The weather here in NC has been beautiful the past few days. The sunny days and warm weather have me thinking about hanging outside, taking trips and going to events, and not feeling “trapped inside” because I’m working.
When you’re building a biz, that last one can be a challenge. But it doesn’t have to be. When I worked a 9-5, we used to have a “summer schedule.” We would come in early, take shorter lunches, and stay later in order to get off early on Friday. With a little strategic planning, you can continue the “grind” with your biz, brand, blog, or passion project AND “wind down” a bit and enjoy the summer!
Why a Summer Schedule Matters to Your Brand
We all want to enjoy ourselves. In colder weather, it’s easy to justify staying indoors and thus working on our passion projects. But when the sun beckons you, your friends invite you to cookouts and events, and the sand and water whispers to you–it can be doggone on hard to stay inside and look at a computer or make products.
Trust me, I get it.
I also get it when we look up after Labor Day Weekend and we either haven’t made the money you wanted or haven’t gotten as far on a project as you’d hope. The underwhelming feelings and even twinge of guilt I and so many of my community have had can be discouraging.
But adopting a summer schedule will help manage and balance your desire to enjoy the summer and not lose momentum on your passion project. There will still be times you have to make choices. But if you are consistent, even if you choose to “play hookey” you will have accomplished a lot.
General Principles of Adopting a Summer Schedule
- Be consistent. The impact of this schedule relies on you being consistent with it. Because guess what, there will be an event you want to go to, or a game you need to attend, or just sit outside and watch the sunset. Playing hookey is cool, but you enjoy your hookey even more when you know you’ve been consistent on the other days.
- Come in when the street lights come on. When the sun is out, we want to be out. And that’s fine. But just like when we were kids and had to come inside when the street lights came on, that’s what we should do during the week during the summer schedule. It is usually dark by 8 PM or so, so you could still work for a couple of hours and be in bed by 11 or 12. Then you can live it up on the weekends (or rest it up–smile)
- Realize it may take some tasks a bit longer to accomplish because you’re working on it in shorter spurts. Giving yourself the weekends “off,” may mean that you exchange working for longer periods on the weekends for shorter spurts during the week. This may mean that accomplishing tasks may a bit longer. Don’t fret. The important thing is to continue pressing along.
- DVR favorite shows or make sure they are available on demand. We don’t have to watch every show when it airs. I know, I know…Queen Sugar, Power, and other shows are coming. Choose 1 or 2 shows that you will watch live. DVR or watch the rest on demand. You can catch up on the weekends. Imagine what you could get done during TV Prime Time…8-11 PM.
- Planning is imperative to the success of your schedule. Take at least an hour to look at the week ahead and make adjustments in your plans and calendar. Don’t think you have to keep the same schedule every week. Just minimize surprises and “time eaters” by planning.
- Use your smart phone–even if you have a paper planner. Put every reminder and appointment in your phone’s calendar. Most phone calendars sync with Google calendar. You can minimize “time eaters” by putting everything down to the TV show you want to watch as an appointment in your phone (with a reminder). If you are a paper planner person, create multiple daily reminders or an appointments to check your planner to make sure you’re still on track.
How to Add Up to 12 Hours in One Week to Your Schedule
- +1 Challenge: Get up an hour earlier or stay up and hour later to work (1 hour x 7 days = 7 hours)
- Power Lunch Hour: Grab lunch and go somewhere with some free WiFi to work. You can also use this hour to read, watch a webinar, learn something that can help in your passion project, etc. (1 hour x 5 days = 5 hours)
Summer Schedule Options
Suggested Summer Schedule Time Frame
Memorial Day to Labor Day
4 Day Work Week
Monday – Thursday
Friday – Sunday
3 Day Work Week
Tuesday – Thursday
Friday – Monday
I hope I’ve given you something to think about and that you will consider creating a summer schedule…
Are you considering adopting a summer schedule for your brand? Leave a comment with your thoughts.
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