The following is a guest post from momAgendaCOMM blogger Leah Jantzen.
Summer is here. Your kids are out of school and have a multitude of summer activities planned from swimming parties and baseball practice to camp and doctors’ appointments. But remember, when the kids aren’t out and about, they are home. So how can you maintain your work-at-home business while juggling their schedule and yours and be productive in a more hectic atmosphere?
Here are a few ideas to create a successful work-at-home balance over the summer:
- Entice the kids with the allure of doing “big people’s work.” Have you ever seen a little boy following his dad around the yard, “mowing” with a little toy lawn mower? This will give your kids a sense of growth, not to mention a sense of contribution to your work. Offer a variety of things they can help with from packaging products and putting materials together to organizing your work space, or even coloring pictures to brighten up your office. And while they do this, you can be doing other tasks.
- Consider flex time as a reward for their help. Suggest taking a day or half a day to do no work and just spend time with them. You may also find that condensing your work week into four days works well to give you some flex time to spend with the kids.
- Keep the car packed. Load it with beach/pool stuff, sunscreen, bathing suits, extra changes of clothes, snacks, etc. which makes for a quick getaway if needed or allows you to stop at the park on the way home—either way, you are prepared.
- Plan a picnic and have the kids prepare the lunches with their own food ideas. It will allow them to be creative, and allow you to squeeze in a little more work time.
- Barter childcare with a neighbor or friend. For instance, you could host a pool party for the kids while your neighbor or friend runs errands, and then in exchange, you drop the kids off at your neighbor’s or friend’s place so you can meet with a client, finish some writing, or get some of the work you are behind on finished. Plus, you don’t have to limit yourself to one neighbor or friend.
- Reach out to other stay-at-home mothers in your community. See if other moms would be interested in bartering childcare. That way, if one neighbor can’t help on a day you have an important meeting, you have others you can rely on. You may even be able to barter carpooling if their child plays on the same team or is also going to the same camp.
- Utilize a big calendar. This is where you can see everyone’s activities including doctor appointments, camps, swimming lessons, sporting events, etc. Using this as a guide, find chunks of time where you can work uninterrupted and block off that time. Since the kids will usually be going to bed later and getting up later, find when you are most productive and grab either some early morning work time or stay up late and work one night a week.
With family vacations, family reunions, and the nice weather, your summer is already going to be busy, so take time to plan how you can stay productive while the kids are home, and how you can have some fun, too.
What are some of your secrets to creating a work-at-home balance over the summer?
Leah Jantzen is a Life and Business coach who works with highly motivated individuals looking to make profound changes in their lives. Before starting her coaching business, she was a guidance counselor for 12 years in her hometown on the North Shore of Long Island.