Where did the time go? It seemed like Winter would never end, and now summer is literally right around the corner. What the heck happened to Spring????
It’s that wonderful time of year when the kids are wrapping up their school year, excited to be home for the summer. In your house. With you. Where you are operating a business. This is the time of year you’re forced to hone your time management skills if you want to survive!
We all love our children, but when you’re trying to work around those ankle biters, the summer can become quite draining.
My own children are grown now, but it feels like yesterday I was faced with those endless summer days of trying to keep them occupied while getting my work done.
The trick is in getting yourself set up and prepared. Time to put those time management skills into practice so you can make the most of your productive working time while also enjoying time with the rug rats. (They grow up so fast!)
What can you do to make your summer as productive as possible? Here are a few ideas:
- Work when you can. If your children sleep in or go to bed early, those are prime working times! If you can get up earlier to get an hour or so of work done, do it! Or get an hour or so done after they’ve gone to bed. Is there an hour of the day when they can have some screen time? Use that focused time to your advantage. Work when you can work!
- Get help. If you’re going to successfully work around your children, unless they are perfectly behaved and self-sufficient, you’ll get more done if you get some help. If you don’t have a reliable childcare option, get creative, and work around whatever help you do have available. Is there a student in your neighborhood you could hire to come in for a few hours a day? Any half-day summer camps you can sign your child up for? If you have care on the weekends, can you change up your work week? Get some help in place and then…
- Maximize your schedule. Here is where a little time management can really help stretch your days. Start with your childcare options and plot out those chunks of time on your calendar so you’ll be able to triage your work tasks. Then block out the days/times you won’t have any help. Look at the tasks you have for the week ahead and prioritize those things requiring the most of your attention and focus, to the times when you have help. Use the days when you have no childcare to do administrative tasks, household chores, and maybe even get some well needed fresh air and relaxation.
- Have tricks up your sleeves. If you have young children and work from home, you probably already know the power of having an emergency stash of activities and toys. Depending on the age of your kids, this might be as simple as having a new coloring book and crayons or a fun new board game to play with. Maybe it’s a scavenger hunt, a container of play dough, or a new set of Legos. The idea is that something new to your kids will hold their attention longer, buying you extra time when you need to concentrate. Like when an important phone call or video conference comes up. If your kids are a little older, maybe you can hire them out to do some babysitting for some of your neighbors who have the same time issues you do!
- Take time for yourself. Parenting is hard enough without throwing a business into the mix. And vice versa! Make sure to carve out some time throughout the summer to do things that fill your heart. Play Frisbee with your kids. Go to the beach and splash in the water. Fly a kite together. Those are the things memories are made of. If you can stick to a schedule to get work done, hopefully you’ll be able to loosen up a bit and enjoy some time with your kids before they’re all grown up!
I’d love it if you would add your own time management tricks in the comments below, so we can share strategies and help each other make the most of our summers with kids.
On the other hand, it’s worth mentioning that putting a team in place to help with work tasks is another great way for you to free up additional time to add to your schedule. If that sounds like it might be a good plan, just let me know!
Also published on Medium.
In business since 1991, Terry Green is the founder/CEO/President of BizEase Support Solutions, an American-based, online marketing support company comprised of a team of talented professionals from around North America. BizEase excels at providing speakers and business coaches worldwide with seamless online marketing solutions, from setting up shopping carts and editing video, to writing blog posts and managing Social Media and PR campaigns. BizEase clients (who span five continents) take great joy in allowing the BizEase team to take care of the details so they can get back to doing what they do best! Click here to get our weekly tips ezine delivered to your inbox every other Friday, with tips on plugins, apps, and tools to make you more productive today!