I stepped outside today on my way to a meeting, and the summer weather hit me full force (even though it’s not yet summer). It’s warm, sunny…beautiful. The last thing I wanted to do was to head to my meeting and head back inside.

I don’t know about you, but I love warm, sunny, beautiful weather. It makes me want to play – and play hooky. It makes me want to shout “whatever” to my to-do list, turn my back on all responsibility, and get into my car and drive straight to the beach.

I realize that this approach – and this attitude – might not be the most effective for my business, or the most supportive of my clients. And I also realize that I can harness this energy and make the most of my summer simply by being a bit more Thoughtful.

Here are my five surefire ways to channel a desire to play hooky into something that can enhance your leadership and effectiveness…and your enjoyment.

  • Dig into every moment – You want to enjoy your summer. To delight in and take advantage of the weather. If you stay present in every moment, and really dig into it – being aware of what’s happening, savoring the beauty and your experiences, heightening your five senses to the splendor and enjoyment around you – you’ll wring the most out of every moment. Your summer will be even more marvelous, and you’ll most likely have even more wonderful memories. You will also fuel yourself for the times when you want and need to focus on your work.
  • Take breaks – Even five minutes walking around the block between meetings is a chance to enjoy the sunshine and beautiful weather. You need to take breaks. You need to remind your team to take breaks. Perhaps you even need to take breaks with your team. Maybe you can move your meetings outside or have walking meetings. You need to carve out ways to enjoy the summer weather and summer fun.
  • Up your intentionality – If you want as many free moments as possible for fun, then you need to be as effective and productive as possible in your non-free moments. A powerful way to accomplish this is to be extremely intentional so that you know what you need and what you need to get done. This helps you waste less. It keeps you focused and makes each task and conversation more constructive.
  • Plan your days – Summer is a time for lazing about with no plans. That’s part of what makes it so much fun. But if you don’t plan out your days, you’re less likely to have time for lazing about with no plans. You need to think through what needs to happen, make time for those things to happen, and even carve out your “lazing time.”
  • Pay attention – Thoughtful leadership is about being present, being intentional, and being authentic. In order to accomplish any of these three challenges, you need to pay attention – to yourself, to your moods and needs, to others, to your team, to your organization, to your situations. If you’re paying attention, you’re more likely to notice the breeze in the trees or on your skin, and so to relish in the summer. If you’re paying attention, you’re more likely to hear the urgency in a client’s (or team member’s) voice so you’ll know to drop all you can and put that client (or team member) on the top of your to-do list. If you’re paying attention, you’re more likely to know which things on your to-do list truly need to happen and which can be put off. You’ll know which of your tasks and focus points are important and which are time-wasters.

I didn’t even (honestly) want to take the time to write this blog post. The weather is so nice. I want to drop nearly everything (at times) and simply soak in the sun. But I know that when I follow my surefire ways, I’ll not only accomplish a ton this summer, but also I’ll have a kick*@{97a243e3a9bf65ebe8495286bde36d0e09bf6d11d39083dafa2fdcd77d523a68} time.

How do you make the most of your summer? Click here to comment.

If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

For support in having a kick*#@ summer, contact Lisa at lkohn@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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