I am coming off the most incredible weekend. We kicked off Canada Day Thursday night with a beautiful wedding. My entire family came in from New York City, and the festivities didn’t stop all weekend long. Lots of food, music, booze, parties, swimming, boating, and fun by the lake. Top that with the best weather we’ve seen all year– finally in consecutive days!

I was on the fence about sharing a photo highlight from this weekend’s festivities. But one of my Facebook friends wrote, “That’s the Bar Mitzvah shot, right there.” I figure, we all know what a baby bottom looks like, so please, don’t arrest me for pornography. But this picture of my four-year-old about to jump into the lake to skinny dip, actually inspires me.  When I see this, it reminds me to JUMP in the direction of my dreams and always remain a free spirit. It’s a great reminder for any woman.

But back to today’s topic. After the long weekend, the vast majority of Canadians returned to work this morning. For many, Monday morning represents a return to the grind, accompanied by a prayer that Friday comes sooner rather than later. Add to that, hot summer weather staring at you outside your work window… and it can all make for a very unmotivating work week.

So the question is, how do you stay motivated to work during the beautiful summer months?

For my working women and moms, how do you get the most out of summer, AND the most out of your career at the same time? I don’t know about you, but when summer comes, I just want to goof off.

Here are 6 tips to keep yourself thriving in all your roles during summer:

  1. Give yourself permission during the summer months to lighten the load. My blogging frequency always decreases during the summer. It eats me up inside, but I remind myself how hard I push for 11 months. I push very hard. If you make 15 less cold calls a week, for a couple of weeks, I promise you the world will still turn. If you leave work a little earlier during July or August (if you have that flexibility), I promise you, things won’t fall apart. Give yourself the okay to loosen the grips for just a few weeks. Your mental health will thank you. If you do not have the flexibility to decrease your overall hours worked, ask if you can come to work earlier in the morning and therefore leave earlier in the evening– even for the month of July. Many companies are more flexible during summer months.
  2. But still stick to an overall schedule- AIM TO BECOME MORE EFFICIENT IN THE SUMMER. Efficiency frees you up sooner to do the things you love. Posting work goals in a visible place, such as on post-its on your computer, is key to staying on track. You can still lighten the load, but preserve your overall goals. Putting those goals in front of you at all times, keeps you on track and on schedule, giving you more free time.
  3. Keep your running shoes at your desk and don’t let them collect dust. Lunchtime is a perfect time to GET OUTSIDE AND WALK. Your body, mind and spirit will thank you. While you’re at it, keep your ipod in your purse at all times as well. Music is a proven endorphin enhancer. Walking outside during your lunch-hour will give you the dual benefits of exercise AND a much-needed dose of vitamin D. This includes taking your overall workout regime outdoors too. Try hiking, cycling, running, swimming or speed walking outdoors instead of at an indoor gym, 3-4 times per week.
  4. Got Kids? Take advantage of after-dinner activities. Summertime is a time that my kids know, if they ate a healthy dinner, then we can often head out for ice cream or frozen yogurt, play outside, or go to the park. In fact, we’re planning on taking them to an outdoor free concert tonight at the Montreal Jazz Fest. Our summer is too short, and therefore the best time to bend the rules, and just enjoy the longer days of sunlight.
  5. Clean House. Literally and figuratively. The things we’re too busy to attend to during the year, present themselves as a great opportunity to do in the slower months of summer. Plus the act of crossing things off your to-do list is very rewarding. Clean up your database, clean out your desk, get rid of clients who weigh you down, take inventory, etc… Take the slow summer months as a way to catch up– you’ll feel lighter and better able to enjoy your free time.
  6. Stay Positive. One of my favorite quote: “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” ~Norman Vincent Peale. I cannot stress the reality of this statement enough. If you mope, and wax on about how shitty it is to be working when some of your friends are out playing, your thoughts will create your reality. But if you recognize and honor that yes, perhaps you’d rather be outside at 2 o’clock on a Wednesday, and then remember the benefits of being a working woman… such as making a salary, personal fulfilment, contributing to your family income, engaging your mind, changing your world, then your sense of fulfilment will outweigh the negatives.

Remember, working in the summer isn’t easy for ANYONE. If you’re about to host your own pity-party, a quick and final reminder:  the old saying still goes… misery loves company. When in need, find a buddy. Support is all around, if you just seek it.

A very Happy 4th of July to my friends south of the border celebrating today. Be safe.

Tell us, what are YOUR tips for surviving work during the summer? How do you maximize and get the most out of the short summer season, and your job at the same time? Share with our community.