Summer Vacation?

*Not a writing lesson this week. More of a personal note. Just givin’ a heads up.

Warm weather is my favorite.

In central Illinois, where I live, it’s cold and gray for about 55-60% of the year. Maybe more.

But when it’s warm, I come back to life. I love being outdoors.

  • Brooks (doggo) and I go for long walks in the morning.
  • At night, I go for bike rides when it cools off and take in all the nighttime smells.
  • Brandon and I usually take some trips (this time last year we were in France and Spain!)

Maybe you can relate. Or maybe it’s something you’re wrestling with.

See, when you work for yourself (or from home, for that matter), you have this incredible ability to enjoy a flexible schedule. As long as you’re getting your work done, you can take the time to sit and read in your outdoor hammock, to go for a walk or a swim, or to work in your garden.

This is kind of the "anti-hustle" mentality, which I know is not always popular.

For some, the focus is fast growth, authority-building, #MAKEthatMONEY--all the time.

Don't get me wrong: I, too, like to #MAKEthatMONEY.

But for me, I want to work efficiently, with clients I really like, on projects I enjoy--and really, that's it. I don't want ALL THE JOBS.  Because I still want some time for "me" stuff.

The problem is, as I’ve said time and time again: You have to give yourself permission to have time for "me" stuff.

Am I perfect at it? Nope. I still struggle with workaholic tendencies.

However, I’m fortunate to have a partner who nudges me to get outside on the nice days when I’m glued to the computer. If you don’t have someone who does that for you, (or you do, but you need to hear it again) I hope this email is the reminder you need.

My message for you today is: Life is short, and your work will always be there when you get back. Plus, if you can work more efficiently, a shifted workday won’t be a big deal anyway.

Just remember:

The average person only gets 4 hours of core work done per day.

Parkinson’s Law says we fill the time allotted to a task--so don’t give yourself too much time to complete your work. And when you're done with your work, be done! Get up and out of your chair.

I could talk about this for a long time--in fact, I already have. A recent Creative Class podcast episode tackled this topic in greater detail, so if you’re interested in listening, you can find it here.

P.S. Looking for some ideas on how to work more efficiently this summer? Here's the master list of everything I use on a day-to-day basis to work smarter, not harder.

This article originally appeared in my newsletter, A Cup of Copy. Sign up and get these free tips sent right to your inbox every other Wednesday.