School Holiday Sanity Strategies
Thanks to my lovely friend Jenny Flintoft for reminding me what a particularly crazy month this is for those of us with kids at school in the UK!
And when I asked on Twitter, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the school holidays, the answer was:
So amongst the craziness and juggling, how do you stay sane?
I’ve had quite a few discussions with mums recently about juggling work and school holidays. Some, like Jenny take to working at night, others like Naomi who commented on my other post Four ways to be more productive with less stress and less guilt this half term make the decision to stop working altogether. Some even find ways of involving their kids in their business, which I guess is either creative genius or complete chaos, depending on how well that works out! Personally I do a combination of late nights, a couple of days of holiday club, and working less hours.
The thing that struck me is that everybody’s different. Yes we’re all in the same boat and it’s great to get different ideas of how things can be done, but the quickest way to lose your sanity and find yourself swimming in guilt is to keep comparing yourself to everybody else, wondering if that’s what you ‘should’ be doing:
“Maybe I shouldn’t be working at all. Maybe I should just focus on the kids – they grow up so quick and it’s only a couple of weeks after all. On the other hand, maybe I should try and do one thing at least, on my business to keep the momentum going after all the hard work I’ve put in to get it going…”
Then you have all the things that other mums are planning to do with their kids – swimming, painting, football, baking, trips out, Disneyland…
So here’s how you stay sane: Stop Saying Should!
Most people have good reasons for their choices – the important thing is to find your reason and make your choices around them.
What are the five most important things to you this school holiday? Forget should, what are you going to do about them?
Design your school holiday plans around those things. Schedule time to focus on the different aspects, so you’re not trying to do everything at once and end up making half a start and getting nowhere.
Then whatever it is you’re doing, whether it’s making daisy chains in the garden, queuing at Disneyland, getting into the flow of your next creation or singing Incy Wincy Spider for the twelfth time, take in every sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. Rather than think about all the things you’re not doing, be fully ‘there’ and notice what you are doing.
One of my clients on the Productivity Profits Challenge was talking about how before having children, she used to love taking off somewhere for a couple of days at a time, to fully immerse into a project. And while the time frames are a bit different now, there’s nothing stopping her from immersing herself for 1-2 hours at a time instead of 1-2 days.
In other words, it’s not so much about how much time you have or haven’t got, it’s what you do during that time. So whatever it is you’re choosing to take time for this school holiday, quit the comparing, stop the ‘should’s and savour the moment.
Here are my top five things this holiday:
- Dancing – nothing formal, just getting some great music on and boogying with the kids!
- Getting outdoors, whatever the weather!
- Spending time with friends – especially ones who go to different schools, that we don’t get to see much in term time
- Strategy – I’m attending Carrie Wilkerson’s UK event this month and I always come away fired up and focused on next quarter’s strategy
- Completing the technology and systems changes I’ve been making to strengthen my business – and I’m dancing with excitement just thinking about completing this!
So, bearing in mind everybody’s different, what are YOUR top five things this school holiday? I’d love to hear from you in the comments box below!