Summer is a time of many distractions. The sun is shining, the water is cool, and the wilderness is calling. It can be difficult to concentrate on what needs to be done versus what wants to be done. This is the time of year to cut ourselves a little slack though. Make time to drift in the water or through the bush and reenergize yourself. I think it is still important to strike a balance between work and play. Throughout my undergrad, and now as I continue to work from home, I find myself saying “no” more than “yes”, putting work before play and trying to keep myself motivated to move forward and make progress.
I have to remind myself that these days are numbered and the long nights of winter will be here sooner than I think. I need to allow myself this time to enjoy where I am and live in the moment. To take joy in the sun and lay in the lake. But it can be more difficult than you might expect to do this. Saying “yes” is often accompanied by feelings of guilt. But, with the hours of work that everyone puts in, we need to allow ourselves to say “yes” without the burden of thinking of what should be done instead. This time is just as important as the hours sitting at a desk with our heads down.
The reality of it is that, for most, the longer we work the more drained we become. The moments of “yes” recharge us. By taking the time to get away from the desk the work will come easier and the time will pass more quickly when we return. The time spent at the desk will be more productive because of the days we said “yes” instead of “no”. I have noticed in my small town that small businesses tend to heed this advice. Many switch their regular hours to “summer hours” and grant themselves a long weekend every weekend. It is time to take advantage of the flexibility offered by AU, continue your studies or your work but grant yourself more time away than you do the rest of the year. Give yourself a long weekend every weekend and catch up on time with friends and family.
The work can’t stop because the sun is out. But you can allow yourself the freedom to have more time away from the desk. Create a schedule if you must and give yourself more time off. Even if it means working three days a week with a fourth as catch up. Be as ruthless now with your time away as you generally are with your time at work. It will undoubtedly benefit both yourself and your work in the long run.
Deanna Roney is an AU student who loves adventure in life and literature