It’s official. Summer break is here and as a mom and an entrepreneur, you may already be feeling stretched thin. After pushing through May with all the end of the year activities, your mantra was, “If I can just get to summer…” and now that it’s here you’re finding that you’re doing more taxing, more spending, all while needing to keep your business thriving. I understand. Right now, my son is homeschooled so we have an established schedule that works for us. Back when he was in public school, it often felt like I was constantly trying to fit my business into the very limited spaces around his schedule. There was constant noise, constant distractions, and right in the big middle of it all: vacation. There were so many forces encouraging me to blow off my business but in my heart, I knew I had to keep going!
Here are some tips to help you keep your business’ momentum during the summer so that you can meet your goals and stay relevant year-round.
- Plan It. Take control of your schedule. You may need to adapt to summer activities by adjusting your work time. Depending on your circumstance and your personal preference, you may need to block out hours earlier or at night so that you have quiet time for tasks that require the most concentration. Time block the rest of your day. Use alarms to remind you when it’s time to begin and when it’s time to set work aside so that you can meet all of your obligations. Remember, your children do not control your schedule, you do.
- Set work hour boundaries with your children. Explain to your children the expectations you have during work time and provide choices of activities that they can engage in during your work time blocks. This may take some practice to establish and your consistency is key. School-aged kids are used to structured time blocks so the key to your success is to create a plan and stick with it. When my son was young, I’d share what hours were work hours and I would give him an activity or two that he could do on his own so that he could have his own quiet time.
- Get rid of the guilt. I hear from parents who are entrepreneurs often that they feel guilty when they work that they are not spending time with their children, vice-a-versa if they are with their children, they are not working. Setting expectations, executing the plan, and being present in the moment will allow you to be your best in all of your roles. Remember, you’re setting an example for your kids. They are seeing the results of entrepreneurship first hand. Work first, play often is a great way of life! And remember, if you manage your time well, you have MORE opportunities to be present with your kids than those working traditional 9 to 5 jobs do.
- Reward your kids for respecting your boundaries. Remember, rewards aren’t bribes. While material treats may be part of your strategy, it’s also important to reward your kids with the same focus and attention that you give your work. Share an activity. Play a game. Go on an adventure. Just as you’ve asked them to respect your time, give them the gift of your undivided attention.
A parent with a full-time job and a side hustle will have additional challenges. Remember that there may have to be small sacrifices made to both work and quality time with your kids in the short-term to create better opportunities in the long run. Most of us started our businesses to create more freedom and flexibility. Then the reality and the responsibility of entrepreneurship sets in and we let fear keep us from claiming the freedom to use our time effectively and creatively. Remember that fear is just your mind focusing on scarcity rather than abundance. By honoring your time blocking and staying focused throughout the day, you can have a thriving business and a fun summer with your family.
How do you use time blocks to create time for both work and play?