When I jumped into being a full time work-from-home mom five years ago I had no idea what I was doing. I had been a classroom teacher for 12 years and owned a brick and mortar clothing boutique for a year and a half prior to starting my at home business.
I loved teaching but it left me physically exhausted and emotionally drained. As a mom of two young boys, I craved to be home with them full time. I could quickly see my years of being with them passing by, and I didn't want to miss a thing. Plus, I loved the thought of being in control of my schedule and the opportunity to make a great income from home. I was ready to be my own boss!
Jumping out of teaching and into working for myself came with obstacles. The very first obstacle was figuring out how to work my business from home while my two boys were out of school for the summer. I had to develop an action plan quickly! Otherwise, I would have found myself right back in the classroom come fall!
I am now into my fifth summer working from home and have learned how to manage my schedule so my business can thrive all while enjoying the summer with my boys.
Do you want to survive the summer as a work-from-home mom? Or maybe you are considering starting a business from home so you can be a work-from-home mom and be more available to your kiddos but you are unsure if you can make it work?
My best advice is to create a plan of action and stick with it! Flexibility is part of being a mom and business owner but forcing ourselves to stick to a schedule is KEY to our success. Otherwise, we will blink and the summer will be long gone and our goals for our business won't be met.
But first, let's get one thing out in the open right away.
I am not a list maker or an organized person by nature. I have the greatest desire to be those things but no matter how much I work at it, I still struggle. My nature is to go with the flow and put most things off until tomorrow, when I "feel" more ready to take action. Well, you know how that goes. The feeling of being "ready" never comes around.
But I have learned that the more organized and structured my day is the more I accomplish and avoid procrastination. An action plan is KEY!
Below I map out my summer survival action plan so you can totally rock out your business this summer! I will also share with you what a typical summer day looks like for me so that you get a glimpse into what I am striving for. It doesn't always happen, sometimes I get off track. But because I have a road map I can quickly get myself back on track when I get lost.
A few questions I ask myself before I jump into the summer:
- What are my business goals for the summer? We can only get somewhere when we start by deciding where it is we are going.
- What do I need to do consistently to reach my goals? In order to reach our destination we must have a road map (action plan) to get there.
- What does this summer look like for my family? I run an online business from home so I can make my boys a priority and spend as much time with them as possible, while financially preparing for their future. So this means they are my priority during the days of summer. But my business has to come in a close second.
Once I answer these questions for myself, I am ready to create my weekly and daily action plans to rock out the summer and kick tale in my business.
Each Sunday evening I sit down for 15 minutes and plan out my upcoming week.
- I take note of any appointments, meetings, family fun days, and car pool responsibilities that I have and write those into my weekly schedule.
- I reflect on my summer goals and projects that I am working towards and decide what I will work on during the upcoming week.
- I schedule coaching zoom meetings with my leaders and their teams.
- I block out time for my personal marketing plan, blog writing, follow up, and content creation. I work best in the morning so I reserve as much morning time for my work as I can during the summer.
**Stay tuned for a free printable of my "Weekly Action Plan Kickstart" that you can use to plan out your upcoming week.
Let me start by saying that no two days in the summer seem to be the same. In order to stay in control of my schedule I must first look at the upcoming week and plug in all of my car pool responsibilities, appointments, meetings, fun time, etc. before I know where I can schedule my time for work.
My weekly schedule during the regular school year is much more structured than a week in the summer time. This is precisely why I must be on top of my game, have a strong plan for the upcoming week and stick to it the best that I can.
I would never make it without my Inkwell Press Planner, not in the school year nor in the summer. It's my life line and keeps me on track.
Right before bed each night, I spend a few moments writing out my daily action plan for the next day.
- I take note of what obligations I have for the next day
- I block out 3-4 hours of solid work time
- I reflect on my weekly goals and decide what actions I will take the next day to move me in the direction of accomplishing those goals.
- I go to bed with the confidence that I will wake up the next morning and CRUSH the day!
Here is an outline of three of the five days of the week this summer. Like I said, each day seems to be different but three of the days are fairly consistent so that is the schedule I am sharing with you.
