True or False?
- The school holidays are coming up, you run your business from home and that makes you the perfect candidate for looking after the kids because you can do your work whilst they entertain themselves.False: That may be what other members of your family think but if you have tried to combine business and childcare before, you know how difficult it can be to juggle the two.
- It is possible to enjoy the school holidays when you run your business from home.True: With a little planning, it is possible to balance your business and the needs of a busy family life during the school holidays.
If you run your business from home, school holidays can be extremely challenging. There is a complete change of routine and you do not have the peace and quiet you are used to.
Anyone with children knows they seem to have a radar ability to know when you are concentrating on a critical point in your work. That is the point when, normally well-behaved children, suddenly start to argue. They argue over who’s turn it is to choose what to watch on TV, who isn’t being nice to who and, despite the fact you have bought them plenty of toys and gadgets and one each of most things, they all still seem to want to use or play with the same one at the same time.
What can you do to make school holidays something to enjoy, not endure?
I have written this article, not to give you tips on child-rearing, but to give practical ideas on ways you can successfully balance family and work during these weeks. After all, whilst it is always a tough call balancing time for business and time for family, think about your reasons for setting up on your own in the first place. Wasn’t it them that you had in mind?
Do what you can during term time
Do you have to make regular blog posts or newsletters? Try to do them during term time. If you are doing one a week can you do 2 or more a week and have them to one side so that during the holidays that is one less job to do. Your blogs and newsletters can be published by schedule during the holidays.
Even if you haven’t got your blogs and newsletters fully edited during term-time, do as much as you possibly can so that with just a few tweaks you can publish them during the holidays.
Schedule your social media
Do you use a scheduling app for your Social Media posts such as HootSuite Free, Buffer, Social Oomph or Quuu? If you don’t, now might be the time to look at these apps.
If you are using these regularly look at whether it is worth upgrading for the duration of the holidays. If the upgrade provides something that will make your life easier upgrade for the period of the holidays and schedule as much as you can before the holidays start. You can always downgrade again in September.
Schedule your holiday
You probably have got a couple of weeks vacation scheduled during the holidays, but if not, consider scheduling one day off a week or even a staycation to spend with the family. Most sole traders do this from time to time. Some business people will make a post on social media to let their customers know they are going to be away and give the date they will return.
If you are running your business from your home you may not want to broadcast to the world that you are going to be away. In that case, you might want to let your most important clients know. They understand they will still be able to reach you if they need to. The chances are some of your contacts will be taking some time off too.
Schedule your Day
It is unlikely you are going to have a day to yourself where you can just get on with your work. Instead, adjust your mindset. Decide how the day is going to work best for you in your circumstances.
If your kids are a bit older and like a lie in, could you get up early and do a little bit of extra work before they get up?
If your other half works during the day but is at home during the evenings could you, for the duration of the holidays, do your work during the evenings.
Yes, both options require sacrifices of your personal time, but in the circumstances isn’t it worth it to make things work for you and your family?
If you do have to spend some of your day working whilst the kids are amusing themselves set time limits. Every half hour or so leave your workspace and let them see your face so they know that you are still keeping an eye on them.
Schedule business trips and meetings
If you need to travel on business consider whether the whole family can take a day out. Check before hand to see if there is an attraction in the locality your family would like to visit. Maybe you could make a day out of it, they could go to the attraction, you could do your meeting and meet up with them later.
If you don’t do this already, consider outsourcing. The beauty of outsourcing is that it is not something you have to do all year round. If you do outsource for the duration of the holidays you can spend the precious time saved with your family – in a way having your cake and eating it.
Think about the businesses that you know or use already and what they can do for you to make your life easier for the next few weeks.
Giving matters your full attention
It is often said that whatever you do, give it your full attention. This advice is going to be especially difficult to apply during the holidays. Be aware that it can be a problem and remember giving full attention for just 10 or 15 minutes at a time to either your family or your business is going to be more effective than trying to balance the two for longer periods of time.
After the holidays
Give yourself a half day or day off. This may sound counter intuitive but it will give you the mental break you need to refresh your thoughts and dive back in.
I provide typing services and admin support. If you have reports, emails, blogs and newsletters to prepare before or during the holidays you can dictate these in a quarter of the time it would take you to type. Also if you need any additional admin support during that time, please do get in touch with me on 07974 701526 or email [email protected] Let’s chat about how I can help your business.
Whether you choose to use my services or not I hope you find these suggestions useful and have fantastic holidays with your family.
FREEDOM TO GET LOST IN THE WORK YOU LOVE
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