Early morning sweat sessions squeezed in before a hectic work day, then it’s off to the beach, summer vacation, family reunion…..Does this sound like your summer schedule? Amidst all of our summer plans, vacations, and family responsibilities it can be a challenge to find time to get it all done.
We all know that maintaining a healthy life balance is not only essential for happiness and well-being; it can be a tremendous boost to your productivity and career or business success as well. A well-balanced person has a far greater ability to focus their attention and energy on attaining their goals, taking productive actions and moving forward in a meaningful way.
Here are 10 ideas to balance your summer schedule like a pro!
#1 Venture Out - Get outside as much as you can! Schedule out door lunches with colleagues and friends, accept invitations to outdoor events, walk or bike to work, etc…Break up your indoor activities with outdoor options. The outdoors offers you much needed light exposure, giving you a mood boost and allowing you to maximize the summer season.
#2 Work a compressed week or take PTO - Give yourself a long weekend all summer. Instead of taking the traditional one week vacation, opt for taking (5) Friday’s off in a row. This will maximize your weekends and provide a four day work week. Make sure to fully utilize your vacation time as it drives performance, productivity, boosts morale and contributes to employee wellness and retention.
#3 Conference Calls and Meetings - Take your conference calls & meetings outside, looking at scenery and getting fresh air and sun. Schedule an outdoor walking meeting. There are many benefits! Research finds that the act of walking leads to increases in creative thinking. Plenty of evidence also suggests that walking meetings are more productive than traditional sit-down meetings, better for your health and increase engagement.
#4 Project Management - Schedule demanding projects in the fall and winter and complete all your major commitments by June. This will alleviate some stress and allow for a slower summer work pace.
#5 Create a Daily Schedule - Build downtime into your schedule. Check out Michael Hyatt’s “My Ideal Week" schedule to the minute, which allocates time for friends, family, work and personal time. Create one for yourself and make sure to stick to it. https://michaelhyatt.com/myresources/my-ideal-week.pdf. Take stock of activities that don't enhance your career or personal life, and minimize the time you spend on them.
#6 Adjust your Work Hours - Talk with your employer to adjust summer work expectations. Mention that your adjusted schedule will ultimately help you add value at the office so that your manager and colleagues are motivated to accommodate your new schedule. Inquire about flextime, delegating responsibilities, or working from home.
#7 Spend time alone - Making time for you is probably the hardest thing to do for the typical busy meeting professional, but it is crucial for lowering stress, increasing happiness and encouraging creativity. Some things to try; meditate, read a book, do some yoga or simply sit quietly for a few minutes each day and do absolutely nothing. Giving everyone 24/7 access to you is not beneficial. Create boundaries & stick to them. There should be certain times each day that you cease doing for everyone else & focus on recharging.
#8 Focus on nutrition - Meeting professionals go non-stop! Food is the fuel that allows us to have energy and be productive. The summer season is a great time to go to farmer’s markets, grow a garden, try new recipes and feed your body in season produce! Try this new muddler https://amzn.to/2rOaG8X which is designed to intensify the essence of ingredients like mint, lime, berries and cucumbers to make flavorful water or try infused water recipes.Your water intake will naturally increase. Studies show you are 25% more productive when hydrated.
#9 Commit to Fitness - Summer is the perfect time to try a new outdoor activity. Tennis, walking, swimming or join a running group. It's hard to make time for exercise when you have a jam-packed schedule, but it may ultimately help you get more done by boosting your energy level and ability to concentrate.
#10 Trim and Prioritize - It’s a given that if your life is overflowing you will never be able to achieve balance and manage it all. It’s just not possible. Say no to everything that is either not essential or doesn’t add something valuable to your life. Say “Yes” to what inspires you and “No” to the things that no longer serve you.
You may love your new summer routine and once you start seeing positive results you’ll be better equipped to maintain that new found equilibrium all year long. The key is not to try to change everything at once, but to make small adjustments over time to determine what works for you. Eventually you will have a whole new set of positive life habits that can benefit you all year long. Start this summer!
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