summer hours

June 18th, 2012   |   Business AdviceLife


Today is my day off from work! After a very successful and awesome New York BWI Workshop, I’m taking my allotted time off to rest and recharge.

During my weekend travels I also did a lot of reflecting on how I could melt the stress ball factor in my life. Last week was full of meltdowns and frustration, which is the opposite of this summer needs to be about.

Since February 1st of this year I have been running on overdrive. Launching the BWI Workshops has been a tremendously empowering experience, but at the same time has required an unprecedented amount of time, attention, and energy on top of Jess LC, MML, and my regular consulting.

To get it completed I relied on the lovely Clara of Clara Persis Events and our Jess LC girls. But regardless of delegating and all that there have been lots of nights and weekends of work followed by a very busy pace to my workday. Though I have learned to “work faster/harder” these past five months, I’ve not slowed down or really rested.

And this needs to change.

Instead of looking at this summer’s fun things like moving, preparing for our new puppy, planning the wedding, and traveling to visit family and weddings, as fun things, I’ve been looking at them as frustrating events that must be lived through.

In fact, a friend of mine asked me to get dinner or drinks with her sometime soon and I only had the mental capacity to offer her sometime in September.

Hello, Jess, somethings gotta give. 

So, I’m now deciding for the first time ever to institute Summer Hours for myself.

Rather than wish this summer would go away, I’m choosing to embrace it and hold it in high priority. I’m choosing to spend my time this summer prioritizing my personal life.

So going forward until September, I’m instituting Summer Hours.

This means that I will be working on my business not in it as much as humanly possible. I will be ending my workdays promptly at 5:00pm. I will be ending on Friday for the weekend at 1:00pm. I will be checking my email as few as three times per day, Monday through Friday only. I will work at a slower pace, on higher priority projects. I will be delegating more responsibility to my Jess LC girls. And I will look forward to putting a renewed attention and energy into personal friendships after hours.

Last week I shared what I’m not gonna try to do, and my new goal is to keep my plate in this more open state. When new things come up, I will continue to say no unless they are of extreme importance until September.

So thank you for listening and understanding. This will not change anything here on MML (which is my top career priority). But I do hope that my new intentions might serve as an example to anyone else who is feeling burned out and needs to pace themselves this summer as well.

It is okay to slow down, rest, and recharge.

In fact, it might just be what we need to be successful in our lives and businesses in the long run.


* Watermelon cake from the New York workshop, courtesy of Patricia of PVE Design.



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  • amen!

  • Wow! This is such a great example for anyone who spreads herself a bit too thin. I love this idea… and I may have to implement your example into my own life this summer. Balancing blogging, planning my wedding, graduate school, a possible launch of another blog, and, oh yea, fun and life… can become very draining. Thanks for sharing!

  • This is the best idea EVER!!! My working hours tend to be 24/7, which is not prodcutive for my health. We really do need to set an end time to the day, but that can be difficult when you work for yourself. I’m really enjoying your posts about taking care of yourself, knowing when to say no to things, and setting boundardies. This is good stuff!

    Oh my gosh, I want a slice of that watermelon cake so bad. 🙂

  • Hooray for setting sanity boundaries! Our culture prioritizes working 24/7, especially for entrepreneurs. People seem to think if you own your own business you should be reachable at all hours of the day (this is spilling into academics with students expecting responses from instructors during nonbusiness hours too). No wonder people burn out. You are definitely doing the right thing.

  • Lori

    Good for you Jess!

    My absolute favorite time of the year is summertime as I spend as much time as possible outside. However, I still try to get to everything I normally would do during the other months – which, I gotta tell you, does not usually end up happening! This year, I’m re-evaluating my schedule based on my summer priorities…

    I also love a colleague’s approach to summer – her philosophy: cleaning (above and beyond the regular daily maintenance) is for fall, winter and spring, not summer. And I have to say, that isn’t a bad idea;)

  • Janna

    Please don’t use the term “girls” when referring to females who work with you. Interns, staff, assistants, deputies—are all more acceptable and less demeaning. Calling females “the girls” is not acceptable in the workplace. You are better than this.

  • Jess

    Janna, thank you so much for your thoughts! I prefer to use the term girls because I prefer to use the term out of familiarity and kindness. The other terms you mentioned are perfectly acceptable but to me feel clinical and less friendly than I prefer. Namaste!

  • pve

    I would take this as an “aha” moment, to give yourself permission to celebrate summer is great by me and my girl! You are inspiring me to follow your lead.
    More time for enjoying all things summery….watermelon, lemonade, swimming…..and catching fireflies!

  • Susie

    Hello, Janna! This is Susie, one of the workers for JessLC. (I make the jewelry, and I’ve been doing it for so long that I’ve lost track of it!)

    I agree with you that the word “girls” can be used in a condescending and demeaning way, denying women of their maturity and authority over themselves. However having known Jess for many years now, that word has never once felt that way coming from her. When Jess uses the word “girls,” it comes from a place of caring, a place of closeness akin to the way someone would address a family member.

    I’m not going to get into my personal history and why I identify more with the word “girl” than most other descriptors of femininity, but I assure you, if Jess called me or any of her other associates a name that upset one of us, we work in the type of environment where we would feel safe to tell her, and she would never use that term again.

    I think “girls” is also convenient since we all have such different roles, and we do all have our silly little titles. I, for example, am often referred to as “The Jewelry Queen,” something I appreciate greatly.

    I am also sometimes referred to as “The Bouncer,” so I’m really sorry if this comes off as overly defensive or attacking. I know your comment came from a really well-meaning place, a place that I agree with the vast majority of the time. So thank you for the protective sentiments, and I hope you have a lovely day!

  • Jess, this is so wonderful to read… I think it is something we all must give ourselves permission to do… and not only “give ourselves permission,” but learn to MASTER this art of balance in order to truly enjoy our lives every single day! Kudos to you for declaring it to the world and taking your life back! xx

  • Thank you for writing this post. I think it is so easy for us to put pressure on ourselves and as my Nan says, “You’re going to burn yourself out.” She’s been at me (with love!) to take it easier this summer and I feel like your words at the end of this post were the extra reminder I needed.

  • Good for you jess!! You are wise beyond your years. I believe I need to instill the same mindset

  • Good for you! It sounds like you really need this and you need to make time for yourself.

  • I love the summer hours idea! I might institute it here!

  • Summer Hours are a godsend! The company I work for actually does this same thing every summer (work extra hour/half day Friday) and I jumped on that bandwagon fast. You will get so much done on Friday afternoon even if it’s to sit and read through that stack of magazines you have been neglecting or getting in a afternoon drink with friends. Hope you enjoy it and have a great summer!

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  • Good for you Jess. You definitely deserve to take it easy with all your new exciting ventures! 🙂

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