As entrepreneurs, we sometimes find ourselves pulled in many directions at once. Working from home can add a whole other dimension to this challenge. It can be difficult to keep focused on doing your job from home when your family is also competing for you time. This can be especially challenging when your children are home from school on summer break! So how can you keep focused when your kids are home this summer? Read on for some of my favorite tips!
- Create work hours
When you have to work, and your children are trying to get your attention, you can feel like you are somehow neglecting or ignoring them. You have to realize that you have a job, you have to work, and you are not neglecting them because of that. If you work from home, they are already getting far more attention from you than if you worked in an office. Don’t ignore them, but don’t feel guilty for doing your job either, simple set up working hours and stick to them. When my son was much younger, I would adjust my summer schedule to match his. This meant that I woke up literally 5 hours before him. Every day, I had a large chunk of my work finished before he woke up and I would finish my work day during nap time or when he went to bed at night.
- Send them to a friend/Have a friend over
This might seem counter-intuitive, as having another kid over seems like it could double the distraction. But, and this does depend on the kids, it can also free up a lot of time. Your children can intrude and distract you for a number of reasons, but the main one is usually that they are bored. Inviting one of their friends over will give them something to do. Of course, be available if they need you for something important. Hey, even better, maybe take your kid over to their friend’s house to free up a few hours of your day for work! Come up with a schedule with their parent about days when the kids are at your house and days when they are at their house.
- Have a dedicated office with a closed door
Having a dedicated home office in one of the rooms of your home with a solid door is essential for working at home. When you are working close the door. Sounds deceptively easy. Teach your child that, when the door is closed, you are working hard on something and need to be alone for a little while to do it. Make sure they understand that they can absolutely knock on the door if there is any kind of an emergency or problem. It won’t work all the time, but could reduce the number of interruptions throughout the day. Turns out the old adage “Out of sight, out of mind” is true for kids too!
- Childcare is an option
Childcare isn’t for everyone. It can be expensive and occasionally difficult to find a quality caregiver. But if you do have the resources, it can be a lifesaver. Finding a great caregiver that you can take your kids to for a few hours will give you a distraction-free environment! You could also ask your parents or another relative to spend time with them for a few hours each week. If you have two sets of grandparents nearby, this can actually free up TWO days a week. Imagine that!
- Reduce your workload
Take a look at your workload and figure out what parts of it you can delegate to others. Writing blog posts, scheduling emails, social media, these things can take up a huge chunk of your time. By assigning these tasks to an employee, or outsourcing them to a virtual assistant, you can get focused on the work that only you can do. This can reduce your stress level and free up a lot of time, time that you can spend with your children while they are home for summer.
- Take a summer vacation
Every summer, I try to sneak away on at least one summer vacation with my family. This way I can spend a few days focused solely on my family, and it really helps with my work/life balance. These short trips make me work harder during my regular schedule and gives everyone in my family something fun to look forward to, it’s a win-win overall. The work/life balance can be a delicate one for entrepreneurs, and it can get even more tricky when your work is done from home – especially when your children are home from school for summer break! You need to make clear that this is your job and you need to do it without distraction. Once this sinks in, you will be able to find a good work/life balance that works for you and works for your family.
Another way you can help with the challenges working from home can bring in the summer is by hiring a virtual assistant team to lighten your load and free up your schedule. Take advantage of my free download How to Use a Virtual Assistant Team to Grow Your Business & Get Your Life Back workbook and see the ways a virtual assistant team can help you out.