The Dog Days of Summer

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By Melissa Davies, Wise Ways Consulting


It’s hot.  No, I really mean it – it’s HOT!  As in I went outside for a walk this morning before work and it was already that ‘stifling, sticky, and ugh, I wish I could go to the pool’ kind of hot!

Yes the dog days of summer are upon us! We conjure up dreams of vacations of faraway lands or contemplate the merits of an ice bath!  But regardless of our diversionary tactic, what is consistent – staying focused and motivated throughout the day becomes more and more difficult as the week progresses!  All you want to do is kick back, take some time off, and enjoy life!  Work?  Not so much…

For those who are entrepreneurs or even those who telework, staying motivate throughout the day is a tough road to go down at times!

What can you do to keep your eye on the ‘Close of Business’ prize?

Practice effective time management.

  1. Set goals at the beginning of the week. Identify the items that you must get completed the following day.  What are the must dos?
  2. Tack the most important tasks at the beginning of the day. This is the best time to tackle the most important task.  It sets a positive tone for the day and allows you to cross one of those pressing items off the list right away!
  3. Limit the time that you’re checking emails. While we all need to stay on top of what’s going on in the office and the world, email can be a huge time waster.  Instead, identify specific times throughout the day when you’ll block off a period of time to answer emails.  Also consider if an email is the best method for communicating with that person.  Sometimes we save a lot of time just working through things on a 10-minute phone call!
  4. The same time limit applies to social media. It’s so easy to be distracted by those life hack videos – five creative ways to stay cool this summer, anyone? Or 20 new ways to spice up your lemonade. Turn off the social media, or schedule it, like email time.
  5. Identify tasks that can be completed in 15-minute intervals. Even if the whole task seems overwhelming and daunting, you can do anything for 15 minutes!  Break larger tasks into smaller chunks and knock those off one after the other.

If you’re the manager, make sure you celebrate your successes. Have a summer themed lunch or happy hour.  Find ways to bring fun into the office!

If you’re the boss, consider setting summer hours for your staff. How about letting your team members work an extra hour each day and then knock off at noon one day a week?  Make sure that they work it out amongst themselves but allow them the chance to head out to the pool.  Just because we all can’t do that doesn’t mean that some shouldn’t have the chance.  And think of how motivated they’ll be the other four days!

If you’re an entrepreneur, consider moving your office outside on some cooler days. Grab your laptop and work from your patio or a local coffee shop.  Personally, I created a lovely little retreat in my backyard and have started having lunch there each day (when the temperatures are below 90!).  The change of scenery improves my mood and keeps me going for the rest of the day.

Consider starting/leaving work earlier. Then make a point of leaving work on time and taking a picnic dinner to a local lake or community pol.  Make sure you get outside and enjoy the weather when it is cooler in the evenings.

Make sure you check out what NOVA has to offer!

Before you know it, the kids will be heading back to school and many people will wonder, “Where did the summer go?”  This year make sure you’re not one of them!

Okay, my 15 minutes are up; I’m off to the next item on my list.  See you next month!


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