Surviving the Summer Holidays when Self-Employed

summer holidayThey’re nearly over but the six week summer break can be a difficult time for self-employed mums and dads who are used to their children being in school or nursery. It can be even harder to juggle and it can make sticking to deadlines and providing clients with the same level of care tricky. I’d be lying if I said it was easy to get through but it is possible, with a bit of planning. Below are some ways you can ensure the next summer holiday runs a little more smoothly.

Managing the Children

Whether it’s actually possible to ‘manage’ children at all is a post in its own right but when it comes to the summer break, there will need to be some logistical things sorted out. Plan your work in blocks and then consider how you’re going to approach these blocks with the kids. It could be there are local holiday clubs, friends who are more than happy to have another child or two tagging along or your partner may be able to take time off to give you a chance to catch up. If you have other WAHMs as friends locally then it could be a chance to give each other a lift and take turns with the kids.

There will be times when you need to work and the children can’t be anywhere but with you but older children can usually be occupied with a task or two, they may even have a summer project from school and if you know you need an hour, there’s always the option of a favourite film or TV series, for those moments where you know the work can’t wait.

Managing your Workload

Working from home as a parent is always a bit of a juggling act but becomes even more so over the summer. If you have any long-term clients who you are on particularly good terms with you could negotiate deadlines to give you more breathing space and of course, always prioritise the most urgent work first. If finances allow avoid taking on anything new or time consuming, unless you can negotiate a deadline after the summer break.

Another effective way of managing your workload is to automate everything you can automate. You can plan and write things such as summer blog posts and summer newsletters in advance and you can also schedule in your social media in one fell swoop each day or even each week dependent on your business. Having an out of office on your email gives you more scope to vet the things that land in your Inbox, even if it is something as simple as ‘I will get back to you in 24/48 hours’. Your availability may cause friction with some clients but they should understand if you’re up front from the beginning and don’t spring it on them. Similarly you could put in the extra hours before the summer break to make the weeks at home with the kids a little less packed full of work.

Ask for Help

Asking for help isn’t always easy but for the sake of your business and perhaps even your family during the break, it’s important to make sure you’re ready to ask when you need to. It could be asking a parent or family member to have a children for a couple of hours so you can finish an essential project or it could be asking for recommendations of local holiday clubs and childcare available on a short term basis over the break.

This post makes the summer holidays sound a bit like six weeks of hell but they don’t have to be and it’s a chance to enjoy some time with your children, so ensuring your work is arranged to allow for it is essential.