Summer can be our busiest time of year in recruiting for the creative communications sector at royall.
As we approach that time of year again, and our children look forward to a summer of fun, we working parents start to feel anxious. Some parents can work from home, others don’t have that option. Not everyone has the luxury of having childcare arranged, small business owners still need to work, but how do we balance this with childcare? Not just covering our children, but ensure they are enjoying engaging activities, new experiences, educational times as well as exercising. The struggle is real!
Sports programs, summer camps and holiday play schemes are great options during summer holidays, however, working parents still must arrange drop-offs and pick-ups, the logistics back and forth and packing lunch bags and changes of clothes can be crazy, and these programs can be costly, especially if you have more than one child.
Having to balance school holidays and work responsibilities may seem daunting to start, but with a little organisation, everyone can benefit from the summer school break.
Here are some tips to help you, as a working parent, stay organised, productive, and calm, while you juggle work and childcare like a boss, and here at royall we are in the same boat and truly empathise with this busy time of year 😊
Can any family members or friends help care for your children during the school holidays if affordability is tough? Grandparents, aunties, and uncles?
Say YES to friends on offers for childcare help and return the favour when you can.
Are there other working parents you can share / swap with?
‘Important’ over what is seemingly ‘urgent’.
Focus on what really must be done and achieved, versus other people’s expectations of what is urgent.
Taking one task at a time has proven to be a very effective method.
Time blocking or “monotasking” can be a great tool if you stick to it.
Perhaps setting longer deadlines for some projects is better.
Identify which tasks can be paused until the school holidays are over.
Ring fence non-essential jobs and tasks to concentrate on completing high-level priorities.
Also, a great way not to lose track of things and keep focused is to use a planner for schedules, goals, and tasks in one place.
Six weeks of school holidays can feel like an eternity when you are trying to meet everyone’s expectations without planning.
Set goals and expectations that are realistic!
Communicate with your clients and colleagues to give them the heads up this may be a tricky period for you.
Be upfront about the situation you are currently in. Before agreeing to any tasks or projects, ask yourself if you have the time available to complete it?
When children are happiest in the morning or lunchtime, when they are eating or playing, or sleeping, it is a great time to have a ‘burst’ of work activity.
Squeeze in light tasks into short blocks of time or when you expect to be surrounded by noise and easily distracted. Leave your important jobs for days when you will not be interrupted.
Planning and writing down your to-do lists every day is a great way to keep things controlled and, with that, reduce stress levels.
It’s better to overestimate the time you can have something done in than underestimate!
Simplifying processes by streamlining may make the school holidays more enjoyable than you think.
Can you work more in advance so you can take longer off when you need to?
Consider hiring some help just for this period, a cleaner, even if you can only afford once every other week, or trainee childminders, that only charge £5 an hour, whilst studying for their qualifications. (Look on Nextdoor, and local Facebook pages for those willing to help in the summer season.)
Could you get someone freelance to help take the pressure and load off just during the summer?
Might your business benefit from a contractor? Or could you benefit from home help, or ask a parent to help you with some of the personal duties you have to juggle during this period, such as booking dentists, shoe-fitting and buying or other back to school tasks.
If you have second thoughts about to hire and why, bear in mind that although contractors may have a higher hourly rate, they still cost you less than an employee.
A contractor doesn’t come with additional costs like insurance, benefits, retirement, etc.
royall specialise in permanent placements, but we are well connected. If you or your business has a freelance, or contractor need we can help.
Asking for help, is a great thing, it helps YOU and it helps US feel valued when we are asked 😊
royall prides itself on its flexible agile culture, and whilst we are extremely busy, we always have time for people we have time for!
Wishing you all a super summer, and our amazing team their much-deserved time off – GUILT FREE!