One of the toughest things about working from home is...well, working from home. Especially during the summer. I'm here because I want to be the one that drives my kids to and from their activities and plans fun events with them. But I'm torn because in the midst of all the summer fun, I still have deadlines and work requirements. Here are a few survival tips that are helping me stay sane this summer:
- Lighten the load whenever you can. I have a couple of smaller projects that I'm deliberately putting off until my children are back in school. Giving myself permission to do so has made me feel less guilty about the fact that they are not done yet.
- Ask for help. Little things make a big difference in keeping things running smoothly. My kids are now helping by folding laundry, sweeping the floors and emptying the dishwasher. Though none of these tasks takes much time, they produce valuable work time for me during the day if I don't have to do them all myself.
- Communicate regularly. I often have phone interviews lined up--and that means I'm not available to my kids. I let them know what the day is going to look like ahead of time when possible so that they know when I'm available to them and when I'm not. It's less frustrating for all of us if I don't have to interpret sign language when I'm on a call!
- Hire help. When work and family compete for my attention during the day, I've hired friends' high school or college age children to help. They've picked up my kids and brought them home after day camps and one is even taking my son golfing (since neither my husband or I golf). This has eased my stress on several occasions and enabled me to help a young person earn a little extra cash.
- Be kind to yourself. I know that I'm living this summer imperfectly. But I also know I'm doing my best to juggle competing demands. Instead of feeling guilty or critical regarding what each individual day looks like, I choose instead to take an overall look at the summer. And so far, it's been a good one!
What strategies are you using to make it through this summer?