I visited my sister in London recently. I didn’t go with my husband or my children. It was hard, but also amazing to have such a vast swathe of free time. No plans, no-one else’s needs to worry about, just time to enjoy being with my extended family. After a few days, I realised I missed having projects so I filled in spare time with crosswords, non fiction books and activities to complete.
I take time off to spend with the children during holidays which I love. I find, though, that like my trip to London, I need some projects alongside the days baking cookies or playing at the beach. For everyone’s sanity, I have come up with a few ways to be there for the kids but also keep my work ticking over.
The early bird or night owl
I love to get up early when the house is quiet and get some work done. I try to have low expectations, like respond to two emails or map out the next two blog posts. These are easier to complete and therefore give me a sense of accomplishment rather than frustration when the munchkins do wake up.
(You could easily do this at night if you are a night owl.)
Do the menial stuff
I also feel great when I get annoying, dull tasks done, like filing. This is great to do while sitting in front of a movie or listening to an audio book with the children. Why not squeeze in a phone call, make appointments or layout work flows while also keeping your eye on the small ones?
Involve the kids
Get creative with this one, and I guarantee it’ll pay off! I find analysing businesses gives me ideas for marketing and sales within my business. In the holidays I take my kids with me to visit them (often – cough – cafes). I ask my kids to imagine ways to make the cafe even better or what they love about the cafe. They have great ideas!
If you are in a creative field, even better! Let them choose the fabric for your next creation, help you pack your wares ready for the post office or anything else you could let them in on without giving them free reign over your creations.
I know everyone is using this strategy at the moment, but it is a viable one. In my case, I outsource care of the kids. The kids love a day doing their favourite activity (gymnastics camp or drawing classes for instance) while I like a bit of time to attend to urgent business. You could also do a day swap of kids where you take your child’s best friend for a day, and their parents take yours for a day. Both kids will love having a day of fun, it’s easier for them to entertain themselves and it’s free!
Catch up on business reading. Articles related to your work, books on marketing and sales strategies, business success stories or anything that takes your interest. This can help your mind to remain partially in business mode, so when holidays end, it doesn’t take weeks to get back into your game.
Take a holiday
Yes, I know this is obvious, but if you are able to take a proper holiday, do it! You will come back refreshed and you don’t have to be genius to know what great perspective can be gained while totally away from your work.
With that, I will get back to some templates while my kids are being entertained elsewhere today.
Have a good day all!