Happy Long Weekend for my North American Friends – Canada Day or 4th of July! I am trying to channel my younger son this long weekend who is the kind of person that just JUMPS into life. I stumbled upon this picture of him from many summers ago, and every time I see it, it reminds me to JUMP in the direction of my dreams and to always remain a free spirit. It’s funny how much we often learn from little people.
But back to today’s topic. 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? We’re starting July, we need a solid plan.
For my working women, 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 feel like goofing off.
Here are 6 tips to keep yourself thriving in all your roles during summer:
- Give yourself permission during the summer months to lighten the load. My blogging frequency always decreases during the summer. It kind of eats me up inside, but I remind myself how hard I push for 11 months. If you make 15 less cold calls a week, for a few 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 for flex time, which leads us to tip #2.
- Adjust your work schedule (if you have that flexibility). Since COVID, many companies these days are starting to see the value of mentally healthy employees. With pioneers like Google and Arianna Huffington preaching work-life balance, well-being and quality of life outside of work, this has become a definite trend. It’s all in your sales pitch! An idea is to present the option to your boss that your work will not suffer at all, but you would like to propose work from 7am – 3pm instead of 9am-5pm, just for July and August. This way you can enjoy the full afternoon and evenings! You would be shocked at how many employers would say yes.
- 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. Productivity is key in the summer- be productive so you can work and then make more time for play. Get off all social media during the day. Stay focused on the tasks at hand. 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 to play.
- 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 music or a great podcast downloaded on your phone 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, biking, running, swimming or speed walking outdoors instead of at an indoor gym, 3-4 times per week.
- Got Kids? Take advantage of after-dinner activities. Summertime is a time for evening ice cream or frozen yogourt, a trip to the park, or an after dinner scavenger hunt with the neighbors. Summer is short (especially if you live north like I do), and therefore is the best time to bend the rules, and just enjoy the longer days of sunlight.
- 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 satisfying. Clean up your database, clean out your desk, get rid of clients who weigh you down, take inventory, etc… Take the slower summer months as a way to catch up– you’ll feel lighter and better able to enjoy your free time.
- 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.
Have a beautiful week ahead. Please try and embrace it with ease, positivity and fresh eyes.
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.