School’s out for the kids in the summer, but there’s no such thing as a summer off from work for people starting a business or running a business who have school-aged children. Entrepreneurs like you and me, who want to do stellar jobs as professionals and parents, often struggle during this time of year. I thoroughly enjoy having the kids at home, but I admit it’s sometimes daunting to find ways to occupy their time and give them the attention they deserve while also focusing on my business.
Sound familiar? I’ll bet it does!
Here are a few ideas that might help if you’re struggling to figure out how you’ll manage family and work responsibilities this summer:
- Take advantage of your ability to set your own schedule. If you run your business from home full-time, consider starting work earlier in the morning and/or working later into the day or night so you can take breaks during the day to spend quality time with your kids. If you have another office location, you might think about splitting your time between the office and home. For example, I usually work in the office Tuesdays through Thursdays and then from home on Mondays and Fridays during the summer months. When at home, I work super early in the morning before the kids wake up and then at night after they go to bed—that schedule allows me to stay on track professionally while giving my children lots of time, too.
- Enroll your children in day or overnight camps. I’m amazed at all the options available. There are camps devoted to nearly every interest or activity—sports, theater, band, nature, church, etc.—and they give kids a wonderful opportunity to expand their knowledge, skills, and circle of friends while you keep your nose to the grindstone.
- Get a membership to your local public pool. Depending on the ages of your children, you might feel comfortable dropping them off for a few hours of fun with their friends while you go back to the office. Or why not go to the pool with them and soak up some sun while you tackle some work on your laptop or tablet?
- Let them spend time with friends. Even if their friends visit your kids at your house, it’s possible to accomplish some work tasks from home while they hang out. I love this option because you know where they are, who they’re with, and what they’re doing—which frees your mind to get things done.
- Plan ahead! Your best bet for successfully juggling having the kids at home and tackling your business obligations this summer is to prepare for the change in working M.O. Don’t fly by the seat of your pants from day to day. Plan ahead for each upcoming week (ideally for each upcoming month) so you’ll have an agenda secured for your kids—and in turn, the ability to plan your work more effectively.
The key to keeping your kids happy and satisfied and not missing a beat with your business in the summer will depend on several variables—unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Consider the ages of your children, their level of independence, and their interests while also assessing your business goals, workload, resources, and client expectations. It may take some trial and error to figure out your secret formula, but have patience. The best of both worlds can be yours each summer.
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