Crafting a Summer Schedule that WORKS for Mompreneurs
Summer. . .
For some people, summer is the time to rest and relax with one of those fancy-schmancy umbrella drinks by the pool. For mompreneurs, the challenge of having the kiddos home may totally throw a monkey wrench in how you manage your day.
I get it.
For years while other moms would be so excited to have their kids home, I would offer a weak smile and say, “Yeah, I can’t wait. . .” Sigh. Not that I didn’t love having my son home from school and not having to wake at the crack of dawn to get him to school so he didn’t miss the first bell, but trying to manage summer fun, the press I felt to make memories and not totally stall out my biz was exhausting.
How about you? With the school year end soon upon us, I’m wondering if you have taken the time to figure out how you will create balance between your family life and your work life. Getting the kids back to school and finding that your biz isn’t in a good state can really set you back mentally AND financially.
Tip #1 – KNOW that Your Schedule WILL Have to Change
Trying to stick to your normal work schedule with the kids home (unless they are driving and can manage their own time) may be nearly impossible. That’s okay. The summers that they are home are short lived. Before you know it, they will be off to work or college and then you will have plenty of time to work.
By understanding that your schedule will have to change, you take some of the pressure out of your thinking and can move into problem solving mode. Facing your summer schedule in problem solving mode is MUCH better than trying to rigidly stick to a schedule that simply won’t work for you or for your family.
Tip #2 – Work in Blocks
Working in long sessions like you can when the kids are in school may not be realistic when the kids are home. Think about working in blocks. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done in thirty or sixty minute sessions. Break your tasks out accordingly and think about what you can get done in shorter amounts of time.
Another plausible option is to either get up before your family for some uninterrupted work time or stay up later. (All depends on whether you are a night person or a morning person!) I used to get up between 5:30am and 6am during the summer to get a couple hours of work in before my son got up. I could laser focus on tasks that needed my attention, respond to emails and drink a half a pot of coffee before he even started to stir. I felt great because I wasn’t struggling to get my work done and I could still enjoy the summer and time with my family.
Tip #3 – Negotiate
We negotiate all the time in biz, why not with our family?
“I know you want to go to the pool with your friends,” says mom.
“I want to go now!” says kiddo.
“I have some work to do, so how about if you do your chores and I’ll do mine and we will go right after lunch,” proposes mom.
“Deal!” says kiddo.
Okay, so maybe that is a simplified version of what COULD happen when you negotiate, but you get my drift. There are ways to discuss with your kids your need for time. Think of it this way – you are helping them to learn to be flexible, patient and concerned for others (YOU!) – which are all good things for them to learn.
Tip #4 – Rethink Your Summer Goals
Launching a major product or service over the summer? Hmmmm. . .
Knowing that you won’t have as much time to work and that you will be spending more time with your family may cause you to rethink that goal.
I can remember when my son was little – elementary aged, I think – I attempted a service launch over the summer when he was home. Not. A. Good. Idea. We both ended up really frustrated and (as you can predict) the launch did not go well.
Summer goals need to be adjusted to accommodate what you reasonably CAN get done with shorter work hours. Save those big launches for September. The bonus is that many of your customers may be on vacation, have kids home or won’t be in biz building mode, so you will likely have better success in the fall anyway.
Tip #5 – Get Help
If you do find you need additional hours in the office, then it may be time to get some help. Hiring a babysitter to come at regular hours during the week can give you the time you need to get your work done.
If cost is an issue, you can also barter time with a friend to give each of you more uninterrupted time with your work.
Don’t forget to ask your family for help. If your husband can take the kids to baseball on his own one night that might give you the time you need in order to make phone calls, return emails or get a project out the door.
Tip #6 – Enjoy Being there for Your Kids – NO Guilt, Please!
Most businesses will do fine on a maintenance schedule for the summer. As a mompreneur, you have (likely) chosen this road so that you can enjoy your family and your biz at the same time. So, NO GUILT! I went through a time when I felt really guilty for not doing more business building over the summer and then a colleague reminded me how few the years are when the kids are little. Glad for that.
Tip #7 – Prep for the Fall Ramp-Up
You know the time in the summer when the kids are tired of going to the pool? When they are actually starting to look forward to going back to school?
That’s your CUE!
Three to four weeks before the kids go back, make sure to spend a little time thinking through your fall goals and what you’d like to accomplish. You don’t want to be unprepared when your kids do go back to school. Having a plan on how you are going to ramp up your biz in the fall is CRITICAL to getting back on track. Knowing ahead of time what you want to get done will give you a clear path forward and help you make the switch back to more focused work. You might even be excited about it!
Need help getting clarity about how to handle your schedule as a mompreneur? Let’s chat! Schedule a time HERE for a free 15 minute call. . .
Photo credit — weknowyourdreamz.com