With the summer holidays fast approaching, I find myself with mixed feelings.
Working from home truly is a double-edged sword. I’m looking forward to spending more time with the kids, not having to get up as early and a break from school runs.
My two sons have clearly reached the point in the year where they’ve had enough and really need some downtime ahead of September.
They’ve done brilliantly and I’m immensely proud of them, but they’re visibly exhausted. As a result of this, they’re rather antsy and often at loggerheads with each other, so I’m looking forward to them calming down a little.
I’m also eagerly anticipating some family days out in the hopefully warm weather. So there’s a lot to be optimistic about.
So let’s look at the flipside now!
Summer is usually seen as a quieter time in the world of work, but it has become a running joke in our family that I suddenly become busy.
My older son’s first school holidays coincided with me starting a job after a five-month spell of unemployment.
The following summer promised to be quieter as I quit said job to go freelance. Until a well-known brand invited me to attend its annual youth football event in Berlin and blog about it.
Then last year, just as the post Father’s Day lull looked to be extending into July and August, I was offered three of four large blogging campaigns.
These aren’t complaints, of course and I gratefully accepted the work. Busy is good, especially as my blog is my family’s only source of income.
But it really puts my time management skills to the test. Trying to get any work done can be something of a nightmare.
It’s not fun sitting at my desk upstairs hearing everyone have fun and not being able to join in.
Similarly, my sons don’t really understand why I can’t drop everything and my daughter who is only 19 months old probably has no idea of what work even is.
I was comparing notes with some other parents who work from home recently and it seems that this is a common problem. Achieving a good work-life balance when your home and office are the same place is always going to be tricky.
Looking back at this post I wrote last year, it appears that I need to take some of my own advice!
While I have maintained a disciplined approach to working hours and being up and dressed, I have to admit that other things have slipped as a result of my workload continuing to increase.
My ‘office’ is a mess, I don’t allocate enough time for the admin side of my job and it’s getting harder to maintain boundaries when I really want to be getting away from my desk.
I’m going to take this as the reminder I needed to adopt a more detailed approach to time management. A summer of strictly timetabled fun awaits!