My kids are out of school and the pools are open. Yep, it’s summertime. Things are warmer and tend to be slower, including business. But this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can be a great thing. Here are five opportunities you can seize during the “summer slow-down”.
Use the Change in Rhythm to Recharge and Refocus
Your business will follow your focus. If you’re anything like me, the first half of the year was full but tiring. And tired people don’t think as clearly as rested ones.
During the summer slow-down, do yourself – and your business – a favor and recharge. This will help you refocus.
This summer my “R&R” started with a week at the beach enjoying my family and the simpler things in life. It also includes some adventure in the form of a three-week road trip visiting extended family. This change of place and pace is refreshing and helps with refocusing my perspective. I’m also journaling about what’s gone well this year so far and what I want to change moving forward.
For you, this might mean unplugging for a day – or ten. Or escaping for some solitude and “think time” like Bill Gates’s does every year with his famous “Think Week”. Maybe sitting on the porch enjoying the sunset each evening is the thing that will refresh you.
Nurture Relationships with Family and Friends
Successful people don’t go it alone. They have strong support networks. One study even describes relationships as a “lifeline” for entrepreneurs.
While the regular school routine is suspended and business meetings are less frequent, make it a point to spend time with family and friends. Take your kids out for ice cream and be in no hurry to end that date. Walk around the neighborhood and actually chat with the neighbors. Face time with your sister in Chicago (you know, the one you “keep missing”). Or What’s App that friend in Johannesburg (I did that today).
You need healthy relationships in your life and your business. Summer is a great time to invest in those relationships or put a date on the calendar to do so.
Spend As Much Time Outside As Possible
Truthfully, I prefer autumn to summer. But there’s no denying summer affords us more hours of daylight and plenty of opportunities to be outside.
Business Insider wrote about several science-based benefits of being outside, including improving short-term memory, lower blood pressure, less stress and boosting creativity.
Whether you’re a water skier, gardener or a porch rocker, summer is a great time to do more of that. It’s also a great time to work outside. I started this blog on a beach balcony last week and took a video call outside yesterday in a garden. Despite the slow and mute-worthy hum of cicadas, I enjoyed it. (Vitamin-D and a refreshed outlook for the summer slow-down win!)
Make Real Progress on a Big Project
A lighter schedule affords the perfect opportunity to dig into an important project for your business. Need to get a better bookkeeping system in place? (*raises hand here). Been putting off the soul-searching needed for that brand refresh? The summer slow-down is your time.
If you don’t have a project that jumps to mind, here are some places to focus:
- Building new systems
- Adding and on-boarding a team member
- Creating or updating your content strategy and plan
- Exploring partnership opportunities
I’m working on building out my team this summer, which includes adding some systems and recruiting for a role I want to grow with me. What will you tackle this summer?
Reset Your Plan for the Second Half of The Year
Summer signifies a shift from the first half of the year to the second. Perfect for taking stock of the progress you’re making and deciding what you want to change moving forward.
If you have a plan, take a couple of hours and assess how you’re doing against it. Decide 3 things you want to change or improve. Determine how you’ll know you’re successful (think SMART goals here). Then write it all down and tell someone for accountability.
Don’t have a plan? Summer is the perfect opportunity to create one. Wondering where to start? Get in touch and let’s chat.
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby