How to Still Get Your Work Done in the Summer
Can you smell it coming? Sunscreen and barbecues and that unmistakable scent from the zoo’s family farm?
Summer is upon us, and I for one cannot wait. Ever since having a June baby, summer has felt like this magical time when nothing else matters. When I was on my first maternity leave 5 YEARS AGO (seriously, it’s been 5 years!), we spent our days walking to Starbucks and taking catnaps in the sun.
And now that I’ve created a career where I can be home everyday, I want to recreate that magic all summer long. And I do NOT want to spend the summer stressed, because I no longer have school time to get my writing done.
In my experience as a work at home mom and serious mamapreneur, planning my schedule has to be a priority. I need to take control early on or other commitments and distractions start sucking away all of my time.
This is especially crucial in the summer when I no longer have those kindergarten mornings to fall back on. I’ve spent the last month talking with mamapreneurs at every level about how they leverage their time in the summers. Here are some tips I’ll be implementing in the coming months...
Get clear on what you want
Isn’t this the first step for anything in life? You can’t make a plan until you know what the goal is. What do you want your summer to look like? What experiences are important to you? When the first day of school rolls around, what do you want to look back on?
I recently sat down with my daughter, and we made a long list of everything we want to do together this summer.
Here’s some of the highlights
Join a pool
Walk to the park
Take a class at the zoo
Go to Door County
Spend a weekend in Chicago
Buy ice cream from the ice cream truck
Eat popsicles at the beach
Have a lunch picnic
Go to a baseball game
Ride bikes to Dairy Queen (are you noticing a theme here with sweet treats?)
Make a lemonade stand
Most importantly, notice what is not on there. Working constantly. Staying up late to write. Stressing about money.
Making this list made me feel so good, and it’s going to make it a lot easier to actually do #allthethings.
What can you outsource?
Once you make your list and see what’s important to you, the next step is to outsource what is not. Because I want our summer to be all about having little family adventures together, I’m going to focus on outsourcing some of my work. Here are some of the tasks you could start outsourcing this summer...
Let’s be real - you can’t get real work done when you’re with your kids 24/7. Make a plan now for when you’ll be doing your work solo. That may look like getting up early, working late, or taking advantage of nap times.
If that’s not going to cut it, make a plan for childcare now. Look at summer camps, nannies (full or part-time), grandparents, babysitters, and mother’s helpers. If you work from home, having a mother’s helper (a younger babysitter, maybe 10-12 years old) who isn’t quite old enough to be left alone, could really save the day. We’ve had an amazing 10 year-old come over to play with the kids so I could get some work done, and it is great for all of us. I can cross some things off my list while Charlotte gets undivided attention from a cool older girl and the 10 year-old gets to earn some cash!
Business tasks are usually the best things to outsource, but also the hardest. It’s one of those things where it’s always just easier and quicker to do it yourself, as opposed to spending the time teaching someone else. However, once the teaching part is done, outsourcing some of your work will free up so much time and brain space.
Take a look at your workload and start keeping a list of all of the tasks that YOU personally don’t need to do. For example, as a writer I need to be doing the article writing, but I don’t need to be the one researching and and creating graphics.
Look into a virtual assistant or just a tech savvy friend. I’m betting you have a friend or relative who is either a stay-at-home parent or teacher who wouldn’t mind earning a little side income this summer. I’ll be outsourcing my article research this summer, and even though it’s scary to spend the money, I can’t wait to free up that time.
Finally, look into outsourcing that adult stuff that you just hate to do. A house cleaning service is probably not as expensive as you think. I was pleasantly surprised when I learned their hourly rate, and we now have a team come to clean every other week. Sure, I could just do it myself, but now I spend that time either working (and making more than it costs to pay the cleaning team) or playing with Charlotte and Jack (priceless).
Some other life stuff to outsource could be:
Shopping (I like Stitchfix ← affiliate link)
House organizers (someday!)
Bonus - Create a passive income stream
To truly start freeing up your time, start brainstorming products and services that you can create once, and then sell over and over. As a writer, I don’t get paid unless I’m sitting in the chair writing, so I have been working hard to create some additional revenue streams.
Here are a few ideas for passive income opportunities:
Create a course
Become an affiliate for a product you love
Write a book (or an ebook)
Launch a network marketing biz (I am just launching one and am working on a free mini course for mamapreneurs who want to incorporate network marketing into their businesses without feeling pushy or sleazy - will keep you updated!)
So there you have it! Your go-to plan for creating a fun, stress-free summer. Get clear on what you want, then outsource what you can.
What is your work from home plan this summer? Tell us in the comments below!