Longer days, family vacations and a house full of kids at home for the summer months can make work-life balance hard to come by this season—especially when your business needs your active involvement to continue running successfully. But don't let this summer productivity challenge deter you from figuring out how to balance work responsibilities and spending time with your family.
There are a variety of ways to stay ahead at work during summer without having to compromise quality time with the people you love. Here are a few summer productivity tips that can help you keep things moving.
1. Plan ahead.
You don't want to neglect your family or your business during the summer by focusing solely on one or the other.
It's a delicate negotiation, but it is possible to give your time to both—it just requires some up-front planning.
Before making plans with your family, take some time—at least a week or two in advance—to run through your upcoming calendar and resolve any potential conflicts. Make note of any meetings you have and highlight competing priorities so you can address them before you go.
Communicate with your staff that you're planning to be out of office, and let them know how and when to reach you, if applicable. Then set up any necessary reminders on your phone so you're not caught off guard during family time. This can help with your summer productivity goals.
2. Stay connected with technology.
There are an arsenal of tools at your disposal to keep you up-to-date, organized and productive while you're away from the office.
Here are a few to consider while working remotely—all of which offer mobile applications that can keep you productive on the go. Don't forget to pack solar chargers and WiFi hotspots, if necessary!
Stay in touch while you're on the road with tools like Google Hangouts and Slack. Google Hangouts offers messenger, phone and video capabilities that can keep you informed and up to date. Slack's chatbots, search functions, file sharing and numerous integrations can make it a central place for all of your communications and updates.
Chat tools also allow you to have access to your team in real-time and offer them a convenient way to contact you if needed.
If you have to take a meeting on vacation, consider a conferencing platform like GoToMeeting or Zoom. These web-based tools allow you to join a meeting or connect with a client via phone or laptop; they also both offer audio and video conferencing capabilities.
Just remember to be flexible and plan ahead: Taking a conference call when you're away may require that you camp out in your hotel room, get a day pass at a local co-working space or work from a cafe.
Always make sure that the place you pick has a solid internet connection and that you've blocked off time between meetings to make the transition from family activities to work, or vice versa.
By assigning tasks, setting deadlines and monitoring your team's status, you can identify issues before they arise and make sure your team stays on track. Both tools are easy to learn and offer simple interfaces to help boost your summer productivity.
3. Set strict “office hours."
To maintain your summer productivity, consider setting up “office hours." Communicate those hours with your family and staff so everyone knows when you'll be working—and when you won't be.
Having this time set aside can give you the space that you need to get caught up and address “high-priority" tasks so they don't consume the rest of your day, and it can prevent your staff from pinging you constantly throughout the day.
4. Maximize your time by working off-hours.
If not working is out of the question, you can maximize your summer productivity by working during downtime or non-traditional working hours. Waking up earlier than usual or working in the evenings can give you more time during the day with your family, while still allowing you to be productive.
Regardless of where you're working this summer, it's important that you keep both your family and your business in mind. Summer may be presented as a time for travel and days spent without a care, but we know work must go on. Lucky for you, some of your best work can be accomplished while out of the office.
Take a good look at your schedule, create a work plan around it, stay disciplined and equip yourself with the right tools to succeed. These simple tips can help you optimize your productivity while working remotely and keep you informed and organized, while still enjoying all the fun that summer brings.
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