I work at a university and fortunately, I get the summer months off from my clients aka my students. I adore them BUT we all need a break from each other and this May-August split is cherished.
My previous post was about my various Nashville/US adventures BUT I still have to work. I have A LOT of work to get done this summer before the youngsters return and invade my world in only the way they can do so.
I have a summer to-do list about as long as the Mississippi River and I have to squeeze it all in around my vacation time and general periods of that feeling I call “I don’t want to do work! Wahhh!” I can’t be the only one that suffers from that condition, correct?
It is practically June. Yes, June! Deal with it.
Here’s my next steps to success:
1. Refine the list. Currently it is on multiple sheets of paper in three different notebooks and on my computer. I have to make the list practical and manageable. What do I actually need to get done to accomplish my office’s and my goals? What can I reasonably accomplish this summer? What projects can I complete by just taking them off the list? I love that Arianna Huffington has introduced that notion into our world. Check out this video of her discussing “Thrive” with Marie Forleo. Also, just check out Marie Forleo. She’s fantastic and MarieTV is perfect lunchtime professional and personal development.
2. Prioritize my priorities. Just because it is on the list doesn’t mean it has to happen ASAP. There are things that I could push off until July or the beginning of August. A timeline will be super helpful. Deadlines are a MUST! I don’t function well without them. I can then plop all of this information on my calendar. If it’s on my calendar, there is a 97% chance that it will happen. I often print out a template calendar and write it all old school with a pen on a sheet of paper. I’ll then transfer it to my Outlook Calendar.
3. Accountability is so necessary. I will share the list and the calendar with my staff and my supervisor. They can then know what to expect of me this summer and what to hold me accountable for this season. During my 1:1 meetings with my boss, I will use this list as the agenda for our meeting. It is also important that I don’t allow him to keep refilling up my plate with things that are not essential for my or my office’s success. Exploring all options and saying “no” is powerful because if I”m not careful, my list will grow longer and longer.
4. Be okay that everything may not happen this summer and keep plugging away into the fall. If it’s important then it’ll happen. The goal is not to beat myself up but to do the most best essential work I can this summer.
To make everything happen I’m going to have to design and create time and space to focus on the projects at hand.
1. I have to step away from my desk and often my office. I have a table in my office that allows me to think in a more creative and open manner. I don’t know what it is about the table but I am able to sit and stare at my blank whiteboard and then fill it with ideas and outlines for curriculum, workshops, or speeches that I need to write. I also work really well at Starbucks. I think it’s because I feel like College Krystal and that girl was a master at getting sh*t done. No one did it better. I may also hit up the campus library. Arriving to work before everyone else and working on Sundays is also a move of mine when I have a lot to get done. Don’t worry, I’ll make up the weekend time during the week :).
2. Put time on my calendar to just be away. Close my door, leave the office, and just be creative and productive. I can’t let anyone usurp that time. It is mine! Back off! I already block off 3-4pm as Krystal, Inc. so I may just extend that time since I don’t have any student visitors during the summer.
3. I have to be okay with using time to think and not rushing through that process in order to just “do work”. I have a longing for using my creative abilities more at work and because my office was created from scratch, I have a lot of freedom to do just that.
4. Because I’ve packed my summer schedule to the brim, I’m going to have to be way more discriminating about whatever else I add to the list. Pretty sure unless it’s a weekend trip, I can’t leave town anymore than I already am at this time. Some of my weeknights might need to be spent on work. That’s the trade-off and trade-offs can’t be avoided.
What are your tips for getting things done during the summer?
Alright, so now I’m going to get off this blog and get some stuff done. Ready, set, go!