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Summer vacation is a lot different for my kids than it was for me. Aside from regular swimming lessons and a weekly trip to the library, my childhood summers were mostly unstructured, spent playing outside with the neighbors’ kids, watching “The Monkees” reruns and bickering with my siblings.

Now, we live in a neighborhood with fewer kids, in a society that would charge us with neglect if we let our kids play outside unsupervised. So we have to plan activities, set up play dates, choose day camps and create a schedule that will make the summer fun for our children and sane for ourselves.

Oh yeah – I have to plan when to work, too. While my husband is the full-time stay-at-home parent of our family, I workshift. And I don’t want to miss out on all the fun.

Also, I happen to work for Paul Burrin, the guy who wrote “Make Working Fun While Enjoying the Summer Sun.” To not take advantage of the benefits of workshifting during my kids’ summer vacation would be almost as criminal as not supervising them outdoors.

School doesn’t let out for a few more weeks here, so I’ve still got time to work out my plan. Here are some options I’ve been considering:

  1. Start work early, take time off in the middle of the day for activities with the kids, and then finish my work later in the afternoon and evening.
  2. Work an extra hour the first 4 days of the week, and then only work a half-day on Fridays.
  3. Actually use some of my vacation days.
  4. Take a laptop (or iPad, iPhone or Android tablet) with me and work from our vacation destination (if we ever decide on one).
  5. Enjoy a combination of all of the above. (I wish more dessert menus had this option!)

Keeping track of an employee who works flexible hours like these might seem like a manager’s nightmare, but Paul’s not the only one who advocates summertime scheduling. A recent blog article from US News Money explains “How Summer Hours Make Employees More Productive.

How about you? Do you think a summer schedule would work for you? How do you plan to use workshifting to make the most of the long summer days?

GoToMyPC is giving away 2 iPads.

By the way, would having an iPad make it easier for you to workshift this summer? ‘Cause Citrix GoToMyPC is having a contest on Facebook that you might want to enter.

All you have to do is “Like” the GoToMyPC page and fill out the little entry form. Then, if you share the link with your Facebook friends, you increase your chances of winning, because GoToMyPC is giving an iPad to both the person whose name gets drawn AND the person who referred them to the contest.

The only bad part is, I’m pretty sure this blog post doesn’t count as a referral. Nuts!

Don’t dawdle – the contest ends on June 3, 2012.

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Gayle Turner
Gayle Turner is well accustomed to adapting to new work environments. Since she started working as an editor at Citrix in 2004, her work station has been moved 10 times. She also works at home a few days per week to reduce commuting time and spend more time with her family. A mother of two, she once managed to change a diaper during an online meeting without anyone noticing. Gayle’s editorial career has included preparing medieval and Renaissance texts for publication, writing and editing abstracts from American history periodicals and working on marketing copy and user guides for commercial software. She currently manages the Writing and Editorial Services team at the Online Services division of Citrix.
  • Uturnjoo

    Love this, Gayle! I’m going to think about your suggestions, especially #3!

  • http://workfromhometipsonline.com RonPayne

     Totally agree with starting work early and then taking a few hours off in the middle of the day to enjoy the kids.  Here in Texas I put that one to use every summer, we spend a lot of time at the pool in the afternoon.

  • http://twitter.com/Calzzon L

    U.S. only…  Work where you want, not win where you want ;)

    • http://twitter.com/gayle2nturner Gayle Turner

       Sorry, legal constraints made it tough to offer the contest outside the U.S.

  • Connie Coker

    I already do a combination of #1 and #2.  It works beautifully for me.

  • http://twitter.com/therealmaz Jeremy Maziarz

    I had a discussion with my wife just the other day about how “we” (collectively) give our employers the prime of our lives. The eight hour block of time that makes up the majority of our lives plus commute time, pick up the dry cleaning time, etc. As a remote worker I still give that time away but this post has me thinking now.

    Thank you!