Greetings from the Caribbean! It’s been many years (maybe 11?) since my family has gone away together for more than a couple days, so I’m trying to soak in that relaxed beach-y energy and catch-up time. With it being the last Monday in July, I thought it would be a fun time to chat about a little experiment I’ve been calling “Summer Mondays.” I realize this approach might not be realistic for everybody, but I wanted to share it as an example of how tuning in to where you struggle and why can help you come up with a solution that works for you, even if it seems non-traditional.

Family Portrait June 2017

These guys. 

One of the best parts entrepreneur life is setting my own work schedule, but it’s also one of the most challenging, since setting boundaries with myself can be hard. That said, paying attention to the natural ebbs and flows of my mental and physical energy through the day and week has been helpful in learning to be intentional about how I map out my schedule.

Back when I worked in the hospital, I used to get so jealous of my friends who had Summer Fridays. I imagined some magical life of drinking rose at outdoor cafes and skipping town before rush hour to get an early start on weekend vacations. Even when I started working for myself, though, Summer Fridays just didn’t quite happen—I always found myself rushing to do one last task, answer one last email, follow up with one more client, and I ended up feeling guilty about putting in that full day of work I’d said I wouldn’t. This just made me feel guilty and stressed out.

I used to dive into Mondays with both feet (after working all weekend), and I found that I got so burnt out it was hard to get on track at all for the whole week. Every day felt like I was frantically spinning my wheels with 20 tabs open across two browsers and still feeling like I got nothing done. So I decided to test-drive Summer Mondays.

Since June, rather than forcing myself not to work on weekends, I’ve been starting Mondays slow to ease into the week mindfully. I make time in the morning to take a walk outside, go to a favorite fitness class, or take care of things like errands, laundry, grocery shopping, or food prep. I actually block it off in my calendar to remind myself that this self-care is actually just as important as the other things on my agenda.

summer-sky

Outside time helps me get centered for a productive day.

The catch is that I don’t work late to “make up for” that morning time. Having a standing 5:45 appointment on Mondays has helped me stay accountable. Though I’ve slipped up a few times, I’ve mostly stuck to my goal.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’ve found that taking this approach has actually helped me work with a clearer head and get more done overall. Another lesson learned about how mindset really is everything.

 

Does your job have Summer Fridays? How do you get set for a productive week? 

 

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