Can you believe we’re part-way through summer? If you’re like me, you’re coming back from time away and trying to settle back into your groove. If you’re like a lot of the moms I talk to, your kids are whining about being bored, your 90-day plan is out the window, and you want to hang it all up and go to the beach.
It’s time to get back on track, so you can have a fun and productive end of the summer.
I have 7 tips fellow Mama CEOs are using to balance their buckets this summer.
1. Have a strong plan.
Lane Rebelo is counting on camp for some dedicated work time this summer. “I’m going to need a strong plan to make the most of those weeks with morning camp to get what I need done!” Lane’s right. You want to get your kids out the door and get to work instead of wondering what you should do that day.
Her plan isn’t just for business though. She says, “Camp weeks are morning only, so we’ll still have time to swim and play in the afternoons.” It’s easy to get caught up in how to keep your business going strong in the summer, but make sure you put family time into your plan too!
2. Be flexible and creative.
Selena Maestas Moffitt uses this tip to squeeze in some extra work hours: “My kids love to swim. What seems to work the best is to take them to the pool. That way, they can swim, and I can do some writing on my iPad. No wifi—I just turn on Evernote and write. And then, I get to play too!”
Let’s face it, your work hours are likely to change over the summer. You need some focused work time, but with a little creativity about where and when you work, you can get more done (and have some fun).
3. Invest in fun for your kids.
Latosha Jenkins says, “I am a believer in planned, structured activities for kids through fun-filled, learning rich camps. If money is limited, consider vacation bible studies or free activities at your place of worship. During their time away, commit to complete one major activity for your biz a week or day.”
Late summer is a tough time to find camps, you can check for last-minute openings—or consider a membership to a local fun spot where your kids can play while you work. Start making a plan for some summer programs for next year now!
4. Get extra help.
It’s Megan Clarke’s first summer as a Mama CEO, and she’s investing in a nanny to help get her through the summer.
Lilly Steirer is going a different route: “I have been attempting kid swap time with fellow parents, which has given me much more focused work time.”
Help can mean more childcare—or it can mean outsourcing things for your business. Either way you get more time to focus, whether that means zooming in on your business goals or being present with your kids.
5. Work with, not against, your kids schedules.
Selena Maestas Moffitt tries to get her work done in the morning, when her kids are a little lazy and enjoy their iPad time.
Lilly Steirer says, “When we have an active morning such as a bike ride, walk to the library, or time playing at a park, my daughter is more likely to play quietly in the afternoon while my son naps and I work.”
I’m doing a hybrid of these this summer by waking up early myself and coordinating mornings with my husband. I get up early before the rest of the house, get a few hours of solid work in, then head out the door for a quick walk to make sure I get in some exercise before I switch over to mom mode. I make a stop at my local coffee shop and bring home a coffee to my husband who has the kids ready for their day before he heads out to work. We joke that we high five in the driveway most mornings, but whatever works!
6. Set clear expectations.
RB Fast says, “I have set clear expectations with my 8-year-old regarding my work time. She knows that I am not available for play during my work times.” RB has carved out time each week, and her daughter knows that she can expect, “hikes in the mountains, library, neighborhood walks, cooking and baking, and the farmer’s market.”
It’s important to set expectations for work time and for fun time. Set expectations with your clients too. If your schedule is different in the summer, add your summer hours to your email signature.
7. Take some time off.
Sara Barry knew she needed a break this summer, so she told her clients early in the summer that she was taking a break. “I let them know when I’d be unavailable so we could plan deadlines accordingly and so they would know when I’d be out of touch.” She adds, “With my kids in school and my husband working evenings, we don’t get a lot of family time during the school year, so I adjusted my business goals for the summer to give us time together.”
Taking a vacation gives you a chance to recharge and reflect. Enjoy your break—come back re-energized and re-focused.
There’s no magic bullet that makes the summer go smoothly. (Wouldn’t that be nice?) If things are starting to unravel, try one—or many!—of these tips to get you back on track to you finish your summer strong.
All the Mama CEO featured here are past participants in my Mama Mastermind program. The next round will be starting this fall, click here to be the first to know when it opens up.