For moms with school-age children, Liz Montigny shares strategies for working from home in the summertime.
It’s summer but you also work from home, which may have you thinking how do I have fun with my family and work too?
You can and you will enjoy your summer but if you haven’t laid out a game plan yet, create one so you can stop worrying. These strategies I use do require some focused preparation and communication ahead of time, but they also allow for fun and productivity in my day. Remember, your time is just that—yours, so here are my three strategies for making the most of your summer while working from home:
Get organized and communicate.
Before you can communicate your availability, you have to get organized. Block work time and family time. When you're working, work; when you're not, don't. It’s that simple.
Sometimes you’ll work 15-minute sprints, sometimes you can block larger chunks. Whether you sit down once a week and plan ahead or review to-dos each morning, take the time to focus so you can be proactive instead of reactive with your day.
I’ve found it helpful to set up this kind of structure for my children too. I picked up a cute kids' to-do list in my local bookstore (or you can make one). It includes tasks like getting ready for the morning, basic chores, but also reminds them of what they can do on their own: outside time, do something creative, be kind to your brother and more. Now they’re checking off their own to-do lists.
You also have to communicate your schedule with work too. I am fortunate to be my own boss, but this also means I have to be disciplined enough to not answer emails and texts when I’m not working. If you do work as part of a team, remember, if you respond to work when you’re not actually scheduled to work, your team will likely assume it’s okay to contact you any time. Boundaries are a good thing, and they work—so create some.
Speaking of boundaries, make sure you're not trying to work in a common area. Using common space to work at home means you’re available to your family when perhaps mentally, you’re not. Maybe you need to carve out a corner in your bedroom or do some creative rearranging in your home, wherever it is, find the space, own it, and hopefully you can lock the door. This will help you focus on your work and help your family understand when and where you’re available to them.
Be on vacation.
If you've planned a vacation, take it and actually be present. Yes, this means you'll have to move appointments or deadlines. Do it. You need to recharge, and your family will appreciate that your mind and your body are in the same place at the same time. My clients respect my time because I’m clear about when I’m available and when I’m not. If you’re part of a team, honor your own time and you’ll teach others how to do this not only for you but for themselves.
This summer, you are the one in charge of your time, so act like it. I have a mentor who says your top three priorities are God, family, and work. If you pay attention to the first two, work will work. Enjoy your summer!
Copyright 2022 Elizabeth Montigny
About the Author
Liz Montigny is a life coach for Catholic working moms who want to drop the hustle for hope so they can truly live their dreams. She is a wife and homeschooler who likes to relax with a cup of tea and enjoys talking about non-toxic living and building her theatre ministry. Connect with Liz at LizMontignyCoaching.com.