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How to Stay Motivated During the Summer Hot, hazy weather doesn't mean your business should take a vacation.

By Lisa Evans

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During the hot, hazy days of summer, it can be challenging for even the hardest-working entrepreneurs to stay motivated. Longer days and warmer weather are prime for a motivation slump, but while you'd rather be spending your days poolside, your business can't afford a vacation.

Here are a few ways to ensure you keep the work flowing during the summer:

Change your working hours.

Want to leave work at noon on Friday, or take Fridays off completely to have an extra-long weekend, working extended hours during the week? Knowing you will have that extra time to enjoy the summer can help keep you motivated even on the hottest days.

Throw on your "thinking shoes" and get outside.

There's no reason you need to be trapped inside the office strapped to your desk. Take your laptop outdoors or schedule walking meetings. A breath of fresh air can give you a motivation boost. Walking meetings are perfect for one-on-one or small group conversations. One Stanford University study found walking meetings can boost creativity by an average of 60 percent. Plus, walking meetings are great exercise, helping to combat sitting disease. A University of Essex study found individuals' sense of well-being was boosted by as little as five minutes of outdoor exercise. Walking while on a conference call can even result in better communication, as walking increases blood flow to your brain, helping you to express ideas more freely.

Schedule catch-up time after vacations.

"Summer months bring the expectation of vacations," says business coach Sarah Levitt. Most people, especially those who have kids, tend to take holidays during the summer months. Getting back into the work routine after a vacation can be challenging, which is why Levitt suggests scheduling time for catch up and planning after a vacation, rather than returning immediately to your regular schedule.

Related: Why Summer Fridays and Flexible Hours Are a Must

Season-proof your offerings.

If your business has a seasonal lull, think of services or specials you can offer during the off-season that may supplement your income. Kathryn Schellenberg, for example, founder and CEO of Learning Lab LA, who has struggled through the lull of the summer season, offers educational mapping and college counseling during the summer months. You may also want to use your downtime to map out marketing campaigns, do some charity work or network. "Your off time is the perfect chance to get your name out there," says Schellenberg.

Learn something new.

Summer is a great time to try a new sport or pick up a new hobby. You'll flex your mind by trying something new and may find you're able to come up with better ideas, quicker as a result.

Allow yourself a few summer indulgences.

Schedule one fun summer event each week -- whether enjoying a cool drink on the patio with co-workers or hitting the splash pad with your kids. Having fun is part of summer. Having something to look forward to on the calendar can push you to complete your tasks on time so you can enjoy the nice weather stress-free.

Related: 3 Ways to Motivate Yourself When You Just Want to Quit

Lisa Evans is a health and lifestyle freelance journalist from Toronto.

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