The lazy, hazy days of summer are here bringing the call of Summer to get outside and enjoy. Anticipating vacation, or just getting back from time off boosts the challenges to being productive for many of us. It can be tempting to do, well…nothing.
It’s called the Summer Slump. And it can be difficult to muster up enough motivation to charge ahead on anything. So how do we get back in the groove, move forward and beat the summer slump?
Here are some suggestions to consider:
- Take Stock—It’s hard to know where to go when we don’t know where we are. Sometimes honestly taking stock of our physical, mental, and emotional state is a start to get the facts on the table. Writing it down helps give us a more objective picture. It also helps us differentiate what we truly are feeling from what we are supposed to be feeling.
- Take Aim—When we don’t aim, good luck hitting the target. Our feelings don’t always have to be in line for us to start doing something constructive. Sometimes we do first, and feelings catch up later. Identifying a solid priority, and then taking concrete steps to initiate the first movement in that direction breaks the cycle of endlessly wishing but not doing. A simple first step helps us push through the overwhelm that can paralyze us and tends to be a catalyst to continue us in that direction.
- Take Action – To a great extent, we are what we create, so if we want something different, almost any movement to make that happen is a strong first step. Waiting around for circumstances to change puts us at the mercy of circumstances. If we single out our most important task, and yell “Charge!”(even though we might not feel like it at the moment), it at least creates momentum and it’s easier to make mid-course corrections than move the unmoving.
- Move it!—Physical exercise (and enough quality sleep) is not a cure-all, but the number of elements in our lives it automatically lifts is impressive and too important to be ignored. Our high altitude evenings and mornings often give us a break from the heat, so we can target the time. If nothing else, walk. If you can stand more without getting heat stroke, do it. Almost every study we know of demonstrates that physical exercise and enough sleep improves our whole being, including our outlook.
- Plan Ahead—Want to keep the productive cycle going? Take stock now for tomorrow. Efficiency experts tell us to set aside about 10 minutes the evening before, and plan the first 4-5 things we will do to start tomorrow—and it’s not answering email. Instead, we’re told to concentrate on priorities, or at least one priority, to get the day rolling. Beginning with a jump start can constructively set the tone for the entire next day, helping us conquer the “stuck-in-molasses” quagmire that a demanding schedule can present.
No one set of suggestions will be the magic potion for everyone, but when we change our vision, our focus, our approach, and our actions, even taking the smallest steps can spark a positive direction to turn a Summer slump into a rewarding, productive journey .