How to Survive Summer when you Work from Home

Summer is a wonderful time of year but for those of us who work from home finding the balance between family time and work time can be tricky. Summer vacation can make it even more stressful. So how do we survive? What can we do to keep our families happy and our business successful all while keeping our sanity in tact?

Here are some tips and tricks for keeping it all together this summer:

Prioritize

During the summer we have wonderful opportunities for quality family time and enjoying the great outdoors that we don’t have the rest of the year. Embrace the gift of summer and allow yourself to be present in the moment.

Set aside a few moments to list your top priorities for this summer – for both your family and your business – and then do your best to make those happen. Remember that it is ok to let some of the less important things slide. Perfection is not required for a happy and successful summer.

Creative Scheduling

When you work from home a schedule makes it easier to use time more effectively. We can focus entirely on the kids during family time and on work during work time.

Every family has their own rhythm and flow so take advantage of times you know your kids will be busy or asleep. Do you have kids who rise with the sun and love to play outside? Limit screen time to the hottest part of the day and work while the kids are occupied with video games and netflix. If your kids love to sleep in during the summer then embrace those quiet hours before the madness begins. Get creative and fit your work times in wherever you can.

Schedule Activities

There are a multitude of ways to entertain kids during the summer that don’t require our direct involvement.

  • Summer sleep-away camps
  • Day camps
  • Enrichment programs
  • Swimming Lessons
  • Library programs
  • Classes to learn a new skill
  • Play dates
  • Sleepovers
  • Visiting family

The list is endless. Once the kids are safely away you can focus entirely on work guilt-free.

Set Clear Expectations

Set yourself “office hours” and set clear expectations for your kids of what they can and can’t do during those times. If your kids know what to expect then they are more likely to let you get work done. Putting up a visual schedule can help everyone keep track.

Encourage the kids to entertain themselves and help out where they can. How much time that will give you depends entirely on the ages and capabilities of your kids, but no matter what age they are setting boundaries for both work and family time will help.

Provide the kids with a list of things they can do to keep boredom at bay. Pinterest is a treasure trove of ideas to keep kids busy with minimal supervision. Giving the kids age-appropriate chores to complete each day while you are working not only occupies them but helps to keep the house running.

Embrace Help

When we work from home it is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking we need to do it all on our own and then feel huge guilt when we just can’t. We don’t have to do everything by ourselves!

  • If you have a partner be sure to communicate what you need so they can support you and help pick up the slack.
  • If you have family around ask for their help. Spending a few hours with the grandparents is fun for everyone.
  • Trade babysitting with other parents in your area. You take all the kids for an afternoon and then swap. Both of you get some kid-free time and the kids have a blast.
  • Hire an older teen to come over and play with your younger kids. Lock yourself in a quiet room with some headphones on and see how much you can get done.
  • If the work is piling up outsource it. Figure out what your most time-consuming (or mind-numbing) tasks are and hire a Virtual Assistant for a few hours.

Take Care of Yourself

Self care is so important when you work from home. If we aren’t taking care of ourselves it is very hard to take care of others effectively. Set yourself up for success!

  • Get enough sleep
  • Eat healthy energy-giving foods
  • Drink lots of water
  • Meditate
  • Exercise
  • Listen to music
  • Visit with friends
  • Be flexible – remember that nothing ever goes exactly as planned.
  • Take time off – schedule in some full days where you can thoroughly embrace summer.

With some planning and preparation we can limit the chaos of summer vacation. Putting up firm boundaries between work time and family time helps keep one area from drowning out the other.

Our time with our kids really is fleeting so be sure to create some lasting memories this summer!

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