I love summer, the sun, the heat, and summer vibes.  

My goal in the summer is to spend as much time enjoying my favorite season while building the business I love.  

This means I adjust how I work to create success AND take advantage of the season that brings us outdoor markets, BBQs with friends, and Patio dining. 

Summer Slowdown – it’s real

Yes, I adjust my schedule because I want to enjoy the warm weather, but I also adjust my schedule to offset what I call summer slowdown. 

I notice that business slows down naturally a few times in the year. Summer is big, lasting mainly from mid-June to early September. Many will tell you that summer slowdowns aren’t real, but I’m afraid I have to disagree.  

Consider the following: 

  • The heat. Sun and heat make me tired. It’s an issue because I live and work in a home with only one ductless air conditioner. My office is one of the most uncomfortable places when the weather is hot and humid. The result is that by mid-day, I can feel sluggish and slow. 
  • Summer Attitudes. There is a vibe about summer and an urgency (especially in August) where you want to get out and enjoy all that the season offers before it’s gone. This urgency and desire to get out and enjoy ourselves can distract us from work, especially if there are no pressing deadlines.  
  • Activities. My summers fly by because there are so many things to do. BBQs with friends, outdoor markets to visit, summer road trips, cottages, and more. Planning and prepping for these events can pull us away from our businesses.  
  • Absences. Vacations happen in the summer. This has an impact because it means it can be difficult to move projects along, or perhaps you are picking up the work of those that are off. Overall, things take more time to get done. 

Because I know that the summer slowdown is real, I change how I work to offset at least some of the causes of the summer slowdown.  

Three Strategies

My goals for summer productivity is to enjoy myself as much as possible, work when my energy is high, and keep things moving. With these goals in mind, here are the three strategies I use: 

  1. Schedule and Plan vacations and activities. I like to enjoy the Ontario summers as much as possible, so I don’t usually travel. However, I plan time off to enjoy my pool, deck and visit friends.   This means scheduling and planning so I can prepare work ahead of time so I can enjoy my time spent outside of the office.   Scheduling will also give you something to look forward to and ensure the summer doesn’t pass you by.  
  2. Unplug/be present. When you are in work mode, work. Use some tips we’ve shared in past blogs to keep yourself focused. Use Pomodoro’s and ensure you have a distraction-free workspace.   When work is complete, log off and be present with your family, friends, or relax. Use this with your kids too. Work with them to let them know when your work hours will be and when you are with them, commit to them and be present. For example, set up a schedule that gives you 90 minutes of focused work, after which you will give them 30 minutes of focused attention. You will find it easier to stay focused once your unconscious understands that you will enjoy your downtime.  
  3. Create a summer schedule. I talk a lot about creating an ideal work week, and my ideal work week changes for the summer months to accommodate my goals.   For example, you can shorten your workweek by reducing your hours (we do this with our team. We close early on Fridays), or you can compress your week by working longer on some days, for example, working 4-10 hour days vs. 5-8 hour days. Or start earlier in the day to avoid the late afternoon slugfest. 

I use all three to accomplish my goals for the summer.   I plan activities and “staycations” to enjoy my backyard, and all the summer has to offer. I also start and shut down earlier to combat the heat and get outside in the late afternoon to enjoy myself. I also take Friday afternoons off to create long summer weekends.   

I will also use all my productivity skills to stay focused when working and enjoy myself when logged off.  

Even if summer is not your favorite season, you can use these tips to help you enjoy skiing more in the winter or hiking in the fall.  

What do you do to enjoy your favorite season?  

Don’t wait until you are ready to take action. Instead, take action to be ready.

Jensen Siaw

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