you’ve put your health first and taken the time out, but I also fully understand the practicalities of taking significant time out here, it really isn’t as easy as people might think it is. In some ways, I think Fiverr have ‘Amazonized’ freelancing from a buyer’s perspective, making it feel almost as if you’re buying from a faceless company, rather than buying from an individual. Some people just can’t fathom that you’re not at your computer 24/7, waiting to take their order. I literally found myself apologising to someone this Friday just gone because I wasn’t planning on working the weekend, and he wanted to place a large order Saturday morning, and have it back by the end of the day on Sunday. How crazy is that!? Apologising to a complete stranger because I didn’t fancy doing the third 7-day stint in a row, and wanted to go hang out with my fiancé and drink beer and generally not be a slave to my computer for a couple of days. Madness when you stop and think about it.

I can vividly remember us being at a small supermarket in Mykonos a couple of years ago, stocking up on essentials (crisps and beer) on day one of our vacation, having told ALL our clients for about a month beforehand that we’d be out of action from certain dates, only to receive a revision request from a client… the same client who had said “have a great vacation!” five days earlier, when we delivered his work. When we explained we were out of the country, and reminded him that we’d explained this to him the week before, he got pretty angry, demanding a cancellation first, before leaving us a 3-star review when we refused. It still annoys me, years later.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learnt on Fiverr, is that you can’t please everyone. That might sound obvious, but I’m a perfectionist. I HATE the idea of not pleasing everyone. But, Fiverr has made me come to terms with the fact that some people will ultimately walk away from our services unhappy, and that it’s OK for that to happen. So long as we’ve given our best, and done what we can to keep that person happy, I’m OK with it. But in instances like this, where our ‘crime’ is failing to view their project with a level of urgency that would make me drop everything, often for little or no financial reward… I can live with that.

Someone messaged me yesterday. I did a job 2 months ago, and the client wanted me to record a couple of lines again, and get them back in a few hours. Told me he’d really, really appreciate it if I could just do this favour for him. So, a Sunday afternoon rush order. I quoted accordingly, and he told me he couldn’t afford it, that he was “disappointed” and that because I wouldn’t play ball, he’d have to “reschedule his content”. :roll_eyes:

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No, she can’t. She’s a voice actress and clients hire her because they want her voice.

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I had to upload files to dropbox while literally boarding the plane once. I had my straw hat on and everything. The guy (who received all the files 3 days prior with a reminder to check them since I was going away) just suddenly went: “I can’t find where to download it on fiverr. WHERE ARE MY FILES??!!”

I was going to suggest to add some “buffer period” and turn the vacation mode early but you’ve already done it. So you only have my sympathies. Take good care of yourself.

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Thanks for share your experience, and you are right we need try new things to feel comfortable, in the beggining my goal was earn how much i can but i changed it because i don’t have more time for me.

In the last month completed 4 month that i don’t work in the weekends, today i expand the delivery time and try to never delivery projects in the friday for don’t have revisions for the weekend.

I also changed my goal to get less clients possible without prejudice much my income… for do that i increased my prices… i will earn less, but now i have more time for me, have more time do dedicate in the orders, have time to talk with news customers and mainly i have time do revise something without prejudice other projects.

All of us need some days off, days for to do nothing relationed to work, also my phone is always in silence mode to don’t distract me… to leave me in peace at least for some time :slight_smile:

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I want to say thank you for being so open and honest about your health situation. It’s important that good sellers like you discuss the downsides of freelancing through platforms like Fiverr.

I agree with all you say. As humans we need regular breaks from the constant pressure of working through Fiverr. We are not robots. To any new sellers reading this and especially those that offer moronic, damaging advice like stay online 24/7 - believe me, you need regular rest every day and extended breaks every few weeks or months. Set yourself clear boundaries such as “I will work no more than 10 hours a day” and " I will allow one day a week when I don’t switch on the computer", etc.

While online marketplaces, such as Fiverr, bring benefits to us sellers, they also present challenges. You’ve identified a major challenge: the fact that buyers can request us to work when we are on vacation by them requesting / forcing revisions.

Although I used the word ‘request’ - the clear inference is that if we don’t carry out the revisions we then face a ‘cancellation’ or poor feedback - either way leading to our reputation (either publicly or stats wise) being damaged. The psychological pressure this knowledge applies can be extremely damaging - particularly if you are a conscientious freelancer, which I believe I am - and I imagine many of the longterm sellers on Fiverr are equally as conscientious about the quality of their work and customer service.