5:00 - 7:00 Wake up, have my alone time, and workout. I know this is super early for the summer. Kinda crazy! But bare with me and don't stop reading this post because you think I have lost my mind. Remember...this my schedule that works best for my personality and strengths.
I start my day with coffee and quiet time. I love the First 5 app to help fill my soul and get me focused on what is important for my day. It is simple to use and always seems to speak right to my heart.
I take a summer bootcamp class at 6:00am three days a week. It is my fourth summer to take the class and I rather enjoy it. It not only keeps me healthy during the summer when I can easily just be a bum next to the pool but it also gets me in bed on time. It keeps me accountable and away from sleeping in until 10:00am in the summer months when my kids don't have to be at school.
7:15-8:15 Blogging. This is when I spend time working on my blog posts. I find that the social media world is still asleep in the summer during this time and I am my most creative after my workout and before I can be distracted by kids. Remember, my boys are 13 and 11 so they are sleeping in during the summer months. Winning! ;)
8:15-9:15 Shower, dress for the day, and make the boys a quick breakfast.
9:15-9:30 Take my oldest son to his workout class that he takes three days a week.
9:30-12:30 This is my work time that is set each and every day. This is the time that I schedule Facebook and Instagram posts, share blog posts, pin on Pinterest, have coaching calls/zooms with my team, follow up with potential business partners and customers, and network in various Facebook groups that I am a part of.
12:30 - 4:30 This is a flexible time in my schedule. This is when I take the boys to the pool, hang out with friends at the park, take the boys to the movies, or simply work around the house while we enjoy the leisure time of summer. I do work during this time here and there as my days allow. But since I worked so hard to be consistent with my work during the morning hours, I have the freedom to enjoy the spontaneity of the summer with my boys.
4:30 - 8:30 Dinner/family time
8:30 Prep for the next day. This is when I spend a few minutes looking at my obligations for the next day and creating a daily action plan that will best serve my family, my business and myself.
**This step can't be left out. Waking up with an already created action plan is a huge part of surviving the summer months with your kiddos at home. Trust me on this!!
Related Post: The biggest tip I can give you is to say NO to procrastination and multi-tasking. Follow the steps I have outlined here to help you calm the chaos and attack your todo list.
Now it is your turn:
1. Start by asking yourself these three questions.
- What are my business goals for the summer?
- What do I need to do consistently to reach my goals?
- What does this summer look like for my family?
2. Next, decide which part of your day you are the most effective at staying focused and attacking your todo list. Choose a large chunk of time in your day that you can get the most accomplished. Then...be intentional and focused during that time.
3. Create a weekly and daily action plan system. Plan out your week on Sunday evenings using the "Weekly Action Plan Kickstart" printable that I have for you at the end of this post. Then each night before bed, quickly map out your action plan for the following day. You will feel more prepared, confident about the week to come, and wake up each day ready to take on the world, armed with your action plan.
4. Communicate your goals to your family. It is important that everyone is on board and fully aware of your goals for the summer.
5. Be kind to yourself. Strive for progress over perfection. Remember that with summer comes compromise and flexibility. Be self aware of when things start to fall apart in your routine and do what you can to remedy it.
Remember that I am a mom of two boys that are at an age where they are quite self sufficient. Each year that passes it gets easier and easier to manage my work time and get things accomplished. Working at home with kids is a process, takes focus and readjustment as needed. YOU can do it!
One last thing...If you are a new mom or mom to younger children that demand more attention, remember to cut yourself a whole lot of slack. Follow the steps that I laid out above to help you create time in your schedule to work your business this summer but remember that your first job is to be a mom. Enjoy it. Do what you can when you can.
When you do have time to work make sure you are intentional with your time and laser focused. It's not as much about how much time you have but what you do with that time.
I believe in YOU and know you can rock out your summer while the kids are home! Working a full time business from home while the kids are pulling at your pant legs demanding to be entertained isn't easy. But remember WHY you are working from home. Time to be with those precious littles, more control of your schedule, and financial freedom! If you are curious about what business model I have chosen as my full time hustle from home with the kiddos, head over and take a quick look around.