Last August, I made a conscious decision to work as little as possible. I still had coaching calls with existing clients, but pretty much everything else I let slide. I wanted to do a deep dive with my kids. I wanted us to get tan and dirty, and spend days making mud pies (or whatever random thing caught our fancy).
I didn’t worry about making sure my first-grader was reading regularly—I honestly wanted her to be able to forget about school as much as possible and just be a kid.
It seemed like a great idea, until September came along. We had all lost so much momentum. After having my best month ever financially in July, I had my one of my worst months ever in September. I hadn’t been marketing myself, or booking speaking events, or doing anything to make the ideas I had in my head a reality. It felt like I was starting from zero.
It didn’t turn out much better for my daughter, either. She had a very rough start in first grade, because she was out of practice with her reading and her math. Don’t get me wrong, August had been fun. But it was out of balance. And ultimately, being that far out of balance didn’t feel good.
This year, we have had plenty of fun in August. And we’ve been embracing consistency. So my daughter will read for 15 minutes or write a letter before we head out to the pool. And I have been working on launching a new program (The Author Within, see below!), staying in contact with folks who have expressed interest in working together, keeping up with speaking and networking and in general enjoying tending to the momentum I’ve built up in the last year.
The best part is, I don’t feel like any of this is a sacrifice. I have happily been taking afternoons off with regularity – many nights I make up an hour or two at night once the kids are in bed, but I can tell from keeping my time logs that I’m pretty close to keeping my usual number of working hours, which is right around 32.
A few things have helped – getting more flexible with my schedule so I can work AND play in the same day, paying attention to how I spend my time and how I think about time, and not indulging in the line of thinking that says “Nothing gets done in August, anyway.” There is never a bad time to do the things that make you feel good. And that’s the most important piece of August 2015 – giving myself the chance to experience how good it feels to find a balance between consistency and flexibility.
I tell you more about what’s happening this August below. And I hope that these last few days of official summer are finding you feeling good!