Working from home provides flexibility for everyone, and everyone we know feels grateful when they can do it. Whether you’re working for yourself or for an employer, being a work at home parent means saying yes to more school functions and getting to be the point person for the neighborhood carpool. Working from home without kids means you have more opportunities to extend weekend trips or schedule appointments at your convenience.
During the summer months, sometimes that flexibility makes it feel like we’re bending in all directions — without getting much accomplished. After working at home with our kids around for several summers, we managed to figure out what works for maximum productivity — we think. And these tips aren't only for parents! We've chatted up some of our non-parent entrepreneurial friends, and our concerns — and solutions — seem universal. Try a few — or all — of our tips for a productive summer that doesn’t skip all the fun.
1. Plan ahead for the entire summer
This one seems obvious, but hear us out. Summer stretches ahead on the horizon and looks endless when you’re standing in June. However, the weeks fly by, and the calendar flips to fall before you know it. Look ahead and see what weeks you’ve scheduled vacations, what days you have summer traditions on the calendar (fireworks for the 4th, anyone?), and what weeks look a little light on activities. Plan to put in extra work time on days you'll be alone in your house. Be honest with yourself about what you have time to accomplish this summer.
2. Keep your social media presence strong
We know you’ve been working hard to increase your brand’s social media footprint. Don’t let summer excitement, and subsequent kid-craziness, detract from your social media growth. While you’re juggling kids’ schedules, vacations with your partner, and your own deadlines, social media can fall to the bottom of your priority list. Unfortunately, social media moves quickly and unforgivingly. Silence on social media platforms can push you quickly out of favorable algorithms, so you need to continue to post, engage, and amplify your content.
3. Use social media tools to work smarter
Scheduling tools remain your best friend when you're working from home, particularly during the summer months. When an early morning golf round morphs into an impromptu lunch date, having your content and social media posts scheduled in advance means you can enjoy spontaneity instead of feeling tethered to your phone. We like Sprout Social, both for the convenience of scheduling and for the analytics reports offered by the app.
4. Coordinate your schedule with your children’s (or partner's)
Working around pool time and day camp schedules only opens up so much time in our schedules. No matter how carefully we plan, we know we’ll have many days when our task list creeps into our time with our families and friends. We schedule daily “work time” into our days, and it works immeasurably better when everyone works. Set up kids with something they can do without your input, like summer review packets from school or a new sketch pad and box of colored pencils.
If you don't have kids, you might think this one doesn't apply, but hear us out. If your partner works outside the home and uses vacation time in the summer, they can be just as much of a distraction as kids! Make sure to carve out time for work, even if you're just sharing your home with another adult. Conversations over coffee can turn five minute breaks into two hours ones.
5. Prioritize your tasks according to where you'll be
Use your at-home work time to finish tasks that can't be easily done on the fly. After all, you can answer an email while waiting for the beer vendor at the ball game, but you can't photograph the perfect flat lay there.
6. Outsource your to-do list
We’re circling back to our first tip, where we talked about being honest about how much work you’ll be able to fit into your summer schedule. After all, part of the appeal of working from home is spending time with your friends and family, not working through all of the small moments making up your summer. Hiring someone to help you with your summer tasks can free up time to spend on summertime activities — or to work on a passion project for your brand. Outsourcing content creation, social media posts and social media engagement takes both time and mental load off your mind during the summer. Take Flight can help you be more productive this summer, whether you’re looking for social media scheduling, blog posts, or original photos for your business.
Contact us for more information and a consultation to find the perfect summer fit for your brand.