Summer is the season when we tend to slow down and maybe even coast a bit. It’s vacation time and your mind can easily drift to the beach. Those looming projects and deadlines can seem less important.
Summer can be the season of procrastinating and letting time slip by almost unnoticed. It can become easy for you and your team to get used to lower productivity, even expect it.
As a sports agent for many top Major League Baseball players, PGA Tour golfers, NCAA coaches and more, I had a front row seat to hot streaks and a few summer slumps too. Now as a keynote speaker and author focusing on helping people achieve despite their fears, I get how real the summer struggle can be, and really it can hit anytime in the calendar. It’s when we experience the greatest temptation to accept activity for progress—to show up but not tune in.
Did you know you could boost your team’s productivity in the summer by copying the habits of pro athletes?
The Pros’ Mentality and Behavior
With a focus on the season ahead, the pros prepare away from the spotlight. They know that this is the time to get stronger, faster, better. You do that too, by testing yourself in new ways, with new tools and resources and training.
To challenge yourself in your down time, do you have podcasts ready to go? A stack of books you want to jump into? How will you push yourself to learn something new, and learn it sooner than later?
They create structure. Studying this habit of the pros helped my productivity immensely. Because summer has less structure, I have to be extra intentional about creating the structure I need to thrive. To do this, I focus on maximizing moments of intense productivity.
They focus on “I” and “me.” The offseason gives team members and coaches a chance to examine their individual performance and improvement areas. By trading “we” for “me,” they signal ownership and accountability.
Leaders, if your team’s productivity has slowed because of rapid culture change, take the offseason to lead forward into a fresh start. Ask yourself today: “How can I model the behavior I want from my team? What are the positives that I can control or influence? How can I show gratitude to my team?”
They test new ways of operating. The offseason is when PGA Tour players will make their significant swing changes. There’s time to break down what’s not working and try to fix it. Grab the chance to take what’s working well and amp it up.
Use this summer to find out what works best for you. A great way to jump start this is to get organized. Clean up your inbox and organize your files and desktop. By releasing this space, you clear the mental screen too. It’s an invitation to brainstorm a new way of operating.
They seize blank space for mental growth. Summer is the time to be curious—about the what, how and why of our daily work, to take time to wonder “what if?”
Block off time for idea generation. Those ideas that have been in the back of your head while you’re buried in work? Now is a good time to get them down on paper.
The offseason is the time to value staring out the window or looking up at the stars and =thinking about a single challenge or problem. Use this summer’s serendipitous gaps of time to meditate. Your mental muscles are so important to build considering that we all face a salad bar of information and possibilities 24/7.
Your Game Changer Takeaway
Do what the pros do. Make this summer your most productive offseason ever. Enjoy the space and take this great opportunity to inject new energy into your team. As you maximize your moments today, you will build new momentum. Don’t be surprised you achieve unusually bigger outcomes by the end of the summer.
Molly Fletcher helps inspire and equip game changers to dream, live and grow fearlessly. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working with elite athletes and coaches as a sports agent, and applies them to the business world. Her new book, Fearless At Work, is now available. Sign up here to receive our monthly newsletter and subscribe to the Game Changers with Molly Fletcher podcast on iTunes.