Isn’t it ironic that when life is so busy, we run around taking care of business and thinking, “If only I had more time, I would…” Then summer rolls around, and for most entrepreneurs, life does slow down. Instead of enjoying the more relaxed pace, we become lethargic and unmotivated. Not sure what to do with all this extra time, we often do nothing. Then we end up feeling guilty and worried! There must be something we should be attending to in order to keep our businesses thriving from June through August.
I call this the Summer Slump. This is a place too many entrepreneurs find themselves. Rather than enjoying the season, they are eager for it to end so that normal life and their businesses will once again resume.
Entrepreneurs are hardwired to be busy all the time. We thrive on the rush of adrenaline that occurs when we are juggling several responsibilities at once. We are goal-oriented and geared towards productivity. In the summer, many clients and customers are away, our associations and network organizations take a break from meetings, and even the phone calls and emails seem to slow down as the heat rises.
If you struggle to unwind and enjoy summer but wish to look back in September and say the summer was fun and productive, adopt my 3-R’s of Summer; Reorganize, Recreate and Rejuvenate!
How many times have you said in regards to your business (or personal life), “If only I had the time, I would _________. “? With a little extra time on your hands, consider the following suggestions:
- Clean up your office: Clean out file cabinets, bookcases, and desk drawers. Decorate and make your office more appealing.
- Clean up your computer: Delete old files & email folders and clean up your bookmarks. Finally read or just delete those emails and articles you’ve kept for so long.
- Think about the tasks required for your business that you really don’t enjoy or feel you do that well. Decide which could be delegated. Interview and hire a Virtual Assistant and set the systems up together during the summer, so come September your VA will be ready to ease some of your time crunch and stress.
- If you don’t already have one, implement a CMS (contact management system), set up an email server and/or create a newsletter.
If you only had enough time to think about it or learn something new, what would you do differently than you are doing now?
- Evaluate the first half of the year. Look back at the business goals you set in January. How are you doing with them? Do they still make sense and resonate with you? Should you create new goals for the second half of the year, or create a plan to meet the goals you set in January?
- Create a marketing plan for the second half of the year. What new programs do you want to offer in the fall? What do you need to set up now to get it off the ground?
- Go to summer school. If you had the extra time (as we do in the summer) to learn a new skill that could help you in your business, what would it be? Connect with other business professionals who could teach you or offer group classes. Since business is slow for everyone, you might even get a better fee.
- What can you do for yourself that you have always wanted to, but never had the time for?
- Get in shape. Sign up for exercise classes like spinning, Zumba, yoga, boot camps, etc.
- Start a weight loss program while you can take advantage of the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Reignite an old passion: Take classes in art, photography, or sport lessons, anything that you once took joy in and would love to do again.
Spend time doing things that recharge your batteries so that when the fall comes, you are ready to tackle the increase in activity and business that explodes in September.
- Take a vacation. Whether you can get away for a week, a long weekend, or even a day, make it a true vacation. Change your answering machine and put an auto respond message on your email stating you are on vacation and will get back to them upon your return. Avoid technology.
- Shorten your workday or workweek. Consider ending your day early and spend the late afternoon at the pool, or in the backyard reading a great book. Or perhaps work a four-day week, and give your self an extended weekend.
- Spend more time with family and friends.
Summer is a special time of the year that comes and slips away very quickly. You work hard all year long and should not feel guilty about slowing down, relaxing and enjoying this time of year. Make sure in September when you are asked, “How was your summer?” the answer is “Great!”