I have shared my own nightmare buyer story on the forum previously, but I’ll quickly summarise it again as it will hopefully endorse for others what you’ve written. One week prior to taking a seven day vacation I paused all my gigs so that no new orders could be placed, and it gave me plenty of time I thought to complete existing orders. The day before I was due to fly away, a buyer requested a revision of a difficult job - difficult because they couldn’t communicate very well. This buyer became a nasty piece of work - the worst buyer I had encountered in five years on Fiverr (seven years now).

At the exact moment I should have been starting to relax and looking forward to a well-earned break, they caused me more stress than I had ever known as a freelancer - they were rude, demanding, threatening, they repeatedly requested a cancellation which I repeatedly refused, and they continually lied in their messages. Although CS ruled in my favour, this one bad buyer ruined the lead up to my vacation, and cast a shadow on my entire break.

When we switch vacation mode on, then that should be it. End of.

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I have not used OOO mode for a long time, however I thought when we did so we could choose to get messages from former buyers or we could choose to not have any contact. Is that not true anymore?

I just checked and I see now it says allow NEW buyers to contact me. I thought we could choose to not let any buyers contact us. Dang, that is disappointing. :frowning_face:

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No, the choice was always whether to let new buyers contact us or not, the old ones were always able to do it (because it won’t ruin our response rate if we don’t answer those messages, I guess).

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I had a buyer contact me with a first-time message to my inbox while I was in OOO mode because they had previously placed an order. So I came back to a reduced response rate.

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Ouch. I haven’t thought about that possibility (and it looks like Fiverr devs haven’t thought about it, either).

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It was? I have not used OOO for more than a year, so I guess I forgot.

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Perfectly said.

This is what I find so frustrating. I am fine with working 8 hours a day. I just can’t be available 24/7, and I need some days off totally. I think buyers don’t realize that it’s a real person selling these services, usually working on their own, not a group of people in an office somewhere getting paid overtime to complete urgent tasks.

Sometimes it’s really hard not to just :fu: :grimacing: :grimacing: :grimacing: :grimacing:

Wow, what a feat! Well done, honestly. This is my goal. It’s hard to figure out how to do it. It’s also hard because Fiverr is constantly nudging you to do more, take less time off, offer more extras, upsell your work, go go go! And it can feel like you’re going to fall behind really quickly if you set up firm boundaries.

I agree completely! That’s why I love the forums. I think we should all be able to discuss the best and worst parts of selling on Fiverr.

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Looking at my stats now, it seems my rate is 100% again - not sure if I just misread it earlier or if there was a glitch. But luckily it seems like at least in my case the missed message didn’t result in a reduced response rate!

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Sorry to hear that you went through a rough patch, @gwyneth_galvin. Hope you’re doing better now!
First off, I’m really glad that you decided to prioritise your mental health and take a step back - a lot of people opt to soldier on through their mental health issues (which could be detrimental in the long run) so I commend you for putting yourself first and having the courage to take a full-blown break.

That being said, I’m frankly appalled at how some buyers on this system have blatant disregard for the sellers they work with; I think many people tend to forget that there is actually another human being on the other end of the screen as well. That’s the part that vexes me the most as well.

When I started out in 2016, I used to work late hours (I live in India, my buyers are mostly from the US) because I lived in constant fear of them cancelling the order if I took too long to respond (a few of them also did because they hadn’t heard from me in 9 hours aka the time period that is rightfully mine to be getting good quality z’s). However, I was a Fiverr newbie who didn’t know better. After a point, I just started firmly telling my buyers about the time difference and that I would work on their orders the moment I started my workday in India. Luckily, I found buyers who were understanding and considerate - of course, there are the occasional demanding dullheads that think the world revolves around them & their orders, but thankfully, those are few and far between today.

Freelancing honestly has its boons and banes. But I do agree that there should be better ways to take a full-blown break for yourself without feeling constantly on edge about your level/sales situation on Fiverr. That anxiety should definitely be removed because it’s counterproductive to the whole idea of taking a “break” (it isn’t much of one when you have a Damocles sword hanging over your head ready to drop down at any minute).

Anyway, do take care. Sending you lots of positivity and good vibes from India!

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7 days vacation is the worst, IMO. If you take 3-4 days to attend a concert or something, it can be manageable if you have a long enough standard delivery time. Extend a delivery time here, decline to take a project there and you’ll be fine.

2 weeks is great because around day 8 they do tend to leave you alone, new and old buyers alike. They sort of give up and you feel rested enough to develop a healthy attitude of: “I’ll help you out when I’m back”.

When you take a week off (which sounds the most reasonable), you’ll be reminded of fiverr for 5-6 days for sure.

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