Getting into your summer stride
Schools will soon be out for summer, and it feels like most of the office has checked out too. With an inbox full of out-of-office auto-replies, it’s tempting to take your foot off the gas. But success is in store for those who use the downtime to get ahead.
- Recognize the benefits. Tempting as it is to kick back over summer, lethargy quickly seeps in. Don’t let it. Adopt a proactive mindset by listing the benefits of getting things done: greater job satisfaction, progress towards your goals and more free time. ‘Can do, must do, will do now’ is your summer motto.
- Define your circle of influence. One of Steven Covey’s ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ is to focus time and energy on the things you can impact directly. You can’t control the fact that your colleagues are away, so direct your attention to the tasks that don’t require their input. Seeing a task through to completion provides a sense of achievement that will keep you motivated.
- Spot your barriers. We all procrastinate at certain points; the first step to beating it is to identify why. Whether out of complacency, a fear of failure, or avoiding the discomfort of an unenjoyable task, drill down into what’s stopping you getting things done. Then try the ‘five minute start’ – where you commit just five minutes to the project – to spring into action.
- Use goals and rewards. Start each week with a clear vision of what you want to achieve, and how you’ll feel when it’s done. Decide how and when you’ll measure progress, and build in small rewards – whether a short walk in the fresh air or a tea break – to act as the carrot to keep you focused.
- Seek an ally. If you’re feeling demotivated, chances are those around you are too. Keep energy high by sharing you goals and deadlines with a colleague and asking them to hold you accountable – and vice versa. Schedule in regular catch-ups where you can review each other’s progress and share insights on how to overcome any barriers to getting things done.