Every second counts. Lessons learnt from the school holidays

sundial

Summer holidays can be a difficult time when running a business and having young children.  Working successfully over the summer is a masterclass in time management.  Here’s how I do it.  I take a pragmatic approach with a flavour of Buddhism.

  1. Plan your holidays with military provision.  Carve out the time to work and the time to holiday and play with your children.
  2. Be fully focused on what you’re doing.  If you’re working, work, if you’re out with the kids be fully present with them.
  3. Compartmentalise.  Got a report to finish- an agenda to design?  Assign time to do it and decide not to think about it until then.
  4. Decide what you want to achieve before you sit down at your desk.  If you sit down without a clear plan about what you need to do, the chances are you’ll waste at least an hour checking emails, writing lists before you start.
  5. Do work in batches.  When I’m not working I don’t answer emails, I look and answer them all together.  Similarly, if I have limited time I focus on one project rather than flit between a few.
  6. Understand when you are your most productive.  For me it’s the mornings.  I get up early, work for a few hours and then enjoy breakfast with the children at 9.
  7. Get an Au Pair.  I did and it’s brilliant.  The children learn about a different culture, you get extra help around the house and some time to work.
  8. Use a timer.  I use this timer and find it really useful.  I decide on a realistic time for an event and reduce it drastically.  I normally finish within time.
  9. Arrange meetings and phone calls with care- they eat up a lot of time.  Wherever possible, use emails, if you do have a meeting/phone calls set time limits.
  10. Acknowledge your distractions and be aware when you’re mentally and physically wandering.  Don’t go on twitter, check out your favourite website. If you do you’re avoiding what’s you’ve set out to achieve.  Bring yourself back to task in hand.

These holidays are almost over but half term will be here in a flash so start planning now.

Work hard, have fun

Nic