Insight News

Feb 05th

Independent Workers: Don’t Lose Steam for Projects this Summer

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jdesmondThere’s the beach. And the kids underfoot. Concerts, cabins, movies in the park. Summer brings out the fun in all of us. But is it costing you professionally?

More than ever, people are moving out of traditional offices and into results-only work environments; some have gone the entrepreneurial route and have only themselves to report to. If summer finds you slacking, read on. It’s time to rework your approach to work and make the most of your time both on and off the clock. By knowing your goals and taking a realistic approach to your capabilities, you can keep your career moving forward in spite of all the distractions.

Writing out goals is a good idea tactically. However, long term goals such as, “Buy a sports franchise,” are often so far out of reach that people simply put off the tasks required to get there. The best approach to summer goal setting is to get into the Just One Thing habit. Getting intimate with short term goals allows you to accomplish tasks in small steps. Choose something you must do today in order to move toward bigger objectives. You will complete more than that one task, of course, but you will know that as busy as you’ve been, you have accomplished something important. Just name one thing, do it, and cross it off your list. Then name something else.

Are certain times of day more energetic for you? Capitalize on high energy times of the day or week and plan around them. Make and keep appointments during these hours, either with clients or with yourself and dedicate yourself to maximizing the time.

Get out there. A phone call is over the moment we hang up. Meeting people in person requires planning ahead and making a time commitment, but the result is worth it. You might forget a text message or email, but you are more likely to recall a live conversation several days after it happens. In-person meetings keep your mind focused and your professional skills sharp. Go out of your way to meet people during your peak performance times.

Overcommunicate. Especially during the summer, with co-workers and customers taking disparate vacations, communication can collapse and cause a slowdown in accomplishments. Develop a reputation for writing everything down. You will save precious time at work by referring back to your notes when the person who assigned a task or placed an order is out of pocket.

Finally, don’t take yourself too seriously. Schedule time for work – and time for play. Tickets to a game or show force you to leave your work behind for a finite time. You will come back to your desk refreshed, but not disconnected from your projects.

Don’t lose steam during the dog days of summer. Good planning will keep you progressing all year round.

Julie Desmond has fifteen years’ experience in recruiting and staffing. She currently leads Career Planning and Job Search workshops in Edina, MN. Write to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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