Here in New England, we have a unique phenomenon. We not only have four distinct seasons, but we have several changes of weather within those seasons. As we crawl out from a long, arduous winter with more snow than we could have imagined; we look forward to open windows, springtime smells, and much warmer temperatures.
As I sit here making my list of “springtime things to do”, I realize that my work habits change with the seasons. Incidentally, on my springtime list, I have an outdoor and indoor list of things to do.
In winter, I focus on keeping warm, sleeping as long as I want to, spending time on my computer, reading, and eating comfort food. My outside chores include shoveling snow and bringing in wood for the fireplace, and scraping the snow and ice off my windshield. Winter is a simple time and a time for me to catch up on archiving emails, taking online courses, and listening to podcasts and webinars as well as working for my clients.
Spring is a time of great expectation for me. Somehow I believe that all of the outdoor chores will be completed before it gets too hot and humid. The inside chores are a problem for me, because I don’t want to spend time indoors like I did during the winter. Instead, I want to open the windows, go outside, and do things in the sun. The new weather outside tempts me during the spring time. If I go outside, I can watch the grass turn green, check out the new weeds growing where they’re not supposed to grow, and just sit outside and relax. This is a season of conflict for me and it takes all spring season for me to develop a new schedule. I have my clients on the one hand that demand my attention and time, but the change in season makes me want to stretch myself and include both indoor and outdoor activities.
By the time summer rolls around, I’ve got my schedule down. I wake up much earlier than in winter. I’m a morning person, so I work for 4 – 5 hours in the morning. It’s amazing how much work I can get done when I put my mind to it. I actually enjoy eating a salad for lunch, because the ingredients are so fresh. I don’t have to bother with a jacket or sweater, so I’m free to just go for a walk or cut the grass. In the afternoons, I run errands or do some gardening.
I get a lot of exercise in the summer months and I find that I network more. Because the weather is so mild, I want to stop and talk to people. It’s easy to strike up a conversation when the wind isn’t howling and the snow is hitting your face or the rain pelting you with hail. Farmer’s markets and yard sales are great places to meet and interact with people and who knows, you may get a new client from just talking to people.
Fall is a sad time for me. The brilliance and warmth of the summer is gone and things start to shrivel and fade away. I find that the colors of things change, too. The shed looks so white and clean in the summer, but in the fall, it just look old and faded. I have a schedule change in the fall, too. Due to the change in the weather, I don’t always go for a walk. Instead of cutting the grass, I start to put things away for the season and prepare for the next season. I spend more time inside on my computer, so I catch up on things that I’ve been putting off all summer.
I’m happy with the change of seasons, because it adds balance in my life and in my work. My clients NEVER suffer, because I always put them first. The season changes keep me alert and focused on what’s at hand and what will come, so it’s a natural way to stay on track, get tasks completed and project what will happen in the future. It also provides me with exercise and a change of scenery.
Since I started my virtual assistant business, Virtual Colleague LLC., I’ve had time to do more, learn more, and accomplish more, because I’m free to create and adhere to my own schedule, while still remaining accountable and responsible to my clients.
I like living in New England and I don’t think I would be happy anywhere else. I can’t imagine the fall without the leaves changing, the winter without the snow and cold, the spring season never really contrasting a snowy winter, and summer 365 days a year!
How do you feel about the changes in the seasons? Does it affect your work?