You’ve got yourself into a steady workflow. Feeling like you are smashing through your business goals and being a badass mum boss. Then suddenly, the summer holidays kick in and you question both your sanity and what’s going to happen to your productive work days…
Whether you are new to this or have been doing it for a while, trying to learn how to function as your own boss is a continuous journey. Managing time. Invoices. Projects. Emails. Social media and of course staying motivated are just a few things on the ever growing to do list.
Add in the summer holidays and the kids into the mix and your productivity game is thrown into the air!
If you are anything like me then you will go from thinking:
‘Fuck it, i’m not working, i just need to spend quality time with my child’ and ‘oh my god, I have 5 deadlines that I can’t get done because they are off school!’ Parenting guilt mixed with business owner guilt is the worst.
In this blog post we look at 5 productivity hacks to help you smash through the summer holidays and those business goals. That way you come out the other side still feeling like that badass mum boss!
5 productivity hacks to smash your business goals;
Don’t try and do it all.
Slightly controversial for this blog piece but an important piece of advice. Summer holidays are a transitional period. Don’t measure how productive you are in the summer holidays against any other working week, when you don’t have 3 kids, 2 dogs, 10 children’s parties and a constant mess in the house to clean and attend to. You should consider ‘high performance’ during this period as succeeding beyond standard norms whilst keeping a healthy mindset. Rather than asking yourself if you completed everything on your list, ask yourself if you’ve got through the day relaxed and productive. It’s more about ticking the right things off the list than everything.
Make a list, batch those tasks and do the hardest thing first.
It’s okay to have a long running list that you store somewhere. For ultimate productivity make a list of 3-5 important tasks that you need to get done. Use the longer to check what’s important and decide which things are a priority. This will ensure you are not overwhelmed with endless amounts of tasks. Have a look at that list and see what you can batch together – which come with similar tasks? For example, If you’ve got calls to make, do them all at once so you are in that mindset. Switching context between activities wastes so much time and it’s less productive from a headspace point of view. It’s helpful for your brain to focus on one area at a time. First, knock out the tasks that you find the hardest or the ones you don’t like that much. Do this when you have the most energy and brain capacity. Our bodies naturally have this earlier in the day, but work with it and what’s best for you (I weirdly tend to work better at night).
Use your network of other mum bosses.
Have you got a network of people that can either help you out? Either with childcare or take on some work for you while you enjoy some time with the kids? I know other mums who ask people to ‘cover them’ while they take a break (that are in the same industry). Or they take it in turns to take the kids. Don’t be afraid to have those conversations with your network as you never know what solutions you may come up with – you don’t ask you don’t get and all that!
Summer camp is a must for us! Marley’s just gone on her first 6 week summer holiday and I was shitting it in the lead up. Were we going to be able to work? Would I keep her entertained the whole time? HOW WOULD I WORK?! We booked Marley into 2 x four day weeks at Supercamps (its brilliant BTW) and four days at a dance camp the following week. I then made sure we were then on holiday abroad for the last two weeks of the holidays. Its been a breeze. She’s absolutely loved every minute of it. I know in my heart she’s having a better time than if we trying to fit working around keeping her entertained. Yes, camps come at a price but it was worth every penny for us. She even asked to go in for extra days that we hadn’t booked! Do I feel any guilt…ZERO!
Create a designated workspace at home.
We all know that working from home takes an incredible amount of discipline. We have to set boundaries to allow ourselves to be more productive. Create a space at home. Either as an office, a corner of a table or in your bedroom. Just create your space that is only used for work. This is the place that the kids (and partners) know this is your time and its your sacred place. You can be working in this space while the kids nap, play in the garden or watch a film. You know its a safe haven to get shit done in your allocated time slot.
Here’s some more dope advice on how to handle the summer holidays from these amazing mama’s!
Printmaker Vickie says: Having older kids means the juggle is somewhat easier as I have babysitters if needed. The only trouble I have is they tend to go out! It’s a two way thing in our house. I let them know when I need to work and the older ones is in charge. In return I taxi them around and they get an hourly rate. Everyone is a winner. – Vickie from In no particular order.
Creative director and Strategist Clemmie says: Reminding myself that its only for a few weeks and putting in the extra hours in at night, pulling in favours from grandparents and generally struggling through means I’ve been able to spend time loads of fun stuff with the kids during the day doing loads of fun stuff. – Clemmie Telford
Interior Writer Jess says: I was determined not to spend the summer being “in a minute, I’ve just got to send this email” mummy. That I am definitely guilty of being. I planned lots of fun stuff for us to do but I also set aside clear time for me to focus on my work. Things don’t always go to plan though. My daughter got sick when she was supposed to be at the childminders and I had deadlines to meet which was tough. But then the kids went to stay at theirs granny’s for a few days, which was like a mini holiday for them and gave me some time to get my head down. As a result of all the good stuff they have done, I try not to beat myself up about the times when I’ve no choice but to put them in front of trolls movie and open the laptop. Its good for them to see how hard I work and that all that good stuff doesn’t just appear, it has to be earned‘ – Jess Hurrell Gold is a neutral
Remember, the important thing is that there is no one size fits all and you have to find the right solution for you and your children. Hopefully you’ve found useful productivity tips and ideas in this blog post. You can get through the summer holidays and smash those business goals!
Let us know how you are managing the juggle. Do you have it nailed? Do you have any other badass advice to give? We’d love to hear your stories and advice, so make sure to leave us a comment below!