How to get things done and have more fun this summer
Recently, I’ve read some inspiring words online from people who’ve decided to take a break from the internet this summer.
Some of them are also able to take a week or fortnight’s holiday away from their everyday life and work. Both of these might sound anything from pretty dreamy to pretty scary right now, depending on your perspective. Quite possibly both.
I’m not taking a holiday this summer.
Whilst I’m taking time to do things I love, our next holiday won’t be until mid-October. I also have work that requires me to be online, so quitting the internet isn’t really an option.
I’m looking forward to working hard this month, but I also don’t want to hit September feeling like I missed opportunities to enjoy the summer. I want to do what I can, to have the kind of summer I’ll remember with warmth and gratitude. One that will set me up well for the rest of the year.
For many of us, the summer holiday season can be pretty full-on. For parents with school-age children, carers, church leaders attending or speaking at multiple summer festivals and people with roles that do not slow down at all, there can be significant challenges at this time of year.
So how can we find life-giving ways to get things done AND have more fun this summer?
Think about what’s in your Gift
None of us control all the things. But we often have more control over our life and work than we think we do. Rather than obsessing over things you can’t change, question your assumptions, allow yourself to consider the possibilities - and think about what you do have at least some control over.
Welcome to the freedom zone. It’s here we get to make some choices.
Find Some New Rhythms
What might it mean for you to run on ‘summer time’ this month? Although this doesn’t work for everyone (hello, night owls!) I love making the most of the early mornings to get things done at this time of year, so I can take time off elsewhere.
Commit to Slowing Down
Our bodies, minds and souls are simply not designed to run at the same speed and intensity all year round. It’s not how we were designed - and it’s just not physically or mentally possible, without eventually taking its toll. Where could you allow yourself to cut yourself some slack and slow down? If this summer is crazy busy, could you slow down in September instead? If not then, then when?
Consider Switching Off
Even if you can’t quit the internet this summer, it doesn’t mean you can’t commit to being online less, or being only selectively interruptible, so you can be more present wherever you are. Consider ditching your electronic devices, or switching them off, to cut down on distractions. Alternatively, by changing your permissions and notification settings, you can make sure those who need to can reach you still can, but the number of ‘pings’ will be greatly reduced! And breathe...
Gift Yourself Better Boundaries
As a gift to yourself for being a real human person, give yourself permission to live within healthy work/life boundaries. That might look like leaving work on time, or not taking stuff home with you. If like me, you work from home, it might just mean being really clear with yourself and/or others about when you’re ‘working’ or ‘not working’.
Play Games to Get Things Done
We all have the same 168 hours in a week. Finding fun ways to boost your productivity and incentivise getting things done can help you get more done in less time. And give you time to do something fun when you’re done. A 20 minute walk in the park or 10 minutes with a book and an ice cold drink, after you’ve done that thing. Nice one. You’ve earned it!
Do Things Differently
Even if you have to do a lot of the same things, doing the same things differently, can be really life-giving. Why not go somewhere different, eat outside when you can, or schedule some walk-and-talk meetings, rather than staying stuck behind your desk or the kitchen table. Rather than doing something on your own, consider asking someone to join you and help you get it done.
Try Something New
The summer holiday season is a great to try something new - even (and especially!) if you’re not on your summer holidays! Why not take the opportunity to pick up a book you’ve been longing to read, or give yourself some time to try out a new hobby.
One Day, or Day One?
If you want to get things done and have more fun this summer, now is a great time to get started. It’s all too easy to look back with regret about what could have been, if only we’d made different choices. We often delay doing things we know will help us, then suddenly the moment has gone and the season has passed.
If you’ve found yourself saying “This summer I am going to….” about something really good - but haven’t yet got started, is it about time you took the first step?
Maybe it’s time to stop saying “One Day” and make this “Day One.”
© 2019 Sarah Phillips, Away Coaching. All rights reserved. May be shared freely, when retaining our contact details: www.awaycoaching.com