productivity

The Summer Slowdown: How to Adjust Your Productivity for Slower, More Relaxing Summers

July 4, 2022

Thank you to Basecamp for sponsoring this episode.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Sleepy Summers: How to Adjust Productivity for Slower, More Relaxing Summers

Many organizations experience the “summer slowdown.” People go on vacation, projects get delayed, and productivity seems to slow to a crawl. If your work has slowed to a near halt, should you spend your extra time working harder…or should you rest and relax?

Adjust Your Productivity

“Summertime…and the livin’ is easy.” Or is it? Maybe you’re a business owner who finds it really hard to tear yourself away from work and take a break. On the flip side, maybe disconnecting from work is like flipping a switch. But near the end of your vacation, guilt and worry starts to creep in.

In either case, if you’re looking for ways to adjust your productivity so that you can truly enjoy a slower, more relaxing summer season, I have some tips for you below.

Today We’re Talking About

  • Why productivity seems to slow in the summer
  • How to make room for fun in your schedule
  • What changing your environment can do for focus and productivity
  • Why taking a break is so important

Does the summer slowdown really exist?

Let’s get this pesky question out of the way first. Is the summer slowdown actually a real thing, or is it a myth? It kind of depends.

First, it depends on your industry. If you work in a traditional office setting, you may find business slowing down during the summer months. But for other professionals, it’s their busy season. Think wedding photographers, event planners, those who work in tourism and hospitality, and so on.

It may also just feel like things are slowing down. Your boss or colleagues may all be taking summer vacations since their kids are out of school, and you could be feeling some FOMO. You might even blame those lovely, long summer days — it feels like we have even more time on our hands when the sun is still out past 8 pm.

So, your work may not totally stop in the summer, but the rhythm of your business will likely feel different. It’s the perfect time to adjust your productivity so you can achieve some professional and personal goals.

How to adjust your productivity

The first thing I suggest you do at the start of your slow season? Make a plan.

Anything you want to accomplish during the summer, whether it’s hobbies you want to try out, professional goals you want to achieve, or little tasks you finally want to check off your list, write it all down. 

Oh, and don’t leave “fun” off your list, because that’s one of the best parts of summer! If you don’t regularly schedule fun time for yourself, it can feel a little weird. Give Episode 83 a listen, because I talk all about making time for adventure in your schedule by writing out a bucket list.

Look at your list again. Are there certain activities or tasks that have to be done on a certain day? Think appointments, planned vacations, or meetings with friends. Fill in those events on your calendar. Then, find space for your more flexible to-dos. This ensures you won’t forget them and that they’ll get done eventually.

Next up: change your environment. 

It can be really hard to slow down if you’re used to plugging away at your desktop computer from morning until night. It’s even harder if you work at home and you notice other chores that need to be done, like laundry, cooking dinner, tidying up, and so on.

To slow your pace but still stay focused on your work task at hand, I suggest you take your work outside. Work on your front porch or in your backyard. You might even set yourself up at a coffee shop or in a park. Enjoy all those different sights and sounds and smells!

Can’t totally change your environment? Make small changes instead. Light a candle. Turn off notifications and silence your phone. Put on music. Soak in all the stillness and quiet when you can. It’ll feel amazing.

And finally, my last tip is to give yourself a break.

You might be thinking, “Come on, Anna. How am I supposed to be productive if I don’t work at all?!”

To that I say, sure, it sounds counterintuitive, but you need a break. Your mind and body need time to recharge so you don’t get burnt out. The slower season of your business is the perfect time to do this! Give yourself a break, and you can return to your work feeling refreshed and ready to take on anything.

If the thought of totally disconnecting scares you, prepare for your break in advance. Before you go out of office for a family vacation, for example, make a quick plan for when you’ll check emails, what emergencies you’ll be available for, and who takes over for you while you’re gone.

It is really hard to disconnect completely, especially when you run your own business. But I promise that you can do it. You deserve it!

Take advantage of your slower seasons

Summer is the best time to check back in with yourself, your priorities, and your goals. It’s also a great time to tackle all those small tasks and projects you might have put on the backburner during your busy seasons. But like I said, don’t forget to take a break and let yourself have fun!

Whether you want to practice more self-care, spend quality time with loved ones, prepare for the busy season to come, or do nothing at all — I encourage you to make it happen. You can do it. 

For more resources on resting and recharging your batteries, take a look at some of the older episodes of It’s About Time! There are some great episodes on reading, feeling gratitude, cultivating friendships, and more.   

Links & Resources Mentioned in This Episode

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