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Time Management In The School Holidays

By Emma Grounsell
Monday, June 24, 2019

Managing your time, business & family commitments during the summer holidays

The summer holidays are fast approaching and, if like me, you run your own business and have a family to look after, this can pose a few problems.  There is no doubt that it is hard to run a business AND look after your children at the same time and the 6 weeks or so of the summer holidays are a big chunk of time to try and balance it all.  So, what can you do?  Well, you’re going to need a little bit of time management, a whole lot planning and a great deal of patience.

Start planning now so that when the holidays begin you know you are ready and prepared. This way you can go into the holiday period knowing that everything is organised and you’re not scrabbling around at the last minute trying to organise things.

Book the kids into holiday club NOW, and book them as many sessions as you can afford. If you book early you might get a discount. If that is not an option see what other childcare you can arrange. I do a childcare swap with another mum who works from home – one day I will have her kids and another day she will have mine. It is impossible to work whilst the kids are rushing around the house and you end up not focussing on either.

Spend the last few weeks of the school term finishing as many projects as possible and getting systems in place for the summer holidays so that you have less to do when the kids are home – schedule your social media in advance, write that blog, prepare invoices, get your diary up to date.

Most importantly, work out what you can and can’t do during the holiday period. Create a list of absolutely everything you think you will need to do, for work and family. I’ve just started using a new system each week – I have a sheet with 4 columns. In the 1st column I put down everything that HAS TO HAPPEN this week – things like take the kids to Scouts and swimming. In the 2nd I put everything that I need to do related to my business, such as client work, marketing and networking. In the 3rd column I put all the other things I need to do, like laundry, cook dinner, the weekly shop. In the 4th column I put down the things I would like to do. Finally, I schedule everything in my diary. It would be worthwhile doing a similar list that covers the whole of the summer holidays.

You will need to prioritize all your projects and tasks to help you decide what absolutely HAS TO HAPPEN and what will add value to your business. Anything else needs to be parked until you have more time, or you could think about outsourcing it. Then you can create your list, as above. Just remember that you need to be realistic about what you can achieve – put the most important stuff on the list, with a realistic amount of time needed for that task. Make sure you review your list regularly because things are always going to crop up and even the best made plans can go awry.

Your diary is going to be even more important than usual because the holidays can be a bit of a juggling act, so make it work for you. Block out time in your diary for work commitments and put specific projects and tasks into those times. Also schedule in set times for being with the kids. Use times of the day that the kids don’t need you – early morning, evenings, nap times (if they’re little). Add in things like doing the weekly shop, taking the kids to clubs, getting your hair done or going to the gym.

Earlier I mentioned Outsourcing. I know that a lot of us aren’t keen to pay someone else to do things we are more than capable of doing ourselves. However, if you don’t have the time to do those tasks then you’re not actually doing them and that can impact your business. Paying someone else to do those tasks, like your social media scheduling, answering calls, invoicing, is actually an investment in your business, a sound decision rather than a failure to cope.

Can you do the same for the home stuff? Have a cleaner, ask for help from family with the laundry or shopping, get the kids to do some of the chores.

Finally, accept that it is a balancing act and that it will undoubtedly go wrong at some point, but do not beat yourself up. If you have a plan and you get organised you will know that you have done as much as you possibly can to get ready for the summer holidays. So, on that note, I will wish you a happy and productive summer with the kids!

If I can help you by taking on some admin, marketing or social media tasks and streamlining your administration process then please do get in touch.

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