How to keep your online business running while schools out

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When you operate an online store from home and your kids are suddenly out of school for the summer, you are probably facing the next couple of months with a bit of apprehension. You love having your kids around, but now there are a lot of distractions that can keep you from getting anything done.

Of course, how big of an issue this is for you, more than likely depends on how old your kids are. It’s a whole lot easier to stay on track when your kids are in middle school or high school than it is when they are in grade school.

So, what to do?

Find some balance

Accept that your schedule is not going to be the same as it is the rest of the year when the kids are in school. Take some breaks throughout the day to spend time with your kids. Once again, depending on the age of the children, you might read them a short book, play a game with them or take snack time together. If they are older, running them to the mall or taking an afternoon to do something together can give you some family time. Not only will this re-energize you when you get back to work, but it will make your children know that you’re not ignoring them.

Put your kids to work

A lot of children love to help mom and dad out around the office. Tess, a mother of three who often sells toys and puzzles, lets her two younger girls play with the toys and make sure they are in working order. Her son, a sixth grader also helps out by sorting items and finding the items that have sold and gets them ready to ship.

Enjoy the great outdoors

The invention of laptops and other portable electronic gadgets has made it super easy to create an office almost anywhere. Tim, a stay-at-home father often takes his kids to the park where they can play while he creates listings. He says that although he still keeps a watchful eye on his kids, he enjoys being outside and is often able to still get a lot done while his kids are playing.

Lower your expectations

Although you may think that you can continue to work at your usual pace even with the kids around, you need to accept the reality that you simply can’t. If this is your first summer with your kids home from school, lower your expectations and realize that you may be working less than you want to for a while. Once you are able to see what kind of schedule you will be able to have, you can then adapt a new routine to accommodate your kids being at home. In some cases, you may even find that splitting the shift and working in the morning and then again after your kid’s bedtime can help keep your business on track.

Finding Balance in Your Life as an Online Seller

 

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If you’re like most online sellers, when you first started thinking about selling online, you probably envisioned being able to work when you wanted to and play when you wanted to. As you settled into selling on eBay or Amazon (or both), however, you probably found yourself going in one of two different directions. Either you haven’t been able to find enough time to actually work or you can’t find enough time for the rest of your life.

I bring this up because since the last part of July, I’ve had some weeks recently where my life kept getting in the way of my work. Then there were other times when the work kept getting in the way of my life. When this happens, I usually have to step back and see how to get my life back in balance.

Here’s what I’ve had to remind myself about over the last month or so:

Take a step back
Although you may “think” you can have it all, trust me, you can’t. If you’re starting to feel like you’re being pulled in 20 different directions, you need to take a step back and re-evaluate. This is where you may have to make some hard choices.

Choose what your priorities are for that particular moment of time and let the rest of it go. This may mean that if your business is struggling, you have to forgo some of the things you enjoy doing and concentrate on the work side of things. If your family is having trouble remembering what you look like because you’re listing all the time, you may have to put some restrictions on how many hours you are going to work.

Remember, it’s about finding balance between the two.

Set some boundaries
Sometimes it’s hard to find balance when you work from home because no one around you seems to respect your time or that you’re working. Family members want to talk (and talk…and talk…), friends know you’re home so feel they can rely on you when they need help with something, and the list goes on and on.

At that point, the only way to find some balance between your work life and family life is to have an honest conversation with the people in your life and set boundaries for your work time and your personal space.

You will have to be firm when you do this, however, because even though you may love your family and friends, you will find that they will push these boundaries at first because they always have been able to in the past. Be gentle, but remind them of your conversation.

Once they understand you are working the hours you are now so that you can join them in an activity later, they will usually begin to respect your work time and you can begin to achieve balance between your work time and family time.

Image courtesy of [ponsuwan] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A Day in the Life!

Ready for Bed tonight after a very eventful Tuesday.

What a day in the life of ThatKat!

From saying goodbye to my Soldier Son, Thomas Simpson, as he prepares to deploy to Afghanistan on July 3rd (what an appropriate day, right?) and finding my emotions as a mother so very different from facing deployments as a military wife!

 

 

 

Next was the 2 week checkup for husband Jeff from his most recent (6 so far) back surgery and finding out

that healing is ahead of schedule and all is well! Yeah! Great news.

 

 

 

 

And finally around 5 PM came the news that our family had grown, grandbaby number three has arrived, all 9 pounds 14.5 ounces of him. Welcome Bennett Jones Simpson, Nonna can’t wait to hold you!