(Image: Brian and I doing charitable work in South Dakota at Pine Ridge Reservation - not completely slacking off)
As the warm weather approaches and the days get longer, I look forward to having more time in the day to get more done. Then the kids head off to camp and my good intentions of working longer hours seem to be replaced by the desire to spend the days outdoors, sticking my feet in the sand, traveling, enjoy a liquid lunch with friends and just taking it easy.
While working from home allows us great flexibility, it also requires tons of focus and dedication. We aren’t accountable to anyone except ourselves and so when the devil on your shoulder is encouraging you to slack off, it’s incredibly tempting.
I call it the Summer Slack and I’ve been living with it since June 27th! My intentions to work while traveling and visiting family have gone to shit.
Talk about slacking…. I just paused this blog post to watch two episodes of Season 6 Game of Thrones to prepare for tonights season opener. (Insert Excited Emoji here)
The worst part about my Summer Slack is that I’m enjoying every minute of it but at moments it’s mixed with total guilt that I have not focused on Foster Inc or my new start up. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done some really important work while away, had some great calls, got some big task items done but the little things have fallen to the wayside. (I've even been neglecting calling my own mother - and she's pissed).
We all get stuck sometimes and that’s ok. Admitting it is the first step and knowing how to get out of it is step 2. So here’s what I do when I get stuck and plan to start doing right after I hit post on this blog(and after I call my mother):
Take 20 minutes and make a list.
The list should include 7-10 tasks that you plan to complete the next day - I usually try to include 5-7 that are business related and 2-3 that are personal.
Some people like to start their day with making a list but I personally like to do it the night before, this way, when I get up tomorrow, I grab my list and know exactly what I need to get done. If you’re able to get to all of them, awesome. If not, add them to your list for the next day and keep going at it each day.
Here’s a BIG Tip…. if at the end of the week you have things that were on your list when the week started, clearly, those are things that are just not important enough to be on your list in the first place. Rory Vaden, author of Procrastinate on Purpose has a great methodology for knocking things off of your list.
• Procrastinate (yes, you heard that right)
Check out his TEDTalk (while you’re procrastinating about making that to-do list).
Good luck with your list, enjoy the rest of your summer (another blog post is not on my list for the next few weeks) and if there’s a strategy that you use, please share in the comments below. Sharing is caring.
And for those GOT fans reading this
…. “Winter is Coming!” so enjoy a few more weeks of Summer Slack.