Winning at working at home in the school summer holidays

When it comes to working for yourself, it just isn’t possible to take seven weeks off over the summer just because your kids are off school – either financially or from the point of view that you want your clients to come back. If you fail to deliver in July and August because your kids are off school, you can be sure they will find someone else to do their work when they need something doing in September or October. But of course some reduction in work is welcomed as you don’t want to spend the whole holiday working and not seeing your kids. Luckily, this seems to happen naturally to a certain extent.

This summer holiday was always going to be a real test for me. I had set my business up this time last year, but it was still in its early stages. I had no regular contracts, three medium sized jobs over the course of the summer and a couple of tiny one-off pieces that came in. It was pretty easy to manage.

In recent months, my workload has increased dramatically, which is great, both from a financial point of view and from the point of view of feeling fulfilled and useful. There are few better feelings than being busy and knowing you are doing something which is valuable to a client and which is also making money for your family.

Now I have two regular, ongoing contracts – one which needs to be dealt with every single day and one which needs doing weekly and sometimes more often. On top of that, clients who I work with regularly give me work whenever it needs doing – and it seems to need doing regularly! It could be an hour job or it could be a 30 hour job. More often than not, it needs completing within a day or two. If a six hour job for the same day comes in, any plans I may have with the kids have to go out of the window.

But I’ve pretty much found a solution and so far I’m winning at working in the school holidays.

My kids are older and therefore sleep late – 9, 10 or sometimes even later. I am a natural early bird and usually awake well before 6, often even before 5. So I set my alarm for 5.45 (not that I often need the alarm!) and I get up and work. I do about half an hour before breakfast, then I eat and carry on.

On a normal school and work day, I make sure the dishwasher is empty, the kitchen clean and tidy and the washing hanging out before we set off for school. There is no need to do this when I’m trying to get a full day’s work in before my kids wake up. Nor is there any need to get dressed. So I just keep working until the kids get up, then I help them with their breakfast and do the cleaning up. Often, with the natural reduction in work that appears to happen in the school holidays, by the time kids are up I have done enough work for the day. If not, I can go back to it later.

Evening people and people whose kids are young enough to go to bed at a reasonable hour can work at night, but I find it really hard. If needs be, I will go back to it in the afternoon when the kids are watching TV or playing on the Xbox.

So far, so good. My technique for managing my working in the holidays is working. I am WINNING at working at home in the summer holidays.

Work, Freelance work, School holidays

Working in my pyjamas – it’s the way forward!

 

Author: Sarah Mummy

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8 Comments

  1. I did wonder how you were going to manage during the summer holidays since your work had picked up. I so wish I was a natural early bird, I might stand a chance of getting some blogging done or trying to establish some work but alas, it seems it isn’t meant to be!

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    • It seems to be going remarkably well! Hopefully when you’re feeling better you’ll be able to do more.

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  2. I’ve adopted this approach too although 6.30 is the earliest I can seem to start. I’m amazed at how much I’ve got done. Much more than late night sessions. I’ve managed an hour in the afternoon or evenings some days and been able to relax and just play with the kids without worrying the rest of the time. So when your key tapping at 6.30 tomorrow just know you aren’t alone!

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    • I can’t work at night – I can’t think straight! I’ll be thinking of you at 6.30am tomorrow!

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  3. Glad it seems to be working out for you in the holidays Sarah, and fab that your work has picked up. It must be a great feeling. I am just about keeping ontop of blogging during the summer, and find it easier as the kids are pretty self sufficient now x

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    • It certainly is a lot easier when the kids are self sufficient! Mine just need a bit of encouragement (nagging) every now and then!

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  4. It’s hard getting everything done. I wish I was an early bird. Good luck x

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    • Thanks very much! Being an early bird works for me – some people find it easier to do stuff late at night, but I can’t even think straight then! x

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