It is much easier, I find, to work from home in the Winter than the Summer. Last year, I had a book to complete by 30 June. April and May were really sunny and it was so hard to get focussed on research. And, despite having a laptop, I never find the contrast good enough to work in the sun.
Then, of course, there is hayfever. I’ve been pregnant or breastfeeding for the last few years which cuts out the possibility of just taking antihistamines, so I sniffle and sneeze my way through June. This does nothing to help my concentration. This month I have been trying HayMax, a balm which you apply round the nose to trap pollen. It isn’t a bad product, but doesn’t solve the problem entirely. You need to reapply it every time you blow your nose which is pretty often in the hayfever season.
And the final blow to any plans of work over the summer is, of course, the kids. With a heavy schedule of school events – school fair, school play, parents evenings (2) and a barbeque – it is hard to get everything done in July. Just when I need to be focussing on work to complete things before August, I find myself breaking off to dash up to school a few hours early, again. Of course, that is also the plus side of working for myself: there is no boss to ask if I can take off yet another afternoon.
Since D started school I have written off any chance of working in August. With 3 kids now I have to plan carefully to get even an hour to myself when school and nursery aren’t open. This year, I’m making the most of the summer camp that the school is running for the first two weeks of the holidays. D is going to love meeting up with her friends for craft and sport without any lessons in between. She’s attending on alternate days to give us all a chance to wind down, otherwise it would be to much like the school term if she had to be up there every day at 9am.
So, can you get much work done over the summer? Will you be squeezing work in during the evenings, or have you planned carefully to shut the laptop the moment school closes? Remember to check out holiday activities so you can get an hour or so of peace too.