Ah, summer. The perfect time to kick back and relax by the pool, without a care in the world.
Well, maybe when you were a teenager! But if you’re like most people, you still have work to do during the summer, even though the warm weather can make it really tempting to play hooky.
And if you’re a parent, you may be wondering how you’re going to get anything done with your kids at home.
It may take some planning and focus, but it is possible to have a productive and fun summer. Here are 5 tips to get you started:
1. Wake up early.
Have you ever had one of those days when you woke up earlier than usual, and then amazed yourself with how much you did before noon? It makes you feel unstoppable!
When I’m really busy, I’ll wake up a half hour earlier than usual. It’s a mere 30 minutes, but it’s incredible how much more I accomplish when I get that head start.
Challenge yourself to get up just a half hour earlier than usual this week and see how much you cross off your “to do” list!
2. Keep the same hours.
If you’ve been pushing yourself all year and then you stop this summer, you may backslide and derail all the awesome progress you’ve made so far. Sticking to your same work hours can help you stay consistent, so you continue to move forward.
If your kids are home with you, explain to them what your work hours are. Tell them that if they let you work during that time, that there’s a reward in it for them. Say something like, “From 10 to 2, Mommy’s got to hunker down and work. If you let Mommy work, we’ll go to the park afterwards.”
Consistency will also help your kids will get into a routine, so they’ll no longer be running around like crazy and distracting you while you try to work.
3. Keep your kids busy.
Plan activities for your kids around your work schedule. Sign them up for day camp, tennis lessons, painting lessons, a softball league…whatever they’re interested in.
You could also arrange playdates with other kids. Tell the parents that you’ll watch the kids from 2 to 6 if they watch the kids from 10 to 2.
When your kids are home, make meal prep into a fun activity. Get some mason jars and make breakfast in a jar or salad in a jar. It will keep them occupied and also make sure they have things to munch on throughout the day so they don’t interrupt your work by wailing “I’m hungry!”
If your kids are old enough, have them help you with your work, whether it’s stuffing envelopes, filing or giving you a hand with chores around the house. It’ll keep them busy, teach them new skills and allow you to spend time together. It’ll also give them an idea of what you do all day!
4. Do a little bit every day.
On those days that you decide to take some time off to spend quality time with your kids (or maybe when their playdate fell through), put in a little bit of work, even if it’s just ten minutes.
It may not feel like much, but these little steps will keep your momentum up. If you abandon your work altogether for several days, it will be hard to get back into the swing of things.
It’s just like with the laundry—it’s much easier to do a load every day than let it pile up and try to dig yourself out!
5. When you’re on, be ON. But when you’re off, be OFF.
During work hours, make sure you focus and get stuff done. And when it’s time to relax, disconnect from your work completely. The summer will go by fast. Take some time to pause, soak it in and create some memories.
When your kids are grown, what do you want them to remember? That summer when their mom worked all the time? Or the summer when their mom swam and made sandcastles with them at the beach?
What goals do you have this summer? How will you reward yourself when you get stuff done? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Now get off your ass and get some work done! And then log some serious hours at the pool. 🙂