Summer as a parent and business owner can be tough. Not only do you have the usual juggling act of parenting and work to contend with, you also have to keep the children entertained during the holiday.
Regardless of whether you’re a first-time parent, raising toddlers or teenagers, or have one or three children, these top 10 tips will help you learn how to survive the summer – as a parent & business owner!
#1: Adjust your schedule
Cut down on the number of projects you take on, or the hours you need to work during the summer months. Adjust your working day, so you can work early in the day or late in the evening, to minimise disruption and maximise focused working time.
#2: Narrow down your focus to survive the summer
Multitasking is never a good idea, in terms of maximising on your time or getting anything done. (If in doubt, check out this recent article on why multitasking doesn’t work – and what to do instead). Instead, look to get super-focused on one specific task at a time. As mentioned in the previous point, cutting down on the number of projects you have, will help narrow your focus. You can also ensure you’re dedicated blocks of time to one specific task, to ensure everything is getting your attention throughout your available working hours.
#3: Call in a Virtual PA
Make use of your Virtual PA! During the summer holiday period ensure you’re utilising your time with your PA and even extend her hours if needed, so you can outsource more from your own task list.
#4: Get some home help
It isn’t just your working day that could use a little outsourcing – think about your home life too. Whether it’s hiring a cleaner, gardener, babysitter or nanny, look to get the help you need, to leave your time free to split between your work and your family.
#5: Schedule in family and fun time
We all know, if something isn’t scheduled into your calendar, the chances are it won’t happen. If you’re serious about wanting to have fun with your family during the summer (and even some fun on your own!) make sure you pencil a suitable, regular slot into your calendar.
#6: Research suitable days out
Your kids will want your input on how they can survive the summer holidays. Not only do they need you to spend some time with them, they also need you to play taxi service occasionally too! Have a list of suitable days out and things to do, for when inspiration is needed. If you know what your options are, as well as how much it’s likely to cost, you’ll find it easier to keep the kids entertained during the summer. You can easily outsource this to your Virtual PA, so you’re ready to hit the beach, zoo, park etc…
#7: Get the children involved in your business
All children get a kick out of helping you with grown up work. More often than not, your little kids like to play house and get involved with the housework, whilst the older ones enjoy screens and electronic gadgets. So why not put that to good use? Get the kids involved in your work and home tasks. Let the younger ones file things away for you, whilst their older siblings are creating things in Canva or carrying out research. Get them to work together, making the meals or cleaning up the house. Find out what they naturally enjoy doing and employ that passion!
#8: Encourage their entrepreneurial spirit!
Bring out the entrepreneurial spirit inside your children and get them to set up their own little business. Not only will it encourage them to become a budding entrepreneur, it also enables them to earn their own money and flex their mental and creative muscles. Good ideas include – babysitting, mowing lawns, cleaning cars, petsitting – and even online jobs such as creating in Canva!
#9: Know when to quit
Sometimes, the only way to survive the summer is to know when to quit. This isn’t referring to walking out of your job and leaving your career though! It simply means there will be times when it’s impossible for you to get the peace and quiet needed to concentrate on your work, without jeopardising your sanity or patience. If your children are winding you up, having a shouting match with each other over the remote, or simply too hyperactive to sit still and be quiet – quit while you’re ahead. Don’t let it get to the stage where you’re so mad at them and yourself, that you’re too stressed out to do any work anyway.
#10: Learn to switch off and drop the guilt
The summer is often a testing time for any parent. Not only do you have your usual juggling act going on, there’s the added issue of having the children around more and having to keep them entertained.
Using the tips above will help you to survive the summer, but you also need to make it a rule to actually switch off from work and enjoy time with your children – and drop any guilt you have over that, in the process. You’re a parent and a business owner, but you’re also entitled to live both those roles in a way that suits you. Surviving the summer is not just about having a plan in place, it’s about giving yourself permission to enjoy both those roles, totally and unapologetically.