The summer months can be tricky for most businesses. Unless you’re in a seasonal industry, chances are that things tend to slow down a bit in June, July and August. Revenue is always a less than the rest of the year, consumers are harder to track down, and it must be admitted, even the professionals fall into a bit of a funk. Whether it be the warm weather or maybe the summer distractions, everyone in the office seems to be running at half speed.
The slow months can get to you and you can easily find yourself slipping into a summer slump where productivity goes to die. Yet, with one full month of summer left, you can still bounce back and make August a truly efficient month. Follow these tips and drag yourself out of the summer slump.
Keep your routine.
Routine is always important no matter the time of year, but people seem to abandon it more frequently in the summer. Certain things don’t seem as important or necessary during this time and the stunted workflow makes people think they can sort of wing it, seeing what the day will bring them. It’s a bad way to start off the day and it makes it difficult to recover. Stick with the tried and true routine you would use any other time of the year. Go for your morning walk even if it’s too hot. Answer emails when you get to the office even if they’re not time-sensitive. Have a road map for the day and it will prevent you from putting around with nothing to do.
Change daydreaming to brainstorming.
I’m not going to be so preposterous as to tell you to stop daydreaming. It’s impossible not to, and it’s especially hard in the summer. You’re sitting at your desk on another slow business day, you catch a glimpse out the window at how beautiful it is outside, and your mind wanders. Sometimes you just need some time in your own head but that doesn’t mean it can’t be productive. Use the time to think on your career and where you won’t it to go. How do you see the next 6 months of work going? How will you achieve what you want to achieve?
Reach out to people.
Something else that makes summer a less productive time is vacation. Everyone is always on the go so it’s very hard to schedule anything. Regardless of the difficulty, use any of the spare time to reach out to people. Whether it be clients, potential employers or just professional contacts, it’s a great time to reconnect and strengthen those relationships. Ask if they want to get together for lunch or an after work drink (they might be as bored as you) or just set up a meeting for September. Put it in the calendar and you can hit the ground running once the slow month are over.
Tackle those “I’ll do that later” tasks.
We all have those tasks on the to-do list that have been there way too long. Maybe it’s something you’ve been dreading or maybe it’s just one of those things that is never a major priority. Summer is the perfect time for low priority work. As painful as it might be, get it done, get it off the list and leave the office with that feeling you accomplished something.
Develop new skills.
The business world is always changing and evolving, and that means the professionals need to evolve with it. Every year some you position adds on at least one new skill that would be an asset for anyone looking to get hired. Take the summer months to update your skill set to the most relevant new software or maybe improve an always-important skill, like writing. A common criticism that boomer professionals take it that they’re unwilling to learn new things. Prove them wrong this summer.
Track your weekly performance.
All these tasks and activities are great to keep you busy and keep your mind in the work, but when you’re lacking those big, time-sensitive projects, you can find yourself working at a snail’s pace. No matter what you’re filling your time with, stay on top of your progress. Chart what you’ve done each week and then try to maintain or exceed that progress every week afterward.
Take advantage of being off the clock.
FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out is a very real sense that while you’re stuck in the office, everyone else is out their enjoying the sun, the beach and barbeque. While keeping your head in your work is important, it’s nearly impossible if you don’t take the time to enjoy the summer. Make every evening and weekend count. Have fun, spend time with the family and then return to work feeling like you’re having a great summer along with everyone else.