The joys of summer! That time of year we yearn for during long winters. Sun-filled days beckon us to head outside. Kids are out of school and each day is filled with endless adventures and possibilities. There is so much fun to be had. But your home-based business still needs attention over the summer. All the time and effort you put into your business the rest of the year doesn’t suddenly stop because it is finally nice outside. So how do you manage your business, your kids being at home and still enjoy the season?
In order to prepare for summer downtime, you need to have a plan. Make it a habit to map out your week beforehand; for example, every Sunday night. Schedule your day to include both work and playtime. Post your calendar somewhere visible like the fridge. This will help your kids know what the plan is for the day.
An example of a daily schedule could be: ‘Breakfast; playtime together; lunch; mom’s work time/kids’ quiet time.' Another example: ‘Breakfast; morning quiet time/mom’s work time; afternoon outing to the park or pool.’
Help your kids plan their downtime when you are working. Prepare a list of activities they can do.
For younger children, you may have to look at child care options such as hiring a teenager in your neighborhood. Summer programs and camps are other great options as well as swapping child care with another parent.
Be sure to plan fun days too with no work! Involve your kids in planning out the summer.
Getting the most out of your schedule
Before you sit down in front of your computer, have a to-do list prepared of tasks you want to tackle. Focus on what really needs to be done now and what can wait until later. Prioritizing is key. Turn off those distractions and get down to business.
Ask yourself what parts of your business can you take a step back from over the summer; for example, I put my bookkeeping on hold. Then when September rolls around, I get caught up again.
Also, summer may not be the best time for ‘big thinking’ projects that require a lot of focus on your part. You may have to say ‘not right now’ to some projects.
Managing work when the kids are home
Establish boundaries with your kids. ‘When mom is working, she is not available.’ Have a system in place so your kids know not to interrupt you; for example, when the office door is closed.
For younger kids, set a timer so they know when you will be free. In this case, you may also need to block off smaller chunks of time.
For calls, let your clients know that your children are home and they may interrupt. Most clients will understand.
Your children’s ages and personalities will play a large factor in managing work at home. You may need to try a few different strategies to find out what works best for you.
Summer is here! Having a plan, prioritizing tasks and establishing boundaries will go a long way in helping you to enjoy summer and keep your business moving along.
Get out and enjoy this season as much as possible!
Heather is the City Director of Entrepreneur Mom Now Calgary (entrepreneurmomnow.com/calgary/), a growing premium community of entrepreneurial moms. Heather helps connect entrepreneur moms to each other and advance their business acumen so they can grow their businesses and achieve their dreams.
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