Why can’t the rest of the year be more like summer?

Returning to the office after the summer can be tough.

You worked hard all year and hoped to be able to take a break or at least slow down while the weather was better. You looked forward to it.

Then in a flash it is gone; the kids are back at school, the morning traffic is back to its normal crawl and finally everyone is turning up to meetings again.

Sometimes we are left thinking, “what just happened?… was it real?…and just where did the time go?”

So what type of summer was it, this year?

  • May be you couldn’t take a break and didn’t really notice the summer passing at all?…..“what summer, we never slowed down, it was just crazy busy”.
  • Or may be you did take a break, quickly falling into a relaxing routine… but in the last week realised you hadn’t done much, so ran around like mad trying to fit things in?…. “I was able to check in occasionally, but will need to work late tonight (read this week) to catch up”.
  • Or maybe you were really organised, carefully planned ahead and did everything, I mean everything… and was just so busy you did not get to relax, rest or enjoy the moment?… “Yes I know I’ve just come back, but I need a vacation to get over my vacation!…. I’m exhausted”.

Summers can be like this, and probably we’ve all had experience of these three extremes at some point.

As they say, hindsight is 20/20. So if you were to re-run the summer again, which would you prefer? If this was the only one how would you plan it differently?

It is of course an interesting analogy for life/career. Replacing the word “summer” with the word with “life” and suddenly none of these three scenarios seem very desirable at all. Certainly not great statements to be made at the end of your days.

Fortunately we get to re-run summer every year and thinking back to our most fulfilling summer holidays can give us great insight on the blend of activity we find most rewarding.

For me the holidays that worked best have been varied.  Travelling to different places, learning new things or meeting interesting people with new ideas.  All this, yet at the same time having some time each day to actually enjoy being there.

Now this may be different for everyone, and now we are back, it is a great time to reflect on your own preferrences.

Even if you had the most perfect break, by listening, adopting and continuing to include some of these elements in life and career it can help find a better balance going forward.

So as office life (not so gradually) returns to normal, reflect on your summer.  Maybe we can indeed have a little bit of it all year!

What was your lesson for 2015?

Welcome back everyone…

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