Updated: Jun 22
Happy Summer Solstice! Arguably, one of my favorite days of the year.
With the longest number of daylight hours, warmer weather, and vitamin-bestowing sunshine . . . the solstice surely hearkens those long, drawn-out, leisurely summer days that stick in your memory like melted ice cream on your wrist.
The kids are almost out of school, and we've got flights booked to visit NY for almost 3 weeks. That means family, friends, beach days, city days, pizza, and sticky humidity.
My summer planning includes which flavor of soft-serve I'm going to have first, which color flip-flops to wear, which beach to hit up with kids, and...
What my work schedule is going to look like.
I know, I know - not very summery, Alli!
But I've found that if I don't master my summer work schedule, my work schedule masters me instead. Planning my schedule before the bell rings on the last day of school helps me avoid the freelancer panics.
You know those: you've got a deadline, a work call, and a ton of emails coming in . . . and the kids are there, in your office (and by that, I mean at the living room table next to the laptop, asking for a snack).
So this year, I've decided to streamline and slim down my summer schedule, and also plot out where my kids are going to be on which days. I started thinking about this in April/May, so I could adequately finish up some outstanding projects, working towards having only one main client project for the whole summer (more about that later) and one special, self-driven project (also, more about that later).
This is what it will (hopefully) look like for me:
One client project: 15 hours/week, remotely working as a Producer on a book at Wonderbly
One special, self-driven project: I'll be announcing this at the end of the summer!
Last day of school for my two kiddos: July 18 (school runs late here in the UK)
Trip to NY: Late July/early August. This is a "working holiday," so I'll still be able to do the required hours for my client (with a couple days off to go away with family), and my parents - thankfully! - can watch the kids. I will hopefully have a few hours per week for dreaming and executing my special project too. Most days, I'll work very early mornings (closer to UK time), then be able to hang out for the rest of the day.
Back in the UK: When we get back from NY, my husband Ed is taking a few days off from work to spend time with the kids (he'll miss them, since he's not coming with us to NY this time). I'll go to my studio to work, so I can get out of their hair and have some space of my own. Then for next three weeks, it'll be football/soccer camp for my kiddos and regular working hours for me. A mix of studio time and work-from-home time. Maybe a couple days working in London at Wonderbly's fabulous (& air-conditioned) offices.
Among all this will be weekends filled with picnics in meadows, swimming in rivers, hopefully some camping, visitng my father-in-law in Wales, and supporting my husband Ed at a gallery show he's having of his photography at our local arts and crafts centre. (Sign up for his newsletter here!)
OK, so yes - it is a juggle! And, yes - I am very privileged to have amazing parents to watch my kids, the disposable income to send them to summer camp, and a room of my own to work from. The income from that one client, fortunately, helps pay the bills.
I streamlined my schedule this summer on purpose because in summers-past, I've been burned.
And not just by forgetting to wear sunscreen in August.
My hope is that after this summer, I'll feel fresh and ready to take on some new, exciting projects in September.
What are your plans this summer, work and otherwise? Get in touch and tell me!