- Crossed bare feet on a chaise lounge with aqua pool or ocean in the background.
- A swinging hammock resting between two trees.
- A person propped up under a shade tree, hat pulled low over their face, and a nap in progress.
Those images are some of the very reasons it’s hard to feel productive in the summer. The languid heat makes your to-do list move from getting things done to doing one of the activities above.
July seems so far removed from the start of the year and the goals you set. Yet you are just at the half-way mark. You can’t quit now. Summer is the perfect time to renew energy and build momentum for ending with a flourish and being able to say “I had a great year.”
Building and keeping energy in the business world is part mental, part physical and part nose-to-the-grindstone. I’ve got some great tips that will help you with all three- especially at a time of the year that you want that whole nose-to-the-grindstone business to just fly out the window so you can chill out.
Building Mental Energy
It’s time for a mid-year mindset. Remember how you feel when you start something new? A new year, a new project, a new business, a new opportunity…they all bring an excitement that is motivating.
Summer is a great time to find that excitement again about whatever is on your plate.
Cover the Basics
Start with a great time management technique – list making. Begin by making a list of all the things you do or should be doing for your business or job. For this task, use some broad descriptions like marketing, selling, creating products, accounting and so on.
Which ones of those have not been getting the attention they deserve? Sometimes, there isn’t a piece of the business pie you can discard. You stop marketing, you stop getting clients. You stop developing new products or services, you stop growing and your customer base dwindles. You stop keeping your pulse on finances, you find yourself in deep water. You stop stop….well, you get the picture. If it is on your list, then you should be giving it time, even if you are not.
Of the things not getting enough time and attention, which of them can you delegate? Sometimes seeing that something gets attention can mean applying some attention that is not your own. What are you spending too much time on? Can you get an assistant? Can you delegate some of that so you can get focused on other things?
Add Something New
What can you do today that would be a business builder? Summer doldrums cries out for something fresh and new. You could offer a workshop, a seminar, a video conference, bring in a guest speaker, start a blog, take a class to add a skill, do some research, introduce a new product and so on.
It’s time to move from mid-year stale to fresh. Get fresh motivation by choosing a new action that will bring you great reactions.
Pat Yourself on the Back
Mid-year sometimes finds us not as far along on things as we like. A good way to encourage yourself to push on is to pat yourself on the back. We are our own worst critiques. Take a moment and think about your successes. If you met a brand new person and they asked you to tell about yourself, your “elevator speech” would not be a litany of things gone wrong. No, it would be a list of your achievements. Give yourself that talk now and banish the negative.
Building Physical Energy
There’s a certain sense of feet dragging – both mentally and physically- in the summer. There’s just something about heat. Here are some tips to be physically energetic:
Did you know dehydration can make you tired during hot weather? It can cause headaches. Banish tiredness caused by dehydration during hot weather, by drinking fluids regularly throughout the day. Remember both alcohol and caffeine help to dehydrate you rather than build up fluids so don’t count those in your intake.
Your momma was right. You can’t go around without breakfast and expect to do your best work. Stock up on some healthy breakfasts you can grab and go. Ideas include containers of Greek yogurt, protein bars, pieces of fruit, a whole grain English muffin spread with nut butter or a quick microwave egg sandwich.
Low energy sometimes just means you need a snack – and not a trip through the drive-thru or to a vending machine. A great tip is to keep a tin of nuts in your car and your desk. They are shelf stable, always ready to eat and require no refrigeration.
According to WebMD, experts say one of the best cures for fatigue is exercise. Get moving to get energy.
It’s hot out and you don’t want heat stroke so turn to things that get you moving without making you collapse. Swimming is a terrific way to get your heart pumping while staying cool. Visiting an air-conditioned gym is another. Yoga is a terrific way to not only strengthen your body but to calm your mind.
Boost your energy level by getting rest. Give yourself a bedtime so you get enough sleep. Take a nap. More things get done after a 30-minute catnap to take off the edge than you slowly trying to push on despite exhaustion.
And take a vacation. If you are owed vacation days or a day off, then take it. You’ll be more productive if you give your body and mind a rest and then get back to it.
Push Your Nose to the Grindstone
The old saying about putting your nose to the grindstone, which means to apply yourself to your work, probably comes from workers who sharpened knives against a spinning wheel.
No matter where the saying comes from, it is sometimes something we just need to do. When you energy level is low, one of the best way to get things done is – ONE AT A TIME.
At least that way you know you getting something done!
Take a deep breath and start a to-do list. Clean off your desk and write down the tasks you need to do. Take a moment to number then in the order of priority. Then do number one. Then do number two and so on. Pretty soon you’ll forget you were fatigued and get back on pace again.