It’s only Day #3 of the summer schedule (it begins when my son gets out of school), and already my “schedule” is basically non-existent. Work from home professionals — myself included — will tell you that have some sort of regular schedule for work is vital if you want to stay sane. However, sometimes it’s just so hard to stick to a work from home schedule. Especially with summer time activities vying for your attention.
On top of having my son home for the summer, we usually have a great deal of company during the summer. That only adds to the craziness. However, there are some things that can be done to tame the summer schedule a little bit. While yesterday was a bit of a mess, I’ve got a plan going forward:
Getting Help with Child Care
One of the biggest schedule busters during the summer is the fact that your children are home from school. If you are used to having your kids in school for most of the day, it can be rather startling to suddenly have them home all day. One thing you can do is consider a way to get help with child care during the summer. Hire a helper to come and play with your kids two or three days a week during the summer. A “mother’s helper” can also do light housework and prepare lunches for the kids.
Even if you can arrange a sort of child care co-op with other neighborhood parents, taking turns having the kids play at different houses. That way, you can have a couple of days a week to really get things done. During the summer I try to shift some of my work around so that when I find an unexpected block of time, I do extra so that I have free time later.
Luckily, my son is old enough that he can go to day camp. So, we have him signed up for three different week-long day camps this summer. Additionally, he has swimming lessons, and one round of Cub Scout day camp. These are times that I can get a lot of work done.
Some Kind of Schedule
I am trying to institute some sort of a schedule, though. This mainly consists of getting up at my usual time to get some of the most important tasks of the day accomplished before the household really gets moving. That didn’t work today, because I was up late last night and then I slept in. But the priority list is vital when you have an uncertain schedule.
Make a priority list of work from home tasks that must get done during the day. Tackle those first thing, so that they are done by the time things get wild. I’m fortunate that my son is old enough to amuse himself for an hour or so while I work, and then, when that runs out, I don’t mind letting him watch TV or play a video game for an hour. By that time, I’ve got most of the essentials done, and we can go for a bike ride, or make a trip to the library.
For me, during the summer, it’s about flexibility. If you work from home, how do you cope with the changes summer brings to your schedule?
Miranda is freelance journalist. She specializes in topics related to money, especially personal finance, small business, and investing. You can read more of my writing at Planting Money Seeds.