It’s June, which means it’s time to take a Summer Step-Back.

Careening toward free time

Every year, it happens.

You’re scrambling to get in your year-end appeals.

Before you can even catch your breath, you’re ringing in the new year with dazzling new goals and a million ways to get there.

Moments later, you’re making final edits to your annual report and sending it off to print.

Then, after one final freak snowstorm (hi, Cleveland!), it’s all of the sudden summer.

The sun is shining, the mosquitos are biting, and if you’re like many people (especially us midwesterners, who spend nine months out of the year dreaming about patio weather), the pace of your work has taken on a different cadence.

Many organizations experience a bit of a summer slowdown. And even if you don’t, your focus still may drift from the blue-white light of your computer screen to the great big world beyond your cubicle (the world with patio drinks). Let the daydreaming commence.

When your calendar clears or your motivation flatlines, don’t just slow down. Step back.

turtle slowdown summer step back
Slow down with purpose = Summer Step-Back
Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

The Summer Step-Back: A better approach

Instead of succumbing to mindless scrolling while you wait for 5:00 to roll around, use this time to your advantage. As addicted as we all are to the rush of, well, rushing, there is so much to gain from a deliberate withdrawal, introspection and recalibration.

“Don’t rush through the experiences and circumstances that have the most capacity to transform you.” 

― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Basically, the Summer Step-Back covers two complementary strategies:

One, take the time to look at the big picture. This includes high-level evaluation of your year, your goals and your systems.

Two, give yourself room to breathe.

I’ll tackle both these approaches to the summer step-back in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. In the meantime, Tweet at me and let me know what your favorite strategy is for managing your time when you’re not drowning in work.

(And if you are still drowning in work this summer, my condolences. Maybe I can help?)

Featured Photo by Nick Torontali on Unsplash

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