Summer slow down? Here’s how to make the most of it
Summer in Canada is here – and finally, it’s starting to feel like it! After dealing with yet another long, cold winter for many, it’s great to enjoy the beautiful cities, countryside and landscapes Canada has to offer (and reminds us of why we live here in the first place).
Whether you live in Canada or not, the summer months are typically a time for folks to take a well-deserved break to slow down, relax, and enjoy time with family and friends. Of course, it depends on the industry, and many would argue there isn’t less work in the summer months – it’s just harder to get things done with the amount of OOO (out of office) statuses.
Regardless, a “summer slow down” with a bit more time on your hands, and fewer people in the office and online can be a considerable advantage, especially in the current economic climate. So, we’ve put together a few ways to help you get ahead and find peace of mind during this time.
Planning for the rest of the year – and beyond
You can’t look at your phone without being bombarded with recession news and layoffs blasting you into a downward spiral. Even if you’ve taken the necessary precautions, it never hurts to take a look at your business or the company you work for and do some more future-proofing. Future-proofing could look like many things, depending on your role, but you can start by reflecting on what went well and didn’t. Take this time to determine what’s working for you, and re-align your current focus.
Keep in mind that a typical recession lasts about 6-12 months, and in comparison, times of economic prosperity (a bull market) usually last about 12 months.
Put together a team offsite outdoors
Summertime is synonymous with time spent outdoors. And what better way to team build than to plan the ultimate offsite park day? Many companies (pre-pandemic at least) would host splashy get-togethers and conferences.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: while the pandemic was ultimately incomprehensibly tragic, a few silver linings have emerged. One is an air of careful casualness, which is why we think a park is perfect for hosting an offsite. The outdoors is a low-stress environment for folks who are a little nervous about meeting up, and it’s also significantly more cost-effective than hosting at a venue.
Snacks, catered lunch, and a *few* beverages can go a long way. All you need are some blankets and a few well-thought-out activities to have a great time. Be sure to take a moment to recognize how hard the team has worked over the last few years and let your colleagues know you appreciate them.
“Eat the frogs”
It’s a weird metaphor, but it’s one that sticks with you. The idea is to identify the one challenging task (the frog) and to complete the task first thing in the morning (to eat the frog). So, eating the frogs means identifying your most difficult task of the day and completing it before you do any other work.
If you’re experiencing a summer slow down, you can stretch the timelines of this metaphor. Consider all the things you typically don’t like doing or things you’ve been putting off. Whether it’s performance reviews (giving or getting), finally getting your social media strategy off the ground, or even just organizing your desktop – summer is a great time to get ahead. That way, when it gets to the fall pickup, you’ll have a spring in your step without the baggage of those undesirable tasks.
Get outside and get inspired
Do you ever look at a vast body of water or the mountains and just stare in wonder? Oftentimes, in nature, we sense that the world – or universe – is so much larger and more complex than we could ever comprehend. This sense of wonder can lead to “expansive thinking”, allowing us to see things from a different perspective and relish in profound ideas. There’s a reason why some of the greatest artists to grace the planet have alleged that spending time in nature is key to their success.
Even if you don’t live close to the mountains, you can schedule time this summer for trips to the beach after work to watch the boats pass by or simply read a book. Find local running or walking trails if you can, or plan a picnic lunch in a park. And if you can take some vacation, you won’t regret it with weather like this.
Last but not least, enjoy summer
Summer is only here once a year, and it’s certainly not here for long enough. We know it’s tempting to spend your time overworking or trying to get ahead, especially when the future may seem uncertain. Unfortunately, overwork, burnout, and anxiety have become the theme of the last few years. We’d collectively love to return to the days of taking time off without guilt or at least enjoying a coffee break to catch up with a co-worker. Rest is part of the process; it’s required work to increase productivity. With that said, what are your summer plans to rest and reset? Leave a comment below.
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