For many people summer is a time of loosening of schedules for some folks, like maybe your kids, but not everyone like you. Or if you are like me, your husband’s schedule loosens up, but your schedule does not. The tug between finishing EVERYTHING on your plate and enjoying some play time, say running around outside blowing bubbles (or whatever is great fun for you) can be stronger than ever. Here’s an idea frame your workdays so that you get things done AND preserve time for fun, playtime, this summer. So how exactly do this without falling prey to the guilt monster? For me the answer is two-fold: 1) setting a very narrow but deliberately focused set of non-negotiable for my day (the things I must do some work on that day in order to keep moving forward even 5 minutes counts) and; 2) learning to be at ease with ambivalence or the undone. Sometimes number 2 is simply an act of faith, choosing to believe that all will be okay and that the world will continue to rotate on its axis if you are not at the office, or some things on your to do list does not get done. There is always one more email that could be sent, one more task to do. Tomorrow they will still be there, I remind myself.
Here’s a mini challenge I am setting up for myself this summer that I want to invite you to consider. Draw up a list of the fun /play activities you would like to do this summer. Post it where you cannot miss it during your workday. At least 2 workdays pick one to be your reward at the end of the day. So you might not have the mental energy to spend 3 hours reading a pleasure book on a Wednesday after you end the workday, get some exercise and maybe clean up the kitchen, but you will enough to read for 30 minutes.
For more on making time for work and play, check out my interview. . . especially you busy working parents . . .