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Summer is coming and public schools are finishing up for the year. If you’re used to your kids being at school for several hours each day while you grow your business, you might wonder how in the world you’ll get any work done this summer when your kids are home.
As a homeschooling mom of eight, I have a slightly different opinion of summers. Since we cut back on our schooling over the summer, I get more work time these next few months.
However, I do know a thing or two about growing a business with a house full of kids. So I put together some of my best tips that you can use this summer. They’ll help you find a good balance of life and work, and make time for your business despite the increase in interruptions.
Minimize Your Decisions
Your brain only has so much space. You’ve got to minimize your decisions and free up some brain power.
What do I mean by minimize your decisions? Here’s a quick video to explain:
So now that you know why you should minimize your decisions, how can you make it happen?
- Make a meal plan
- Create a cleaning schedule with a chore chart
- Make a list of activities your kids can do when they’re bored so you don’t have to try to think of them off the top of your head
- Start each day by listing your top three priorities. Write them down so you don’t forget!
- Figure out what you need to do each night to prepare for the day before. Write down your evening routine and stick with it as often as you can.
Look for any bottlenecks in your day, and anticipate problem areas. Think through these now, so you have a plan for getting through them.
The more decisions you can premake, the smoother your day will go.
Implement Family Writing Time
If you’re looking for a kid-friendly way to get some work done this summer, implement Family Writing Time. This is a chunk of time when everyone in the family sits down to work quietly on a project.
My eBook The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Family Writing Time: A Busy Mom’s Guide to Getting More Done walks you through the process of setting up this time. By implementing Family Writing Time for 30 minutes each weekday, you’ll gain 2.5 hours of quiet work time each week.
Summer is a time for family fun. Your kids are out of school, and it’s your time to enjoy them! Make playing together a priority.
Put it on your schedule. Then stick to it.
The more often you have fun when you said you would, the easier it’ll be for your kids to entertain themselves when it’s time for you to work.
What does your family enjoy? Here are some ideas for inexpensive family fun:
- Go on a drive to explore your part of the country
- Pack a picnic lunch and head to the park
- Play a board game
- Dress up and have a dance party
- Try your hand at juggling or another new skill
- Cook something fun
- Compete in some simple carnival style games – watermelon seed spit, throw balls into a stack of plastic cups to try to knock them down, ring the bottle, etc.
- Watch a movie
- Sit outside on a blanket at night and watch the stars
You don’t have to spend money to make memories with your kids. These simple activities don’t have to take long. What’s important is that you are purposefully spending time together.
Ditch your cell phone during your scheduled fun time. No fair trying to work while you’re supposed to be playing. Otherwise you’re teaching your kids that it’s okay to interrupt you for some fun while you’re trying to work.
During this time, enjoy your family. Don’t think about your growing to-do list. Instead, make the decision to walk away for a little bit. You’ll come back with more creativity and energy to work.
Involve Your Kids
Summer is the perfect time for your kids to learn new skills. Put them to work for you!
What kind of activities do your kids enjoy? What are their talents?
Use these questions to brainstorm ways they can help. Younger kids won’t be as much help as older ones, but you can use this time to build a solid foundation. They will get better and be more helpful!
Here are some ideas for ways to integrate your kids into your business:
- Let them double-check your books
- Have them proofread your posts
- Encourage them to read your posts aloud to you so you can look for areas where your voice falters
- Let them take over your social media accounts for a week
- Record a video together
- Give them some props and a camera (your phone works well!) and have them take flat-lays for you.
- Let them try making your pins and cover images for your blog posts
- Brainstorm post topics together
- Get help with research – teens are often very adept at tracking down the perfect reference material on Google
If you need more ideas, this post can help.
Your kids benefit from you having a business, especially if you’re willing to show them the ropes a bit. You’re helping inspire an entrepreneurial spirit in them. And who knows, one day they may start a business of their own.
Summer is the perfect time to set a big goal. Then tell your kids all about it.
Think of a way to track your progress as a family. A thermometer on the wall where your kids can color in each section is a fun idea. So is a countdown style paper chain.
To build enthusiasm, pick a reward that everyone will enjoy. What will happen when you meet the goal?
Will you head to the water park?
Or take an overnight vacay?
So many possibilities! Pick something your family will love, that you don’t normally do. It’s a splurge, because it’s a reward for a lot of work.
When your kids know that there’s a purpose behind your time at the computer, they’re going to want you working. They’ll cheer you on and encourage you to get some work done.
Your reward will motivate your kids to entertain themselves while you’re working.
Get Everyone on the Same Page
I like to start everyday with a morning meeting. During this time we all talk about what we need to do that day. We share the priorities of the day, and what we’ll do that’s fun.
When everyone is on the same page with expectations, it helps you work together towards accomplishing the day’s goals. \
Your Attitude Is Crucial When You Need to Get Work Done This Summer
Kids are great at picking up on our attitudes and rising and falling to meet whatever expectations we have for them.Your attitude is crucial.
Are you dreading the summer and complaining that your kids are just going to be in the way and be loud?
Or are you excited to spend some time with your precious children before the next school year starts?
These are two completely different attitudes, and you can bet your kids know exactly which one you have. They will act accordingly.
Your children are a blessing. They are not here to make your life miserable and keep you from doing everything that you want to do.
So decide now that this will be a great summer. Make up your mind that you will enjoy your time together. This attitude shift will make a huge difference in your productivity.
Here’s to a productive summer to us all!
If you have any other tips to help mompreneurs get work done this summer, please share in the comments below.
Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.