I suppose it isn’t surprising that in summertime I have trouble concentrating on work. Although procrastination is a common part of life for me as it is for most people, it is particularly prominent during the summer. And though I completely subscribe to the mantra that we should live like kids in the summer, find play as much as possible and take time off (see Live Like You Are A Kid!) I still feel conflicted about work right about now. My inner voice says things like, “Oh, just push through it Rachel and get to work!” on one end of the spectrum to “Relax Rachel, you deserve a break and whatever needs to get done will get done” on the other.
Trust That You Know Best
I have found, however, that if you truly sit with your thoughts and think about what you want to focus on, when you simply allow your body and mind to do what it wants to do, it knows best. You may not be very experienced at listening to your instinct, but with practice, you will find that you really do know what you should do when you are feeling lost or untethered or restless or whatever.
Take Time To Regroup
What my gut is telling me this time of year is that I need time to regroup. Time to step back from the push and pull of deadlines. Time to let my mind wander to wherever it takes me. Time to simply be. I know myself well enough to believe that when I feel that I need a break, I should take it. I know myself well enough to understand that if I allow lots of downtime—even to the point of boredom—that I will ultimately be more productive.
Go With The Flow Of Cycles In Life
Even though my innate productivity trait is strong, I can step away from work because I know that come fall, I always kick back into work mode. Back to school/work will automatically happen as it has for my entire life. Even as a child I was ready to go back to school after a long summer of kicking back. The cycles of productivity are as real as any other cycle in life. Seasons come and go and with them come different areas of focus. Most people are wired that same way. Our bodies are connected to the earth and respond to natural cycles accordingly. Even if you live in a state that doesn’t have a drastic change of weather from season to season, there are enough cues like shifts in light that affect us.
Relax When Needed To Be Productive In The Long Term
If you are willing to pay attention to the signs inside and out and work according to your own tempo, you will naturally do what is wanted and you will be serving both yourself and others. Even if you are in a structured corporate environment where there are expectations and deadlines, going with the flow of your own rhythm is possible. Consider whether you can take time off, reschedule meetings to your most productive time of day or day of week, or perhaps even change where you are working. Fridays are usually most accommodating in the summer so give it a try and give yourself the gift of flexibility to move with your naturally most productive pattern. The result is that you will you will feel more aligned with your best self, more satisfied with life in general and you will be pleasantly surprised that you will end up being more productive in the long term.