Balancing Summer Fun and Responsibilities
My second born made her appearance on June 21st, 13 years ago. (Happy birthday, sweet girl.) Each year on her birthday we also get to celebrate the summer solstice and officially welcome summer! Luckily, it’s even starting to feel like summer here in Chicago despite the fact the kids have been out of school for nearly a month already.
If you’re anything like me, once summer approaches panic starts to set in. Even while looking forward to pool parties, vacations, and more time with the kids, it’s often an overwhelming time of year. And I'll be honest, this year has been extra difficult. I’ve struggled to practice what I preach for this first month. The guilt of being a present parent and a successful entrepreneur has been fierce. That means we are in this together, friends … What I’m sharing with you I am also working hard to do for myself. Solidarity to us all.
It's not always easy, but totally manageable!
This balancing act is especially difficult for entrepreneurs. For many of us, the kids are home from school, and we are now tasked with figuring out how to care for and entertain them while also paying the bills and keeping clients happy. Extra camps and activities mean more time spent driving throughout the day, and let’s be real, they are expensive AF! Often there are more social commitments and vacations to plan (which is wonderful but still a disruption to your normal routine).
If we aren’t careful, those vacations and extra family time turn stressful instead of rejuvenating. But don’t worry – there is a solution! If you take the time to create a plan, everything can run more smoothly.
The name of the game is time management.
I know, I know – – you’re probably thinking “That’s easy to say when you don’t have a toddler running around.” Or, “It’s near impossible to manage my time when I have kids going in every direction, a fulltime job, and a business to grow!” If you’re thinking this than an effective time management strategy will change your life!
The only real way to make this work is to put the power of intention behind each and every action! And the real key here is working with small, manageable steps. If you overburden yourself with too much at once, chances are nothing will happen at all.
You likely began your entrepreneurial journey for very specific reasons. Many of my clients wanted more free time or to work during times of their choosing. Do you want to be rich in time? I’ll bet you do – – I know I sure want that! The only way to successfully make this happen is to map out a plan. There is no winging it when it comes to effective time management.
Everyone’s plan looks different.
For some, time is best managed in small hour-long chunks spread throughout the day. For others, it’s about employing real discipline and using every second of the workday effectively so that time at home is spent focused solely on their family. Maybe it would help to start your day earlier to ensure you get a few hours in before the kids wake up. Decide what would make your life more manageable and enjoyable then sit down and write it out. Create an actionable plan.
Time management isn’t just about getting your work done.
The only way you’ll achieve balance (remember, balance is about how you feel) is if you plan out your time. Don’t forget to schedule in personal time; self-care deserves a spot in your calendar too and besides, when it’s on your schedule you’re giving yourself permission to take action!
Whatever you’re doing, do it with intention.
When you’re working, focus on the task at hand. Create a list with the must-do tasks first. Knock out the hardest jobs when you are fresh and uninterrupted.
Home with your family? Shut down from technology. Turn off your notifications (a great all-around practice, by the way). Give your loved ones your full attention. Not only will they appreciate the time you’re giving them, but you’ll feel more focused and recharged.
Treat self-care as you would your most important work-related tasks. Self-care is sacred, and treating it as so will shift your entire mindset around priorities. When you’re taking time just for you, let the people closest to you know it’s a priority that should be respected. Schedule both the time and activity. Set up a sitter for kids. Tell those around you that you’ll be unavailable. Trust me – I’ve learned this one myself!
Get on the summer fun train by taking action!
- Start by writing down your top priorities in all areas: work, family, social life, self-care, personal growth, etc.
- Make a schedule of your typical day. Take note of everything from the moment you wake up to the time you go to sleep.
- Look at the things that don’t serve your priorities and eliminate where necessary. (I can help you with this!)
- Start time blocking your new schedule. Look at the big picture. Schedule when you’ll work and when you won’t.
- Set deadlines for the things you want to accomplish and block off actual time for the fun and relaxing activities.
When you start time blocking the big things, you’ll soon be able to schedule out the small things also. If you stay intentional with your time and refocus as necessary, you’ll see a complete shift take place in your life. I’ve done this myself (while growing a business and raising four girls!), so I know it is possible for you too.
Managing your time isn’t just about creating a plan and sticking to it.
It’s about staying tuned in with what works and what doesn’t. The most successful people are the ones who know that priorities and workloads shift, and they know to pivot right along with them.
If you are struggling to keep afloat with all of your responsibilities, I’d love to help you. This is literally what I do for clients! We walk through their typical routine, assess what is and isn’t working, and adjust as needed. I’m truly passionate about helping others discover what balance looks like for them and making it happen!
Feel free to reach out, and schedule a virtual coffee date. I’d love to help you!
But for now, clean up your schedule and your mindset so you can enjoy these summer months. We only get 18 summers with our kids – – don’t waste a moment!