Why leaders should be embracing the summer slow-down

Summer is often a time when things slow down a little – colleagues, clients and business contacts take their well-earned breaks, meaning that there is a natural lull in productivity for a lot of sectors.

Why leaders should be embracing the summer slow-down

This means that, as well as slowing your own pace, it can be time to reflect a little on how you work.

Despite the frenetic pace of life for many of us, we do actually all need time to ‘rest and digest’.  How could you make sure to  utilise the ebbs in your working / business patterns to give time for recovery?  Summer is a great time to focus on re-charging your batteries.  Even if it’s not a holiday time for you, how can you really focus on using the slight pause in pace to re-fuel your own energy levels?

Summer can provide the really useful opportunity to take stock and reflect on your working patterns.  What is it that drains you and what replenishes your energy levels?  Are you able to re-focus a little to make sure that you have an equal amount of both?  What could you do more of or less of, to make sure that each day, or each week, you have enough time to top up your energy?  

You could use the summer slow down to experiment with building some re-charge moments into every day.  These don’t have to be big – it’s often the small daily practices that make all the difference. Like taking a walk at lunch time, or just sitting with the sun on your face.  Maybe stopping early on a couple of evenings a week.  Getting curious about what works for you can really help you to re-set your productivity. Notice what it feels like to work at a less pressured pace – what does it give you the chance to do more of? 

For leaders, managers and entrepreneurs pace often feels urgent, and we can get into the habit of thinking that fast and furious is the only way to do productivity. But it isn’t of course.  Try using the lull in pace to take some time to reflect on how you work.  Sometimes the pace we work at is simply the product of habits and assumptions that we make, and it can be so healthy to notice and challenge these patterns so that you can make different choices and re-set.  What do you notice about your working patterns, and the patterns you set for your staff teams and colleagues?  Here are   some questions to prompt your thinking:

  • What is ‘enough’?  I describe enough as  the relaxed, healthy state that allows you to move from striving to thriving.  Try thinking about your priorities for the year ahead with the idea that it is healthy to stop doing as much as you commit to doing.  It may seem radical, but many leaders and teams that I work with who manage this, say that it actually increases their focus and their productivity.  
  • What boundaries could you set for yourself and others that would actually help you to do more.
  • How could you timetable the year to make sure there are rest and recuperation moments after the busy times? 
  • What pace do you really need to do what needs to be done?

So this summer, as well as taking some well-earned time off to re-charge yourself, see what you can learn about the difference in pace and what it gives you.  You never know, re-setting for ‘enough’ may just be the key to unlock more productivity in a healthy way for the rest of the year. 

Becky Hall
Becky Hall

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