Although the kids have been out of school since June 18th, I notice I’m still adjusting to the summer schedule. Every year it takes me a couple weeks to adjust to a shorter work day, with the extra family responsibilities. I’ve learned to be deliberate in my actions so that I enjoy this time of year, rather than endure it.
A few of the ways I’m enjoying summer, while remaining productive, include:
1) Night Time Outdoor Tennis:
I signed up for a Parks and Rec class which offered group tennis drills with an instructor every Tuesday night at 8pm. By then the heat of the day is behind us, and generally there’s a cool breeze blowing which is very refreshing. About half way through the 1 hour class, the lights come on. I really enjoy the courts lit up at night. The combination of the breeze and the lights makes nighttime outdoor tennis one of my favorite activities.
2) Save reading for outdoors:
Once a week my 12 year old son plays in tennis matches at our swim club. Parents never know exactly when their child will be playing, since there’s multiple age groups to contend with for the boys team and girls team, which boasts 160 total players. I use the “downtime” when my son isn’t playing to catch up on my Crains Detroit Business, or read the next chapter of Book Yourself Solid for my Mastermind Group.
3) Spa time:
I’m continuing another ritual I started earlier this year, which is a monthly trip to the Spa for a massage, manicure or pedicure. Usually I do this on a Saturday, but I treated my mom and I to Spa day one Wednesday afternoon. It was her Mother’s Day present which she hadn’t gotten around to redeeming, since she’d been busy travelling with my dad on a cruise and vacationing up North. Mom loved her first pedicure, and I had a wonderful 1 hour massage.
I’m also continuing my 4 day a week workout routine at my health club, where I’ve been an active member for over 18 years. Pilates, yoga, spinning, and now water aerobics are part of the weekly routine. My club offers my favorite workouts early morning or after work hours so it doesn’t interrupt my business schedule, and I’m diligent about putting these in my calendar like any other important appointment.
5) Inspirational Reading and Journaling:
I make it a point a few times a week to set aside some quiet time early in the morning so I can read and journal. It is something I enjoy and it renews my spirit and gives me a great sense of peace. It also allows me to reflect on accomplishments, overcoming challenges, appreciating my blessings, and noting my personal growth in various areas of my life. It is a goal for me to be able to do this on a daily basis, but so far I’ve only managed to set aside the time 2-3 times per week. I have a special space in my home where I do my reading and journaling, but it can also be done outside or at a coffee shop if I have some time in between meetings.
6) Networking meetings at outdoor cafes:
It’s nice to sip an ice tea or cold bottle of water, while meeting a new business contact at a café or restaurant which has outdoor tables available. I schedule my meetings out of the office three days a week and stay in the office two days a week to handle my phone calls, work on marketing materials (e-newsletters and blogs), and complete my follow up activities.
7) Half Day Fridays:
Generally I won’t schedule any meetings Friday afternoon so that I can enjoy a half day at the swim club, or see a movie if it is raining, or do some errands I didn’t get to during the week.
8) Evening walks:
I love walking around my neighborhood at 9 or 9:30pm. It is still light out and generally others are out walking too. If I’m not walking with someone, I might use that time to chat with a friend on the phone, which is another time saver.
9) Schedule monthly enewsletters and weekly blogs in advance:
I usually work on these materials in the morning on weekends, when it is quieter and I can work uninterrupted. Once completed, I program them for distribution at the appointed time.
10) Summer Vacations:
I’ve always enjoyed having a work week to myself when my parents took my sons up North, or they went away with their dad for a week or long weekend during the summer. However, this summer I’m treating myself to 5 Days/4 Nights at Red Mountain Spa and Resort in Utah, where I’ll enjoy great food, relaxation, multiple workouts a day, and some special activities: Dessert Rain Massage, Horseback Riding, Yoga at Sunset overlooking a canyon. I expect to come back rested, rejuvenated, and fit!
POINTS TO PONDER AND SHARE:
- What are your favorite ways to unwind and relax during the summer?
- Do you find it easier or more difficult to balance career and family this time of year?
- Do you have any special plans this year for a getaway or stay-cation?