Not only does this create a challenge for business but also for families planning childcare around their busy working lives. So, how do you cope and how can you make the most of both work and holiday time.
Firstly - don't even attempt to cram a normal working week into four and three day weeks.
Secondly - stay focused and be selective. Not only are clients, customers and providers likely to take some time off but you want to spend time with the family too.
Plan WHAT needs to be done over the week and WHEN you're doing to do it. If you're planning to have time off with the children - PLAN your work time and family time. Just because there are fewer working hours available, doesn't mean your productivity and what you can achieve should drop in the time you spend working.
Prioritise - select the 'most important' things you need to work on. What's the minimum you need to do to keep things moving? You'd be surprised at the results you can get when you focus on the right things.
If you work from home, share childcare with friends and family and return the favour when they need a few hours or a day off.
A few focused hours is a far more effective use of your time than being distracted or trying to juggle work around family commitments and ending up feeling guilty and overwhelmed as you split yourself between work and family.
Identify the key tasks and actions you need to do over the week and fit them into the time available.
Set time limits on tasks, so you'll get things done quicker and be less distracted if you only have a limited amount of time. You could get a lot done in one or two hours a day, leaving the rest of the day clear for family time.
TIP: Use a kitchen timer if you want to be REALLY focused.
Enjoy quality time with the family and a break for yourself.
Some "slow children at play" signs just say "Slow" (Photo credit: Wikipedia)