We all know the sayings – “The early bird gets the worm” or “The harder I work, the luckier I become”. Our mindset and approach to getting ahead is unfortunately prone to external influences like time of year and life events! Kids are now getting out of school for the summer. There are several long weekends ahead of us. Vacations are being planned. Graduations, end of school picnics, concerts and pool parties start to fill our calendar. The beginning of summer is similar to the November/December holiday season for a lot of us. We look forward to it. It is tempting to lose some of our typical drive and determination to feel that we deserve the time to ease off just a little.
This time of year it can be hard to not be just a little lazy. After all, that is why they call it the Lazy Days of Summer, right? Being lazy during the weekend or when you’re taking much deserved time for vacation is expected and ok. We all need to take a break sometimes! The challenge becomes when that starts spill over into the rest of our days. When we perceive and rationalize that fewer people are working and push things off because we feel like we won’t really be able to really get any results. If you’re in a customer facing role, it can be hard to reach people, hard to make schedules work for meetings, to find the time personally to be planned and prepared. After all life’s distractions are often more pleasant then our work.
I will actually take this whole notion fighting off the lazy days a bit further. This time of year is the chance to truly get ahead in whatever it is you do. Putting the time in today can get you ahead of the curve and create opportunities for you.
So play hard when you’re off! In fact, use that time to disconnect and turn off the distraction of work when you’re not working, put that tablet or smart phone away. However, don’t be the one that feels sorry for yourself when others are off and you are working. Don’t lower yourself to that level. It is easy to coast when fewer are looking. This is your chance to get ahead just for you! The skills, knowledge, output, and results are going to make you better and probably make you more valuable to your career and your employer in the long run!
If you are interviewing or looking for a job, use this time to get ahead in your job search when others are rationalizing that “No one hires this time of year”. Don’t fall prey to that sort of justification. Good people are getting new jobs everyday. Interviews are taking place right now. Trust me, my companies have them scheduled all day, every day with our customers.
If you’re in a business development role and playing golf today or heading to happy hour early, ask if there is anything else you could be doing to ensure you are on plan for the month and the quarter (or for the year!). Because there is always something meaningful to do in customer centric roles and to keep your relationships going.
Taking the extra time in your day to go the extra mile and putting in the extra effort can really pay off in the long term!
Image courtesy of Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
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