Efficient Work Strategies for Summer
By James Robbins
As we head deep into summer, most people think this is the time for some R&R. Summer is a time where most of the population slows down a bit, and a lot of time is wasted. It is always tempting to join the herd, but summer is also a time when you can make some great strides by using the season to your advantage. It brings up a powerful principle of success whether in work or in life. If you want to get ahead, you have to be willing to do what those around you won’t.
Here are five things you can do this summer to keep moving forward regardless of how many of your staff are on holidays.
We all know that business is about relationships but it seems that we seldom have time to nurture the ones most crucial to our success. Summer is a perfect time to set up those lunches, coffee appointments, and golf games. Get out your rolodex, and start making some calls even if it is just to say hi. You will probably get a few “I’m on vacation” messages, but not everyone goes on holidays at the same time. This is also a great time to be in touch with any former star employees. Continuing to nurture those relationships is a good thing and ups your chance on getting them back when things don’t quite work out for them with their current employer.
Strategy and vision casting times are always being crowded out by emergencies, and forest fires that need our immediate attention. Set some time aside to think through your original plan for the year, and make whatever adjustments are necessary. If many of your staff are away during the summer, you can still think through your own personal vision of where you are trying to take your team, and renew some of your goals in this area. Don’t do this at the office. Take a half-day somewhere like a park, and just think and plan. The change in environment will stir your creativity.
Spend a half-day thinking through each one of your direct reports. How are they doing? Are they at risk for leaving? What do they need from you? Are you providing what you should as their boss? If you identify one thing they could change in the fall to make them a better employee and/or team player, what would that be? By being their boss, are they becoming better people? Set some goals regarding what you want to change in regards to your relationships with each of your direct reports and be ready to get started in September.
Take a younger employee under your wing, and set up weekly coaching times for six weeks straight. The two of you will grow closer and they will be excited for the personal development. You will have the thrill of working with some youthful energy, and teaching others always bring with it a renewed sense of purpose. To make it even more fun, have all of your coaching times at the nearest coffee shop or park.
Reorganize Your Office
Time to go through your desk and de-clutter it. Throw out everything that you have not used in the last seven months, and find out what the bottom of your desk drawer actually looks like. If you are an article clipper, “I’ll save this to read later.” Then set a time to read them or toss them out. For every good article, there is another one on the way. Anything worth reading will usually come around again.
Move your desk, change your photos on your desk, erase the white board, and exchange the art in your office with someone else’s.
The real key is to be purposeful in your planning. Summer has a way of slipping through our fingers, leaving us with an even busier September. Take some much deserved time off and play hard, but be willing to do what others are not and see if you do not benefit in the end.
James Robbins is a rare mix of management consultant, adventurer and motivational speaker. James has been teaching leadership and peak performance for the last 12 years. After leading non-profit organizations across North America, James founded The Robbins Group in 2003. James loves adventure and wishes more people today would live the life they were destined to. For more information, please visit www.ontothesummit.com.