05 Jun The Fatal Flaw of Summer Hours
After a deep, dark, wet and snowy kinda winter, you can count on the folks of the PNW to engage in conversation with you about…the weather. This year, those dreaded weather conversations began in October and it felt like they lingered until mid-May, when all of a sudden we went from winter to the blazing-sunshine-filled days that we (hesitantly!) refer to as …SUMMER!
As soon as that summer sun starts shining, so do the conversations about summer hours, extended long weekends, or shortened work weeks. It’s as if to say “now that the weather is nice, please go live your best life!”
I think the “summer work” conversation begs a great debate.
On one hand, I love a good dose of vitamin D, so I’m all for maximizing the natural absorption from the sun versus popping my daily overdose of vitamin D pills. However, I realize that I have very strong opinions about this topic.
Here are a few things to consider:
You get the most out of humans when they have a routine
When we find purpose and rhythm, we are productive and efficient. There is a reason why children function best when they keep to their routine; this doesn’t change when we age! So while a few moments of sunshine leniency are certainly not the end of the world, be mindful of the power of routine.
What if you craft your life around how to get the best work done in the best amount of time?
That might mean (very) early mornings for early departures, or later mornings and later work days. What happened to the power of RESULTS!? When there is a set routine towards a clear goal, it gives an adult the freedom to get the work done!
Most of all, I feel very strongly about never (ever) having weather-dependent goals.
If it is cold, dark and rainy, I am still on my bike in the garage with a puffy jacket on the trainer. Of course, I’d much prefer to be outside in the sunshine on a dry day, but it doesn’t always happen that way. I think the same goes for our professional lives/careers. Work hard to get the work done; if you can work harder to create more time — do that!
Don’t wait for the sunshine to determine if you are willing to work hard for your goal or not.
Rather than waiting for summer to come around to live a balanced life, craft that routine every month of the year. You’ll create consistent results AND consistent balance. When the summer comes, the perk is that your routine is filled with sunshine and you get to reap the rewards of that — rather than try to cram life into the new daylight hours.
I’d vote that we implement summer hours + the sunshine rule all year long; perhaps then we’d work and live like every moment matters — because it does.