Working from home when you have kids can be a dream or a nightmare, depending on how well you lay out your logistics plan. Yep. You need big-time Amazon-like logistics. And I really mean it! Ideally, your kids are at school while you work as productive as hell to be able to enjoy some quality time with them when they get home. But if you’re not productive, my friend, you’re gonna sweat when pick-up time comes near. Aren’t those the most productive 30 minutes of the whole day! But what happens during the summer vacation? How do you work from home when your kids have holidays?
I remember those times when I had no children… Taking a vacation from work in August was a no-go! That’s the month where everybody goes on summer holidays, which means that companies look for backup freelancers… And there was me waiting for those new customers! Besides, August is the most expensive month to travel! But now that I have kids, I do want to spend their school holidays with them. That’s why I became a freelancer, right? To be in control of my own time!
There’s a little problem though… My kids have around 10 weeks off in a row! And that’s a bit too much to go on vacation, right? So how can you get your work done and be a non-hysterical mom at the same time? Believe me, when you have a due date for work delivery, and you can’t find the time to get it done on time… Becoming hysterical isn’t that hard to get 😉
10 Strategies to work from home when your kids have holidays
- Set a fix number of hours you’re going to need to work each week. Your kids are around and it’s summertime, so try to squeeze all your work to 4 hours per day. If you get to work more than that, awesome, but don’t overcalculate your time!
- Setting priorities is key! Anything related to project deliveries to customers has priority #1.
- Answering emails & communication can be as important as the actual project delivery, but try to automize it to the max.
- Plan each week in advance. Block one-hour time slots for all tasks with priority #1. If there’s any time left, priority #2 and so on. But keep the order! Even if you think you could start a project a couple of days later – you still have time -, I strongly suggest you did it anyways! The sooner you get it done, the better. We don’t want to play with fate, do we? 😉
- Figure out what your sweet spot is: Waking up earlier than the rest and getting half the work done before family breakfast? Working in the evenings when everyone is asleep? If you’re going to get up early but YOU KNOW that your smallest child is going to wake up half an hour later, don’t do this to yourself 😉 Stay in bed and wait for them to get busy with something else. And the other way around – Are you certain that they aren’t going to bed early enough ’cause they’re on holidays and they want to watch a movie after dinner? Then, let them do that and set your alarm to wake up early – They’ll be too tired in the morning if they went bed late 😉
- If you split your work time – a couple of hours when everyone is asleep and a couple of hours sometime during the day -, have special activities ready for your kids. Something they won’t normally do the rest of the day. Make them clear that you’re not to be disturbed – and that that’s the only moment they’ll get to play/watch/do whatever the special activity is.
- Plan something fun for all of you! Make sure they understand that the sooner you’re done with your work, the sooner you’ll be able to do something fun with them. But still, try not to work too long if they aren’t collaborating… You’d only get stressed out, and that isn’t fair for none of you 😉 If it doesn’t work at a specific moment, just let go and try a couple of hours later. That’s why it’s so important to get priority #1 ready ASAP!
- It’s creativity time! Are you going to register them for any summer activities? Can you take your laptop with you and work while you’re waiting for them? Could you get someone take the children away for a couple of hours? They’re going to have much more fun going out than staying at home – and you can use that time to work on the tasks you need more concentration for.
- Can you get any help to watch out for your kids while you go to a coworking space/coffee shop/anywhere you can get some focus? Do it! Your kids and your inner balance will thank you for that!
- Is it possible for you to work in advance? Then do it! Work as much as you can before the holidays begin and enjoy the summer months a bit more 😉
If there’s something you should take away from this post is this: Set priorities, plan your week and don’t fight it when YOU KNOW it ain’t gonna work – If you can’t get help and go out to work some other place, you’d better leave it for later. Just make sure you use your time productively and wisely 😉 And have fun!!
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