How to Balance Work and Summer (Family) Fun

July 25, 2017

Remember when you were a kid and you couldn’t wait for school to be out for the summer? Who would have thought that as adults we might not feel the same way?! While many of us still have positive associations with summertime—and maybe we’re still even able to take some vacation time during the summer months—the reality of adulting can hit hard during those long sunny days when you’d rather be drinking a cold one by the pool with friends.

And don’t get us started about being a parent during the summer!

With all of the responsibilities of parenting and working, add on to that having to keep your kids engaged and busy while they’re out of school for three.whole.months, and it’s a recipe for disaster—or a heart attack!

Before you lose your cool (if you haven’t already this summer), check out these easy hacks for simplifying your life, cutting out distractions, and focusing on family time for what’s left of the summer.

Cut Out the Electronic Distractions

Think about it: during your time at home, what’s the biggest time suck for you and your spouse or partner? If you’re anything like us, then your answer probably has something to do with screens—computer, TV, smartphone, it’s all the same.

Imagine how much time and energy you could free up if you eliminated all that screen time.

What better time to implement an electronic detox than summer?! Yes, you may still have to go to your 9-to-5 or run your business, but if you unplug the TV and shut down the computers every evening for the rest of the summer, just think about how much devoted time you would have to spend with the family.

The sacrifice of missing your TV shows and the latest social media updates might just be worth it for the opportunity to bond with your kids and create lasting memories!

Set Strict Limits

Even if it’s not possible to implement an outright ban on all screens in the house, especially if you have older kids or run a business and need to check in periodically, now is the perfect time to set strict limits on screen time—for your kids and yourself!

Whether it’s restricting time on the phone or computer to an hour a day or enforcing a screen blackout from 6-8pm every evening while you eat dinner together and do a family activity outside, even limited breaks from electronics will go a long way in strengthening your family bond this summer.

Reward Time Outdoors with Screen Time

Summer’s the best time for outdoor activities, whether it’s swimming at the local pool, going to a summer concert at the park, or taking a family bike ride around the neighborhood. Take what remains of the summer as an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and get some extra exercise in while you can—it will be November before you know it!

You can even formalize it with your spouse and kids if you want: implement a system where you earn a reward of 30 minutes of screen time for every 2 hours spent doing outdoor activities.

The hope is that all of this extra time outside will be so much fun that you’ll stop being so glued to your screens and choose to spend more time outdoors voluntarily—imagine that!

Cut Work Time with an Efficient To-Do List

Hoping to take some extra time off work to spend with the family this summer? Then focus your energy on being as efficient and productive as possible while at work, and see if you can’t check everything off your to-do list ahead of time so that you can clock out early.

This works best by meticulously scheduling out all of your upcoming projects, breaking them down into small tasks, and then working backwards to carve out enough time for each task in your schedule. Conquering smaller tasks one at a time and staying focused on the task at hand will help you make quicker progress towards completing your projects.

Whether you’re able to leave work an hour or two early some days or take a couple Fridays off during the month, with focus and efficiency, you may just be able to enjoy some extra time for summer fun with the family!

Enjoy the Summer by Being Present

Electronics have the unfortunate side effect of keeping us distracted and not fully in the moment at any given time. Choose to be fully present this summer by limiting screen time, increasing outdoor time with family, and improving your efficiency so that you can make the most of the long summer days while they last!

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