It’s finally summer break! I look forward to this time every single year.
The alarm clock goes off, the activities stop, and the schedule clears. The kids are finally home.
After about a week, though, reality starts to set in.
The kids sure are home.
All day long. Every day.
Bickering. Hungry. Bored.
I love having my kids home for summer break, but as a work-at-home mom, it does add a new challenge to my days.
How do I make sure my kids and I have an amazing summer, while not letting my business suffer?
Luckily, I have years of experience working at home with kids, and I know that the key to working from home during summer break is a good plan. I wrote a similar post last year, but I thought this year I’d dig a little deeper into how I squeeze in my business. If you need help coming up with a good schedule to get you through summer break, here are some ideas:
1. Get your kids on a solid routine.
Personally, I’m more of a free spirit. I thrive with no routine and no set time to do anything. All I need is a to-do list and reminders for appointments so I’m not late. If only the rest of the world really let me operate that way.
My kids, on the other hand, are creatures of habit. They like to know what time everything is going to happen, and do best when they know the plan for the whole day right from the start.
I’ve found it’s best to compromise here and give them a loose routine that we follow every day. No, I’m not setting an alarm and having breakfast done at the exact same time every day. But, I can manage to keep the same flow every day.
To help them know what we’re doing, I created a daily agenda to try out. I’ll fill it in every night with what needs to get done each day, as well as any fun outtings I might have planned. My hope is that it’ll reduce the number of times my kids ask me what we’re doing today. It’ll also help them clearly see what times are my work times, and since the plans for the day are written out, they can also easily see what fun we get to have when I’m done.
I’m just getting started with it myself, but if you want to try it out, too, I’m making it available as a printable in my resource library! To grab your own copy, you can sign up right here.
2. Prioritize & learn to say no.
My biggest weakness, especially when it comes to my business, is wanting to do everything. I get waves of inspiration and just want to work, work, work.
That’s awesome, when I have the extra time to tackle all of my ideas, but usually during the summer, we’re busy! I have to squeeze my business into the margins of my day, which means that I have to prioritize what really needs to get done, vs what I want to get done.
There will come a time when I will have more time to work on my business. And when that day comes, I will get to spend as much time as I want riding each wave of inspiration as it hits me. For now, though, I write down as many ideas as I can, and work through them slowly in my downtime.
3. Go digital.
This might not work for every type of work-from-home business, but a big priority for me when I started my business was the ability to work from my phone.
In my last business, I was pretty confined to my house while I caught up on work, and it made life hard.
Now, I’m able to bring my kids to the park or play place and let them run off energy while I get some work done on my phone!
Side note: stop shaming moms for being on their phone at the park. As long as they’re not flat-out ignoring their kids and everyone seems happy, let them have a moment of peace!
Need some extra time to get busy work done but don’t want to keep your kids trapped in the house? Grab your phone and head to the park! Better yet, even your back yard will do! Last year, we even bought a small above ground pool for our backyard just for this purpose. My kids can splash, and I can sit right next to them and get a little work done. We’re all happy!
4. Batch tasks to be as productive as possible
Like I said earlier, my inspiration comes in waves. When that happens, I try to get as many things done as possible.
The best way I’ve found to do that is to batch similar tasks. Some tasks I batch include:
- drafting blog posts
- taking stock photos
- planning out social media posts
- live videos in different Facebook groups
- DIY tutorials
By batching tasks, I don’t have to take the time to swap out materials, clean up, or mentally “change gears.” I just finish one task and roll right into the next.
5. Utilize downtime
One thing I’ve learned over the last few years is to utilize downtime. When I study the successful people in my life, one thing I notice is that they use their downtime wisely.
I don’t know many really successful people that watch hours of TV each night. That’s quality time you can be using to grow your business! The kids are asleep and the house is quiet. Take advantage of that time to get some work done before you shut your brain off!
Balancing a business during summer vacation can be difficult. The good news is, we can enjoy the benefits of staying at home while still growing a business.
These tips have helped me have 4 successful summer breaks so far. If you’re struggling to find a way to work from home during the summer, try them out! Everyone and every family is different, but these can be a great place to start to find something that works for you.