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Don’t Sit Back And Unwind: 4 Ways To Use The ‘Summertime’ Slowdown To Your Advantage

"It’s stand out time!"

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Although I’ve never fallen out of love with the song “Summertime,” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (more commonly know now as Will Smith), I'm going to have to disagree with him on one point. I would not recommend taking an entire season to sit back and unwind.

We are in one of the most challenging part of the year for both personal and professional goals. It’s the summer slowdown! It impacts us all, whether you’re a professional butt-kicker, like myself, a disruptive tech founder, scaling entrepreneur, career climber or corporate dragon slayer.  Day parties, vacations, rooftop decks with bottomless mimosas, slow business decision making, summer Fridays and the pursuit of a sun-kissed glow can easily make the best of us a little wobbly.

I personally love this time of year for kicking my goals straight in the mouth for the same reason I love Fridays. When everyone else takes their foot off the gas, it's the perfect time to “next level” my efforts. It’s stand out time!

Here are four quick tips to use the summer slowdown to your advantage:

1. Review and recalibrate your goals.

Look at where you are currently and adjust accordingly. Sit down with your paper calendar and realistically map out what you can do with your summer schedule. Break it down into manageable steps. I am on the road quite a bit this summer, this impacts how I can work. I can’t overcommit to a lot of face time or in-person meetings. Love it or hate it. It’s going to be a lot a phone/Skype/Zoom calls this summer.

2. Find a kick a$$ account-a-buddy to hold you accountable.

Make a pact with that one friend that will tell you when they don’t like your outfit, the one that will call you on your BS, and work together to stay on track. I recommend starting weekly check-in calls with an agenda. Each week, go over the previous week’s action plan. It is a “yes or no” conversation. Did you or did you not complete it. No excuses.

3. Think of sweater weather.

If you’re  an entrepreneur and it is seasonally slow for you right now, think of what you can activate for a killer Q4.  Now would be a good time to set up that CRM you have been dragging your feet on or updating your website. How about reaching out to your contacts with some useful information?

4. Treat yourself this summer.

When you hit a benchmark, do something nice for yourself. Don’t’ wait until your big goal is completely done, celebrate those little wins. Right now, a pedicure does the trick for me. When I shut down my big goal, I get a fancy vacay.

We are still early in the summer season, so I encourage you to take action before action takes you. Put in the work when others are on vacation mentally and physically.

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Keita H. Williams is the Founder and Chief Strategist of Success Bully, an elite accountability practice for visionaries who need strategic support(a professional butt-kicking) to create momentum in their personal and professional lives. We develop bespoke 90 Day Sprints to develop clarity and habits to achieve your audacious goal. Keita is a proud Wildcat who holds a B.S. from Northwestern University in Communication Studies. For more information, check her out on successbully.com, @successbully on Instagram & Twitter and download her weekly Success Bully podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play and iHeartRadio.