They don’t call them the dog days of summer because they jump up and greet you as soon as you walk through the door. Summertime is slow, we know. And while we told you a little while back in this post some things you can do to try and improve your business during this downtime, you’re still going to get to some point where your motivation wanes. This doesn’t just mean in business, it can happen in your relationships, workouts, spare time and more. But summer ruts are avoidable. And here’s 8 tips on how to pull yourself out.
Give yourself a solid bedtime.
This doesn’t mean you also need to invest in Sponge Bob pajamas and a Scooby-Doo nightlight, but forcing yourself to go to bed at the same time every night - regardless of what work needs to be done - will have a two-fold positive impact on your productivity. Not only will this ensure that you’re well-rested when you get up at the same time every day, but it’ll also force you to better time-manage your day since you won’t have “later tonight” to get things done.
Go talk to people.
Because it’s a lot harder to ignore you when you’re standing in their office, take the time to go out and visit clients, suppliers and other people you need things from over the summer. This goes along with our tips about improving relationships during the summer months, but it also gets you out of the office, and, presumably, out of your rut too.
Put your kids to work.
If you have kids, that is. Don’t go out and have kids just to break out of your rut (that doesn’t work in marriage, so it’s definitely not going to work in business). That said, if you do have kids hanging around the house all summer, instead of letting them catch up on Maury and eat frozen pizza for breakfast, take them into your job with you. If they’re old enough, give them tasks that can actually benefit your business. If they’re not, it’ll at least change up the mood and hopefully lighten up the store.
Try a seemingly-insane workout.
Yeah, those Cross-fit people seem like they are basically a religious cult with protein shakes, and getting kicked in the face by a Muay Thai sparring partner may not be your idea of a productive morning. But the sheer difficulty, exhaustion and occasional terror will get your mind completely off work during the workout. Then, when you get back to work, your brain is firing on all cylinders and you’ll get more done before lunch than you sometimes do all day.
Keep a journal.
Heck, you can even start a blog if you want, and start dispensing valuable advice like this out to the public. But even if Internet fame isn’t your life goal, writing down everything that happens - both in business and in life - will get you thinking about how to change things that don’t work, and what you’ve done that’s been successful. And since we never remember every detail of major events in our life, it can remind you of the thought processes you used for your biggest successes and failures.
Change your diet.
If you run a restaurant, chances are the bulk of your meals are either eaten in your car or hunched over a trash can. If you run an auto shop, you’re likely eating whatever you can get delivered that tastes good with 30-weight. And while it hasn’t caused you any major problems thus far, putting different - and dare we say better - fuel in your body will force it to act differently. We’re not saying your summer should consist of bi-weekly juice cleanses and raw vegan tofu. We’re just saying snapping out of your food rut may well snap you out of other ruts too.
Commit to something.
Again, we’re not saying go out and get married because you’re in a business rut. But, committing to a longer-term goal like running a 10k, promising your customers something new by fall, or agreeing to help someone else on a large project will force you to work towards it, therefore doing new things out of fear of not living up to that commitment
“Volunteer,” you say. “Yes let me get around to that right after I make time to organize my garage and order Rosetta Stone.” We know you’re busy, but think of volunteering as a networking event, except instead of leaving with a stack of business cards and a wine buzz, you’ll leave with the warm, fuzzy feeling of doing something good for the community. It will also expose you to people you don’t otherwise meet, who even if they can’t help you in business may well pull you out of a personal rut.
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