Life as a mompreneur is all about juggling and balancing, especially when you have a home-based office and littles running around.
But it’s worth it! Because you get to chart your own path, own your income, make your own schedule, spend time with the family when you want, attend your child’s after-school activities, care for her when she’s sick, and so much more.
You wouldn’t have it any other way. Right?
Being a work-at-home solopreneur comes with all the perks - - and some struggles, too. (Clearly those perks outweigh the latter or else we wouldn’t be here!)
And while you may feel in control, structured, and organized during the school year, summertime is a whole different gig and comes with its own unique set of challenges for those of us with home-based businesses.
Do you find that family vacations (yours or your clients’), house guests, and shorter camp days make it hard to keep a “normal” schedule?
My head is all over the place trying to keep track of where everyone has to be – and when – and how they’re going to get there, and back. Then we factor in the many visitors we’ll have over the course of the summer (which I love!) and our 2 family trips. And I'm left wondering...
When do I get to work??
For every family errand, carpool, or meal, I have 10 things to do for my biz. And I want to do them! Because I'm totally fulfilled by my work and want to see REL Impact grow, just as I nurture my family's growth and needs.
Ah, yes - this is the struggle so many of us experience: wanting to be here when we're there, and there when we're here.
So, how do you make the most of these 3 summer months rather than struggle through them and get to the other side feeling unaccomplished?
Here are the #6 Tips for Summer Sanity that I’ve used to help me feel productive through all the irregularities and inconsistencies of summer.
(1) LEAN – Moms, you can’t do it all, so don’t even try. When you create a laundry list of to-do’s, only to find that you check off 1-2 items per day, you’re left feeling bogged down, stressed, and completely overwhelmed.
We’re not great at saying “no,” and yet, it’s the very thing we need to do this summer in order to keep our businesses going and growing.
Do yourself a favor and don't take on anything "extra." Instead, make a list of your top 3-5 priorities for the summer (for your family/house and for your business) and only focus on those goals. Be honest and set realistic expectations for yourself about what you’ll be able to achieve so that you can enjoy the feeling that accompanies crossing something off the list down the line!
(2) CREATE A SCHEDULE – If your family’s calendar looks like mine, you’ve got 3 kids in 3 different places at any given time. You’re set to drive carpool for an hour each morning, take kids to lessons and doctor appointments, and attend to all of your other household duties.
And you usually only have 4-5 hours in between it all, broken up into chunks, for YOU.
Look at the calendar from a weekly or bi-monthly perspective, and block out the times you have available to work. Then review your 3-5 summer goals (from #1) and schedule in the tasks from those projects as blocks of time on your calendar.
This time is sacred! You know you would never stand up your BFF for a coffee date, so don’t stand yourself up either. Get it on the calendar and show up.
(3) WAKE UP EARLIER – I don’t typically preach anything I don’t practice, but I’ve been told that waking up earlier (especially before your kids crawl into bed with you!), is one way to create more time in your day. (This is admittedly very difficult for me as my body seems to need a solid 9 hours of sleep (WHOA!) which takes me closer to 7am each day.) BUT, on the days when I have pushed myself to get up and start working earlier, the tone of my entire day is more positive and productive. Getting in that hour of work before getting dressed will leave you feeling fresh, focused, and motivated before diving into the morning routines.
(4) BATCH YOUR PROJECTS – Batching your projects means grouping similar tasks together so that you can work faster. Look at your business – and your to-do’s – and determine what can be bundled together to create efficiencies and free up more of your time.
Automating your social media accounts is a super easy place to begin. I started using Tailwind to schedule and automate my Pinterest account, and I’m loving the ease and convenience! There are so many other social media apps and tools out there that will allow you to schedule out your Facebook posts, Tweets, Instagram pics, and Pins for as far out as you can plan so that you’re not having to think about them daily.
Other areas of your business where you might want to consider batching your projects is writing blogs, managing finances/billing, or designing blog and social media post images. (I use Canva for this.)
Whatever you do, try to find areas of your business where you can take advantage of this time-saving technique.
(5) HIRE HELP – While hiring a mother’s helper or nanny may not be in the cards for you, there are so many young adults home from college that are looking to get some really practical, hands-on, real-world summer experience. And they don’t charge a lot, if at all! Seek them out in your community, or even online if your work doesn’t require his or her physical presence, and then look at your list to determine what you can delegate.
(6) SELF-CARE – When things get chaotic, the last thing you should abandon are those things that bring you peace, create calm around you, or help relieve stress.
Identify 2 things you can do for yourself (at least once a week) that will give you the reprieve you need to be refreshed – for your kids and your business - so you're ready to work when time allows for it.
Being a mompreneur is truly the best of all worlds. Remember the reasons you chose to be an entrepreneur in the first place, and let those dreams guide you through the craziness of summer.