Summer’s here, and as nice as it is to have the kids home, this can create a challenge for home-based business owners. The ability to find time to be with the children during summer break while maintaining a successful business is something many sole proprietors and small business owners attempt to juggle each year.
To avoid stress and the guilt many working parents face, the key is in working more efficiently so extra family time becomes available. These tips can help parents who run a business from their home to maintain productivity throughout the summer months without having to remain holed up in the home office all day long while everyone else enjoys the sun.
Having the kids around in the summer shouldn’t mean being unable to finish the To-Do list.
1. Create a Family-Friendly Schedule.
The schedule that works during the school year may not work at all during summertime. Create a calendar with everyone’s activities on it, and plan the work schedule to fit.
2. Schedule Regular Help.
A babysitter, neighbor, or part-time summer nanny can provide the home-based business owner with blocks of time for uninterrupted productivity.
3. Be Proactive with Summer Financial Needs.
Working extra throughout the school year allows business owners to put money aside for summer financial needs so they can work less hours when the kids are home. An alternative to this is a company such as Billfloat, which helps with bill payment now and allows the borrower to repay later.
4. Share Home Responsibilities.
Each family member should be responsible for particular household chores so free time can be spent on fun activities, not housecleaning.
5. Maintain Separate Office Space.
A separate room or workspace allows the business owner to work free of distractions and helps them maintain professionalism while on the phone with clients.
6. Eliminate Time-Wasting Activities.
Working at home can lead to many distractions such as household chores, personal phone calls or time wasted on social media sites. Eliminating these time-wasters during work hours can help the business person reduce the length of their workday.
7. Be Flexible.
Be willing to change the schedule as needed to avoid feeling stressed out when family needs arise.
8. Take Advantage of the Park District.
Park District activities offer a variety of fun, summertime activities for kids and keep them busy during a parent’s work hours. They’re also cost-effective for parents on a budget.
9. Plan Everyone’s “Work Day.”
Making sure everyone has something to keep them busy while mom or dad works will prevent boredom and misbehavior during business hours.
10. Make a Clear Distinction Between Work and Family Time.
When the workday is over, close the office door and leave work behind. Kids need undivided attention for a portion of each day and will be more inclined to cooperate during office hours if they see that the rest of the day is designated for family time.
Work smarter instead of harder to have more time with family during the summer months.
Well Worth the Effort
Getting summertime routines up and running so the kids are busy and parents are productive can be challenging. But once the routine is established and followed with consistency, everyone will know what to expect, and the daily schedule will move along more easily.
These tips should be used in a manner that works best for each, individual family. As any home-based business owner knows, no two families are alike, and efficient business techniques employed by a work-at-home parent should be beneficial to their specific family.
Flexibility, as noted above, is the key to success. Tips that work one week may not work as well the next. Go with the flow and don’t become rattled; adjusting the summer schedule to be productive and enjoy family time is well worth the effort.
Mary Ylisela is an author, successful home-based business owner, and single parent who worked from home while raising three children. They’ve all made it through no worse for the wear.