Kids’ softball games three to five nights a week plus weekends. Tickets to the College World Series baseball game that starts at 4 p.m. A family vacation. Friends who spontaneously call you at work Friday morning to say they are taking off early to the lake and invite you to join them. The BBQ that starts at 5 p.m., right when you get off of work. It’s just a beautiful day; you have the PTO and want to take off early. You don’t have the PTO and it is a beautiful day, so you call in “sick.” Summer fun comes in all shapes and sizes.
When the summer months hit most of us are busier than any other time of year with outdoor activities, kids sports, vacations, and simply enjoying the longer days and short nights. With all this “fun in the sun,” it can be a challenge for employees to accomplish goals and objectives, and for managers it can feel like everyone has “checked out.” How can you effectively balance work and fun this time of year?
It’s simple. A little planning and thinking ahead can give you the advantage, and will help you enjoy summer to its fullest without sacrificing your career. Here’s my advice:
1. Use your work calendar for both personal and office activities. When I see on Tuesday that the Wednesday softball game that starts at 6 p.m., I can adjust my daily activities so I get out of the office on time and still get my work done. From personal experience, this has also helped me avoid missing games! There is nothing like the guilt from a 14-year-old when you miss her game because you “forgot.” (Trust me, their ability to apply guilt gets better as they age).
2. Put in your full effort while at work, every day. Then when you want to take off early to go to the lake with friends, your boss is more likely to say “yes,” as a reward for giving your best regularly and consistently. Offer to take on extra projects. Don’t spend unnecessary time at the “water cooler”, or taking extra breaks. It’s those little things that add up effecting how your employer perceives your effort and performance.
3. Offer to make up the time missed. A little negotiation and offering the exchange sends the message to your employer that you are taking business demands into consideration with your request. A little give and take (you take the day off, but give up time the next day and work late) can help you get to that BBQ on time. Tip to make this work: know the day and time you would propose before asking for approval, this demonstrates you thought about it ahead of time.
4. Arrange to cover work for a co-worker who also needs some personal time off and in return they cover for you. You may have double the work load for a short amount of time; however, the time off may be worth it.
Last but not least, use your paid time off/vacation. That is what it is for!
About the Author: Patty North, Regional Manager, Celebrity Staff
Patty has worked with Celebrity Staff for the last 14 years, 12 of those years in a management role directly supervising 75+ employees and indirectly supervising 400 employees throughout Nebraska and the Kansas City, MO area. As a certified personnel consultant with a bachelor’s degree in family and consumer sciences, Patty has served as an Advisory Board member of ICAN (Institute for Career Advancement Needs), is a past-president of the NE Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NAFCS), and has been a guest speaker at the University of Nebraska – Omaha on topics ranging from resume writing to interviewing as well as a presenter at Women’s Leadership Conference in addition to several other achievements. In her free time Patty enjoys spending time with her husband Dave and her step-daughter Bailey.