How to manage your business during the school holidays

Posted on September 11, 2015 by Nikki Lane

The school holidays can challenge any parent but if you run a small business trying to juggle your responsibilities to your clients and to your family can be overwhelming.

Here are a few tips to make life a bit easier these holidays.

Slow down (but don’t shut down)

Try to quieten your business down for the weeks that your children are on holidays if you can; delay starting new projects, schedule meetings before and after the holidays, don’t undertake big projects during this time, extend deadlines etc.

However… remain vigilant of your business and it’s needs and spend some time each day clearing emails and answering urgent queries.

Don’t mix business with pleasure

What I mean by this is that you can’t play with your children and run your business in a professional manner at the same time. Try to ensure that if you are with your children you focus on them, instead of sneaking off to check your emails. And vice versa, if you are taking a work call make sure you go to a room away from your kids.

Create zones

Set aside parts of each day for working and parts for children. What works best for me is working from early morning til say 10:00am. Then I go out or just spend time with my kids during the middle of the day and commence work again in the afternoon from 3:00pm or 4:00pm until dinnertime. Make it clear to your kids that you need this time to work and then you can focus on them during the middle of the day.

Communicating these zones clearly with your children so they know where they stand and what to expect is very important. Even the children in kindergarten can start to understand this. If you live up to your end of the bargain and stick to these time zones, then you can expect them to as well.

Get help

Most local councils have holiday programs available to help working parents but a great alternative is negotiating with another work-from-home friends or colleagues to do a kid-swap. One day your kids go and play at their house, and their kids come to yours on another. That way you will know you have a whole day to work without interruption and it won’t cost you anything. Plus I find when my kids have friends over, it’s much easier to slip a few emails in whilst they are entertained and playing.

Do you have some tips to add? Please share with us your ideas on ow to manage your business during the school holidays.

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