It is summertime and that can only mean one thing right? Beer, BBQ, sunshine, and anything to do with water… Not if you want to capitalize on 120 days of opportunity. Sure, there is a time for all those things, but not at the expense of your success.The only way to ensure the summer isn’t lost in the haze of adolescent frivolity is to set clear goals and become your own task master. Accountability tends to slither under the work boots as we don flip-flops and cut-off shirts and shorts, embracing our inner youth.
Time to erase the whiteboards and plan your weeks and months, setting due dates on calendars, and getting yourself prepared mentally with a singularity of focus. We’ve all heard of “work hard, play harder.” It doesn’t matter what cliché you use to justify our lack of initiative. Successful strategies hinge on your ability to write things down and put constant reminders in your schedule. It means finishing tasks if it takes until 3:00 am.
Make time for introspection. By writing a list of the things we wish to change about ourselves, aka our weaknesses, we are reminding ourselves that there are priorities to attend to and calls to action that needs following. Don’t let yourself off the hook either! It’s easy to get complacent when others around you are doing it. Block it out, and go back to your goals. Make it routine to accomplish one or two small tasks before noon. How about one or two big tasks by the end of the day? Be your own boss because a successful person competes with his or herself to produce their best work. Hell, give yourself weekly report cards, or SWOT analyses at the end of the week. Do whatever it takes to hold yourself accountable.
Gratification stems from achievement. By accomplishing small achievements i.e. rounding up the trash, or reading a couple chapters of that book you’ve been telling yourself to read, it snowballs into larger ones. This is one way to avoid letting a Thursday goal bleed into a Monday goal. Spring goals often bleed into summer, and summer into fall.
There is a continuity of the work we do at various times of the year. Using laser focus, you’ll find that your work will flow with the same intensity, the same balance, and the same thought structures if the project is finished within your ideal timeframe. Setting hard end-dates allow you to move on to new projects, start a side gig, or pre-plan another idea for something bigger.
Loose ends and unresolved conflicts can pile up quickly, dumping excess weight on your shoulders when you do decide to let your hair down, and have a little summertime fun. Refer to this post anytime you feel lethargic or unproductive. Always remember the bigger mosaic and how it is comprised of all the transparent small things you have neglected. You wouldn’t leave a bathroom halfway tiled. Don’t leave your goals half-achieved. Carpe diem! Carpe aestas!
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