And just like that, the year is nearly halfway over again.  

The start of summer is one of those annual benchmark moments, like your birthday or your favorite holiday, that acts as a marker of time. It gets you thinking about all sorts of things.  

Suddenly, it feels like winter was just here, highlighting how quickly time moves. You think about what’s going on in your life and business now and how it compares to what was going on in your life and business at the same time last year. You reflect on the goals you set this year and the progress you’ve made on them so far. Maybe you make a mental list of all the time and productivity challenges that you know are likely to come up for you over the next few months. (How are you going to take off Summer Fridays plus a nice long vacation, and still grow your business?) 

For busy professionals, the logistical and time management challenges are naturally going to be top of mind as you brace for summer.  

You’ve been through this enough times to know where the likely pitfalls are. For realtors, consultants and others who work with clients, summer often means that things slow down. Prospecting activities are going to be a little more difficult. Clients are going to be harder to pin down. Navigating around your family’s schedule might get complicated. Even taking a vacation gets stressful. There’s so much planning that has to get done to make sure your business doesn’t suffer while you’re taking a much-deserved break.   

Running through a mental list of things that could go wrong or be difficult over the next few months isn’t a bad thing, necessarily. Anticipating the ways that things tend to go off the rails lets you strategize about the actions you can take to mitigate that chaos. You can’t predict everything that will go sideways this summer. But at least you can take some control over how you approach time management challenges and find ways for better productivity.  

As you think about the ways things could go wrong over the next few months, make sure you’re also anticipating all the ways things can go right.  

This could be the summer you…

  • meet your new favorite and/or most lucrative client.  
  • learn new skills that open up new possibilities for your life and your business.  
  • follow through with hosting all those fun barbecues/dinner parties/fire pit gatherings you’re always meaning to host for your friends and family.   
  • finally move the needle on that one big, wild goal that you’ve privately daydreamed about for years. Writing that novel. Going to grad school. Launching that side business. Training for that marathon. Whatever it is that you’ve always thought, “I’ll get to that someday….” Why shouldn’t this summer be that someday

In my last blog, I shared three things to stop doing this summer for better productivity. In the spirit of positive thinking, let’s talk about things you can start doing now to create more joy and be more productive this summer.   

3 Things to Start Doing This Summer

1. Give yourself some positive, imaginary awards.

I’ve talked a bit recently about the danger of trying to win non-existent awards, like the “I’m the busiest” award or the “Never says no to a client request” award. Trying to “win” those titles means holding yourself to an impossible standard and setting yourself up for failure. You waste time chasing titles that don’t exist and aren’t aligned with your actual most important priorities. But I am a big proponent of celebrating your wins—so go ahead and shower yourself with positive honors, even if they’re silly titles (“King/Queen of creating excellent spreadsheets!”) that exist only in your head.

2. Embrace the fun.

Just because you’re an adult with a business and responsibilities doesn’t mean you can’t run through a sprinkler, build a sandcastle or cannonball into the pool. Think back on the things you loved about summers when you were a kid. Give yourself permission to really indulge in silly carefree fun whenever you can. Silence the voice that says you shouldn’t take a break from work to flag down the ice cream truck for a popsicle; if it would bring you joy, get the popsicle and return to work feeling refreshed and content.

3. Practice reframing negatives.

This is a useful practice all year round, and it’s simple, but it’s also something that requires you to be really intentional about shifting your perspective. This summer, try to catch yourself noticing when things go wrong so you can immediately reframe negative thoughts to find the positive angle. Client cancelled a call last minute? Now you have a free 30 minutes to rest or do some spontaneous brainstorming about your business. Your plan for today totally fell apart? Great, I bet there’s something you can learn from what went wrong today to help make tomorrow better. Reframing negatives stops you from wasting time wallowing in mistakes and lets you quickly pivot to tackling whatever comes next, with a positive perspective.

Don’t let time management and productivity challenges steal your joy this summer.  

If summer snuck up on you, just think about how quickly fall will do the same. If you don’t take real steps now to improve the way you manage your time, you’re going to be just as overwhelmed and overscheduled in September as you are right now.  

Join me for Time Matters Boot Camp 90-day virtual program, starting July 15th. You’ll enjoy 90 days of support and training to achieve increased productivity and greater peace. Along with a small group of like-minded professionals, you’ll learn the actual steps to manage your time that will work for your life and your brain, so you can move into fall feeling like you’re finally in control of your time. Click here for more information about the program!

Be well, 


Sarah Reiff-Hekking