Warning: this post is for the mamas.
However, if you need help really tackling your time...read up!
Summer is here and your amazing babes are home with you. You have it all planned out, you will wake up at 5 A.M. and work before they wake up. By 8 A.M. you will have breakfast on the table for them. Some morning quality time before you start back at 10 am. You planned activities to keep them entertained until lunch time.
Your babes have another plan which deviates fully from your plan. You end up apologizing to your clients for the loud outbursts that keep coming through your end of Skype. If you have more than one child you may have to break a few disagreements up that only the honorable judge Mama has the ability to settle.
And all of this occurred day 1 before lunch.
Welcome to the summer...solopreneur stay at home mama edition.
Summer camp, sitters & nannies make this thing work smoothly. Believe me when I tell you. Even if just for a few hours a day. You quickly learn to maximize how much you can get done in two hours. Honestly, most of our days are transitioning from one thing to the next. So when you alleviate transitions and just get it done...you activate your productivity super power.
First thing first: Life happens. There will be dramaticals (kid induced dramatic situations that really aren’t that serious)! You will be annoyed, they will be annoyed. Hug it out and (or) have a water balloon fight.
For my service provider mamas: first thing you need to do is decide how many client hours you are offering over the summer and what your active office hours.
I have a client, whom we'll call Dani. This is her first summer working full time in her growing business. Dani has two daughters aged 3 years old and 6 years old. Her partner works outside the home and is usually home by 6 pm.
Dani set her office hours to 10am-2pm Tuesday through Thursday. These are the times she meets with clients and is available for clients. Monday's and Thursday's she offers evening hours on a case by case basis. Dani decided based on her current retainer clients, projects, and summer vacations she would take on 4 additional clients for the summer. How many clients are you able to take on?
Plan your schedule with your babes if they are old enough to contribute.
Where do they want to go during the day?
What do they want to learn? (Learning is year round. Make it fun. Have themes.)
Libraries have awesome summer programs for kids of all ages.
Keep an area/drawer full of activities for them to entertain themselves with during your office hours.
Enroll your babes in activities. These activities usually have a set time & you can bring your laptop & work on the go.
Establish lunch and snack times. Hangry (hungry + angry) mini humans are no bueno for business.
You are solopreneur extraordinaire and summer camp leader. Children love structure and order, despite the word "no" being a fave of theirs.
Just like camp there are schedules that are followed. Another schedule, Kimber? I'm already busy.
I know most creatives despise schedules. However, this takes 30 minutes at most, done once, and guess what? You will then have a summer full of good times with your babes & a thriving biz.
Here's a sample of the camp Dani & I devised:
Monday’s are transitional. Getting in the groove from the weekend and getting the crack down on biz. ½ the day is fun and the other ½ is business. Administrative work is fit in around active child activities. Pinterest has summer activities for kids, older kids and teens.
Friday are free days. Which means go outside and enjoy the sunshine.
Tuesday through Thursday:
7am -10am quality time w/ babes (breakfast, cuddles, play & talks, reminder of office hours)
10-12 client time
12:30-2 client time
2pm on is flexible
Client time is usually free time for the babes to play and have individual enrichment time.
Pick two days out the month (weekends are perfect) to batch content (blog posts, podcasts, videos, social media images).
There will be days after your client hours when you just aren’t able to get your administrative work done. Acknowledge that now.
Yes, it is okay.
Your business is not going to fall apart, you are just going to have to move things around. The recommended advice is “work when your children are asleep.” Being a realistic mama of three, sometimes when they are sleep, I want to be asleep too. So times when I normally "chill," are converted to work times.
When your children are awake outside of office hours, be present with them. They will always be your best consumers.
Chic Tips to Mastery this summer:
Turn off your Email alerts. Use Inbox Pause to pause your email. You check your email too much. You really do. If you check your email more than thrice (2-3 times) a day, that’s too much. Unless President Obama is emailing you. Pause it, so you won’t even be tempted to check and respond.
Delegate tasks. If you think outsourcing and hiring contractors is expensive, stay up for 24 hours being super mom and solopreneur. Delegate household tasks too (chores & cooking to your huni or older babes).
Review your schedule the night before & the morning of.
Stick to the boundaries you set- work hours or work space. This gives you the freedom to concentrate fully on the tasks at hand - work or play.
Get your rest. 7-8 hours non negotiable. You are of no service to your clients or children burned out.
Self-care needs to be scheduled in. Click here for self-care ideas.
Brain dump a minimum of once a week or whenever you start to feel overwhelmed.
Identify time wasters. Write them on post-it notes and place around your computer to remind you NOT to waste time. (Facebook is mine. I use StayFocused to block certain sites & track my time.)