Summertime and it’s beautiful …. outside! It’s hard to pay attention to work if you’re working from home in particular, isn’t it. Summer is precious here in the northeast U.S. As I write, it’s rainy but GREEN. The geese are staying in my view out the window, relaxing in the water and our heron is out there, too. Today is good, because of all of this beauty and stillness, even with the mood-weather connection some of us have. Even the fog lifting from the lake. See how distracting it is!
Here are my ideas for you to put a bit of summertime into each workday.
Summertime Schedule & Priorities
- What’s Most Important: Choose one thing to do outside (walk, garden, etc.) just for 10-15 minutes. And then look at your work to do list for the #1 you must get done today. Have one of each type. If you need scientific proof to get rid of the guilt, it’s there; we are more attentive, creative and refreshed.
- Change Your Schedule: Start later or finish earlier, even if it is only 1/2 hour. Even if you need to return to work after dinner. But do you really need to, or is it a habit? Time block your calendar; add the new hours and the time you plan to head outside for a bit. Decide if you might want to work 3 longer days, with 2 days for fun, on your own, with friends, with family.
- KEEP using Your Task/To Do List: If you are in a business where your summers are less busy, it’s easy to relax and believe you don’t need to use these. You’ll remember everything. In fact, the opposite often happens. Writing especially and even typing into your calendar and to do tracker instills the appointment or to do a little bit better. If you try to remember it all, with your mind relaxed, it’s actually harder to remember everything.
Summertime Schedule Expectations
- Find Ways to Stay in the Moment. Self-talk works!
- Reset Your Expectations for how much work you can realistically get done, if you have children at home for part or all of the summer. If you can’t do that in your job, then how could you have dedicated times for work and have everyone clear about when those times are?
- Set Family Expectations: Whatever you decide about balancing work/summer, discuss it with your family. A few clients, when they’ve gone away with family, will: work the morning and
play in the afternoon (and everyone knows it, so they stay away in the a.m.); or they will check email and phone just 3 times a day and turn it off the rest of the time (required by their workplace).
- Set Work/Colleague Expectations: Tell them and set your mail settings but do this 3-4 weeks ahead of your new schedule, then tell them again each week, and as the day gets closer to the new schedule, tell them each day. They will forget, deny it because you’re so valuable, or won’t be sure how they can live without you. But they can.
- Keep Your Morning Routine-but shift it: This can be simply to have a change because it’s summertime. Or it can be to split up your exercise/reading/meditation routines between morning and end of day, since it’s light out later. Changing routines changes your energy. And sometimes, we need a recharge.
- Keep Your Evening Routine-do the shift again: Ideally, you’ve got a wind down routine and a range of time by when you you want to be asleep (so you’re not cranky or late to work the next day). Add some time outside — to your evening, a family walk, out for ice cream and hang out for awhile – something to have some fun, and then wind down your day.
- What Life Skill Could You Teach Your Children: Summer is a useful time to do this because you have more time, probably more patience, and can afford some redo’s if your child needs practice. Take a small piece of a life skill. If it’s laundry, start with one piece of the process, not the whole thing. Cooking is a great one for teenagers.
- A new routine! Treat Yourself Daily. It’s Summer after all: How could you treat yourself daily? Maybe it’s a 1/2 hour reading those articles you’ve had saved for awhile, or wandering around the internet because usually you have to be so focused. Maybe it’s lunch out, a coffee on the way in or as you’re out and about if you’re self-employed. Maybe it’s starting the day by reaching out to a friend. What makes you happy? Do a little of that.
- Try A New Hobby or Resurrect A Favorite: We have winter hobbies, whether you’re an outsider or a nester, like I am mostly. How about learning to play the piano? Start walking again with your dog. Going out at night and taking a community college course.
- Don’t Pack Your Summer so Full That It’s a Blur: Watch out for the weekend warrior syndrome, where because you have no joy during the week you go crazy busy on the weekend. We all need to get regrounded as do our homes and schedules. This could simply be getting home from a weekend or a party by 4 on Sunday, to get everyone ready for the week rather than starting out harried.
- Meals – Fresh Foods from the farmer’s market: This is a great way to celebrate summer. More expensive than the grocery store? Sure, sometimes. But you’re summering it and you’re supporting local businesses, plus it’s fun to be surprised each week by what’s in the market.
End your days with Gratitude.
Enjoy! If you want to figure out how to make this happen in your life, please contact me:
Sue@CoachSueWest.com or 603.765.9267 (text/cell)