Let’s face it – the minute our kids’ schedules change, our schedules change too.
So how can we keep our businesses humming and continue bringing in income without having to be as connected and as hands-on as we are throughout the school year?
Here are three key strategies to help you earn more, work less and stay sane this summer.
1. Set Goals.
Since we’re talking about only a two to three month period of time, let’s set some micro-goals for our businesses.
What do you absolutely need to have happen over the summer? Get specific and stay focused. If you’re concentrating on sales, how much do you need sales to increase by, or to maintain, to keep your lights on? Once you have your goal in mind—that small micro-goal—break that down into two or three milestones to get you there. If boosting your marketing efforts is your focus, what on, targeted action could be repeated on a weekly or monthly basis to accomplish your purposes?
2. Get Creative.
One of the biggest challenges in keeping your business going over the summer is childcare. This is one area where a little bit of planning and a dash of creativity can really pay off, both in securing work-time and keeping more of your income. Here are some ideas for “creative” childcare that I’ve come across:
- Babysitting co-op. There are about 19 of us in our neighborhood co-op. Everybody gets 15 tokens when they start and as I look after kids, I earn tokens, and if I need somebody to look after my kids, then I spend my tokens, and not once does a dollar change hands. So that’s one creative childcare option. See if there is a babysitting co-op in your area.
- Kid swap. Another creative childcare idea is to swap kids. Find a friend who is in a similar predicament, or even a stay-at-home mommy with a new baby who needs a couple mornings off per week. Take her kids on Monday and Wednesday and she can take yours on Tuesday and Thursday. This is a great way to get some quiet time for things that need done for work without breaking the bank.
- Mother’s helpers. Babysitters can be pretty pricey. What about hiring a middle-schooler from your neighborhood or a niece or nephew or friend of the family who just wants something to do in the summer and wouldn’t mind making a few extra bucks? For a fraction of the cost of a sitter, you could hire a younger child to perform scheduled activities with your kids, within your reach, such as coloring, snack time, or movie time, while you get a couple hours of work in.
- Call in those favors. Last, but certainly not least—all those people who are always saying, “Oh my gosh! I’d LOVE to babysit for you sometime!” It’s time to call in those favors from friends and family members who would just eat up time with your darling children.
3. Map Your Time.
Mapping your time has a lot to do with boundaries. Be clear on your boundaries when it comes to when you will work, when you won’t work, and when your kids and family will have your undivided attention. And then stick to those boundaries. You will be much more effective and engaged in all you do when you set those limits up ahead of time.
These are just a few strategies for staying sane this summer. Remember, take a step back, set some small goals, get creative if you have to, and don’t be afraid to be serious about your boundaries. It’s summertime! Enjoy it while you can!