8 Ways to Get the Most Out of Summer

Well, summer has officially arrived in North America. In our area, most kids are out of school. The neighborhood pools are open. And, it seems like everyone’s on vacation or mentally checked out.

For many freelancers, summers can be tough. With so many clients on vacation, projects get put on hold. Tracking down prospects can be difficult. It also seems like no one wants to make a decision because “Pam is out for two weeks, and once she gets back it will take her another two weeks to catch up!”

So, what’s a freelancer to do with the idle time?

How to Get the Most from Summer

Here are eight ideas to consider as we enter the dog days of summer:

  1. Clean your office. Throw away old files, purge old magazines and newsletters, reorganize desk drawers and clean up your email inbox. Don’t know about you, but my office is a disaster right now. Getting it organized has become a top priority.
  2. Catch up on your reading. If you love to read as much as I do, you probably struggle with too many books and not enough time to read them. If your workload is a bit light right now, use the extra time to catch up on your reading.
  3. Re-evaluate your technology. How’s your computer holding up? Do some of your software applications need updating? Now is a great time to install and learn new software or migrate to a new system.
  4. Strategic planning. With 2010 nearly halfway over (can you believe it?!), this is a good time to evaluate your progress toward the goals you set back in January. Which goals need further attention? If you’re behind on some of them, draft a realistic (but aggressive) action plan for the next six months.
  5. Create an information product. If you’ve been thinking about putting together an e-book, audio product or other information product, now is the time to get it done. I created my first e-book over a three-week period two years ago when workload was light.
  6. Meet friends and colleagues for lunch. This is a wonderful time to reconnect with people you haven’t talked to in a while. Call your friends and colleagues. Meet them for lunch or coffee. Share ideas, insights and plans.
  7. Volunteer your time. The economic downturn has had a dramatic impact on charitable and religious organizations. Donations are way down while the needs of many have increased sharply. So, if you find yourself with idle time, why not do some volunteering? Sure, a cash donation is always welcome, but your time and talents are just as (if not more) important.
  8. Spend undivided time with your family. Make it a point to spend more time with your kids, spouse and loved ones. Go on a family vacation. Head out to the pool, the beach, the park. Take the kids fishing. Work on some puzzles. Relax. Turn off the TV (yes, it actually has an “Off” button) and have a few sit-down dinners as a family. Show them how much you love and care for them.

View your spare time this summer as a gift. Use it wisely. If you’re doing the right things, you’ll soon be busy again…and you’ll wish you would have used that time better.

What About You?

I’ve shared some ideas for getting the most out of summer.

Image by aussiegall