Tips to Balancing Your Workday When School is Out – The VA Summer-Time Shift

Many of us who work virtually, have a keen awareness about the benefits of balancing family life and work life. It is not necessarily easy, but it is manageable if you are organized and have a strong commitment to the profession. However, for those with school-aged kids, the summer months can push the limits of balance and patience. Our work schedules suddenly have to compete with kids who want/need our attention during daytime working hours.

Here are some useful tips to get you through what we like to call the summer -“time shift”.

Plan daily projects for your kids:
Depending on the age of your kids, try to have a daily project that requires little to no supervision which will occupy them for at least an hour. While the kids are doing their project, you can get some work done on your laptop or within ear shot of them.
Some project ideas include:

  • Quiet reading time
  • Writing letters to grandparents
  • Coloring or drawing pictures
  • Playing educational games on the iPad
  • Watching a movie or a favorite TV show
  • Age appropriate household chores

Be Flexible:
Work when your kids are asleep, or napping, at a friend’s house or when your spouse or partner gets home from work.

Pre-make snacks:
It really helps if you don’t have to spend a lot of time stopping the momentum of your day to give snacks to them. Use the weekend to make baggies or small individual containers of goldfish, fruit, popcorn, vegetable sticks or whatever your child enjoys, that they can grab themselves without having to interrupt your concentration.

Schedule Mom/Dad time into your day:
Kids don’t understand why you still need to work during summer break, so be sure to schedule time into your day where they get your full attention. No electronics, no distractions. It will keep the kids happy, and add balance into your work day.

So, enjoy the summer, sip a glass of cold ice tea, swing on a hammock while enjoying a hot evening in the backyard, and remember that the summer time-shift is inevitable until the school bells ring again.

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