How to successfully run your business over the school holidays
Make your business work during the holidays, 12 ways to help you get through the summer.
Are you getting excited about the arrival of summer?
A lot of businesses slow down in the summer, especially if you have children. School holidays make working full time a bit more of a challenge, plus you want to spend time with your babies when they aren’t at school.
If you are torn between working on your business and being with your children I’d like to remind you to cut yourself some slack, and give you some ways to optimise your schedule in the coming months.
12 ways to be precise.
I know that you want to make your business work during the holidays but the years that your children are at home fly by so quickly, so of course you want to be still making memories with them.
Cut your days in half...
…to be honest our working day isn’t jam packed from start to finish and if we ‘time block’ the start of our day, we can accomplish just as much, if not more in half the time.
We are most productive in the mornings so using that time wisely lets us take afternoons off to ‘play’ and ‘be present’. If your kids are young enough to go to bed early you can always take a half an hour in the evenings to catch up on emails and prioritise tasks for the next day.
As a mother I remember when my girls were little, it used to take me until midday to get them ready to go out anyway! So let them chill and wake up at their own pace while you are getting some work done.
Prioritise the high focus tasks...
…the are always tasks that need your undivided attention and others that can be done with distractions around you. Schedule your client calls for the morning hours, when you know you won’t be disturbed.
There may be other tasks, like social media posting that you can still do with the children there.
Involve the kids...
… being online means we obviously have to post on social media and there’s no reason why you can’t include your family in your posts. It’s good for your followers to see the ‘real you’ behind the scenes. It helps them get to know you better and strengthens their connection with you.
Reels are big on Instagram so you could make some fun reels with your children. Dancing reels, or have a great time getting them to point at captions that you can add later.
Showing your life as a mum might just be the inspiration another mother needs to step into her goddess power.
Plan in advance…
…plan your family activities just as you plan your business. Put events into your calendar and book ahead of time where you can. Leaving the ‘what shall we do today’ till the last minute wastes precious time and can often lead to nothing happening at all.
Once it’s scheduled into your calendar and tickets are booked you are more likely to stop working at the ‘set time’ and get your booties outta the door.
The kids will also be more forgiving of your work time too if they know that you’ll be finished by midday and then your are all going out for the rest of the day.
Colour code the calendar…
…make a calendar and pop it on the fridge so that your children can see it easily. Colour code your work time and your family activity time with them. Add different colours so they can see at a glance whether it’s a picnic, swimming, an afternoon at the beach, a play date etc.
This not only helps your kids know what’s going on but also you! Getting YOU excited about what you’re all doing together creates a more focused and productive morning at work.
Make mealtimes fun…
…Pack up lunch the night before and set up a ‘picnic’ for the kids. Once you’ve finished working for the day you can quickly grab the sandwiches and head outdoors, out into the garden or down to the park. It’s always exciting eating on the grass.
No matter how bored they say they are while you’re sat at your desk as soon as the fun starts they quickly forget about the time before.
Keep to the schedule…
…we all know that kids love a good routine, and although the summer tends to lose the structure that you’ve built up over the winter months it doesn’t take long for them to get used to something new.
If your children know that you are going to be working until midday and then they have your undivided attention, doing something fun, they are more likely to be patient with you.
You will get more eye rolls if you spend the whole day with them but keep checking your phone every hour to do a bit of work. Plus the disjointed work flow will be megally unproductive.
Set your Email autoresponder…
…Email autoresponders are great for freeing up your time. They allow you to inform people of your summer office hours and that you’ll be working more ‘part time’ during the holidays, without you having to get stressed about getting back to people.
A simple note telling people when you will be available and the fact that you’ll be out with the ‘fam’ more is all it takes for them to patiently await your response. It means they won’t be checking in for your reply constantly, while you’re out at the park feeding the ducks.
Arrange play dates…
…if your children are young you could arrange play dates with their friends. One day you could take the whole day off and have your friends’ children around, so they can have a whole day of uninterrupted work and then they return the favour to you too.
Especially great if you have friends who run their own businesses too, because sometime you just need a whole day.
Check out school holiday clubs…
…there may be days that you just can’t afford to spend time away from your work, and perhaps you can find school holiday clubs for those days?
Ask at school, on community forums, within your friendship group or at your local sports centre. There are usually activities going on over the holidays and many are inexpensive.
Cut the overcommitment…
…it’s easy to say ‘yes’ in your business but also to your kids. Be realistic about the time you have for them both.
Don’t commit to a big project that you know will take hours when you know that your children will be distracting you at home. Space the time out and expect things to take you longer than normal, always add hours on to an estimated time frame. It’s better to deliver early than late.
Same goes for your children too. Don’t commit to activities that you know you can’t manage. If you end up having the time your kids will be delighted at the last minute ‘let’s go do this’ scenario than the ‘sorry we aren’t going to make it’ vibe.
Give them jobs…
…children love being given responsibility, no matter how small. They like to feel as though they are ‘grown up’ enough to be important and needed.
Giving them small jobs like washing up, folding the laundry, tidying the living room become tasks that they can be proud of when they know they are helping mum have more free time with them.
You don’t have to do it all alone.
And do you know what? If the house is a mess, but full of love, joy and laughter who gives a fuck?
And remember…Give yourself permission to be imperfect…it’s the holidays!
Give yourself permission to switch off and have fun.
When you are working, work! But once the calendar says it’s play time do just that!
Scheduling activities is so important because you don’t want to be stressed about not having completed something. There’s nothing worse than working and feeling guilty about not spending time with your kids, and then being with your kids and feeling guilty about not being at work.
Don’t feel guilty about taking time away from the office. As I said before your kids won’t be kids forever, and there will soon come a time when they want to spend time with their friends more than with you. So make the most of it. Make the best memories, today.
You are doing the best you can and that’s all you can do.
How do you create your best work/life balance in the summer holidays?