Summer often brings an upset to regular routines. That change of schedule can be just the thing to shake you of a malaise and into some new, effective habits.
Cultivate your network. Networking is an integral part of any successful career. It can easily be pushed to the margins—or neglected altogether—by pressing daily demands. One of the best ways to prioritize networking is to make it a regular part of your schedule. Attend a monthly breakfast for people in your industry. Take a colleague out to lunch once a week. Figure out what works for you and schedule it in.
Evaluate your email practices. Email is a perpetual avalanche. Are you reactionary, constantly checking and firing off responses, or are you intentional? You need to be responsive to messages from others. That does not mean that you need to be checking messages every 30 seconds. This is one area wherein it’s important to differentiate quality and quantity. Spending one hour of focused time in the morning and an hour in the afternoon yields better results—for your emails and the rest of your work—than staccato replies that interrupt your workflow.
Get reading. Stay connected to current trends and perennial best practices through an intentional reading list. Your list should have a balance of periodicals, newspapers, and books. Bear in mind that you don’t need to scour the pages of each read—informed readers know when skimming is strategic. It can be helpful to start with a time goal. Rather than resolving to read The Wall Street Journal from cover to cover each day, plan to spend 10 minutes a day reading or one hour per week. Need some books to get you started? Check out our summer reading list.