By Kim Okubo
Working from home is pretty simple and routine during the school year, but when the kids are home for the summer, getting through the day in the home office is not so simple, nor routine. Running a business and running after the kids simultaneously is not an easy task, but it is doable with a little coffee and some pre-planning:
1) Start Before Them. Wake up before they do and get your critical thinking tasks done before the kids wake up. The house is silent and the hour or two you have can be magical, productive time, and an excellent way to start off your workday.
2) Know Your Kids. Are they quiet, independent players in the morning? Do they have a quiet time/nap time in the afternoon? These are the ideal times to set up conference calls and online meetings. Keep juice boxes, kid-size water bottles, and healthy pre-made snacks within your reach in case your child comes to you hungry or thirsty and you cannot start prepping a snack in the middle of your call. Keep books and coloring supplies on your desk so if your little one wants to help mommy, they can without affecting your paperwork.
3) Take a Break. If your children start getting antsy, take a break and get some fresh air. Go for a thirty-minute bike ride or play tetherball. It will be good for you and them.
4) Quiet Reading Time. Bigger kids can read to the little ones or read quietly to themselves. There are a number of summer reading lists at bookstores and libraries. They can bank this time for “fun bucks” to be used for the movies, amusement park, or video game time at the end of the week.
5) Playdates. Switch days with other moms in your neighborhood who work from home. This is an inexpensive way to get some free time to focus on your work.
6) Know Your Limits. Extend your time frames to give yourself a little leeway during the summer months if you can. Keep it realistic. Say no to opportunities that can wait. Opportunities will come and go, but don’t sacrifice family time for work during the summer.
Kids are great with routine. Keep your workdays at home as consistent as possible. And don’t forget to put the home office away (both mentally and physically) and enjoy the few summer months you have with your children. They grow up so fast, and eighteen summers will fly by before you know it.
About the Author
Kim is passionate about networking in the health and fitness industry. She is a work at home mom (athlete manager), and has two boys ages 7 and 13.
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