Each school holiday brings a range of issues for those of us who have children and run their own business. Especially when your children are young it can be a real challenge to sort out child care and juggle work and home.
In the modern world, the raising of children doesn’t get the kudos it deserves. In order to have a functional, effective and caring society we need to have spent time with our children and shown them how to be good citizens and further good human being. Our role as parents is to ensure that this happens.
Yet, on the other hand, we have to earn a living and running a business is demanding. These kids have a range of demands on your finances so keeping the income flowing is also crucial.
Here are some things that can help you through the school holidays.
- Ditch the guilt – We feel guilty for taking time out to spend with our children and not focus on business, we feel guilty for focusing on our business and not taking time out for our children. Guilt gnaws at us and affects our productivity. Ditch the guilt.Your children are important and caring them is the most important job in the world. Don’t ever feel guilty spending time with them, as before you know it they will have grown up and left the nest. If your business is your income provider, then don’t feel guilty when you have to work because it helps provide for you children. Either way, the guilt is not helpful.
- Live life 100% – Studies show that multitasking isn’t at all effective. Doing one thing at 40% and another at 60% at the same time means that your work is less productive, as it takes you longer to complete, creates more frustration and leaves you feeling exhausted and unfulfilled. By focusing 100% on one thing at a time you are able to complete so much more.If you are playing with your children, then give them your complete focus and play with them. They want attention more than anything else so give it to them. Once you have done this you are in a better position to take the time out that you need to work and focus on your business 100%. One hour of completely focused work is much more productive than several hours of half focus.
- Take time off – If your children are home and you work from home then it’s really important to accept when you are beaten. Plan your business around these times from the beginning of the year. When half term comes instead of struggling, plan the time that you will spend with your children in advance and let your clients know that you are unavailable. “Out of office” is something that you need to start using. It also educates your clients that you are not on 24-hour call for them. This time off provides your brain with a break as well, and you will find that you that your brain will find solutions whilst you engage in some well-deserved down time.
- Ask for help – No person is an island, we are part of a community and we all need help. So ask for it. You can arrange play dates with other parents, which will allow you to have some time to yourself then go ahead and do so. Ask family and friends to help out even if it’s just for a couple of hours. Outsource support for your business, if necessary, to fill the gap; you can use a phone answering service or a virtual assistant to help during these times and hey you might find that you need this support anyway.
- Create Me for Me Time – Sometimes you just need to barricade yourself in the bathroom and take some essential “me time.” There is a lot to manage when juggling family commitments and business, so you need to take some time out for yourself. This is a time when the whole family knows not to disturb you and you pursue your own interests. This could be a hobby, reading a book in the bath, talking a long walk, going to a coffee shop to do nothing but drink a nice cup of something and eat a slice of cake. What is important is that you do something for you that does not include your family or your business.
Whatever you choose to do ensure that don’t sweat the small stuff, enjoy the journey because sooner than you think your children’s time for holidays will be over. Then you’ll be wondering when they are coming home to see you, so make the most of the time now.
Have a great half term.