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Avoid the Summer Slide

Today is officially the first day of summer. School is out, pools are open, and vacations are on the calendar. This is the time of year, regardless of age, that everyone seems to take a mental or physical break – or both. Let’s be honest, kids are ready to take a break from learning and adults are ready to take a break from working. It may take longer to receive an email response or you may be seeing a lot more OOO notifications. You may no longer be in school, but, to a certain extent, we all still live by the school calendar and summer is when we want to be footloose and fancy-free.


Teachers and parents are acutely aware of the summer slide that happens to kids during their time off from school. The recently learned periodic table, complicated math equations, and new vocabulary words somehow just magically disappear from their brains. News flash – adults also struggle with the summer slide. We, too, need a break and fantasize about sitting on a European beach with a fancy drink and a trashy novel thinking about absolutely nothing. However, in today’s highly competitive 24/7/365 work environment, very few people can afford to “slide” for the entire summer.


The goal, especially for top performers, is to find an appropriate balance between work and summer playtime. It’s important to remember that working is a marathon, not a sprint. Breaks, family vacations, long weekends, global adventures, and general downtime is critical to overall health, wellbeing, and performance. The trick is to rest and relax so you feel recharged and re-energized when you go back to work and can hit the ground running – and not feel like you’re completely starting from scratch and trying to remember everything you forgot during your summer slide.


Follow the ON Point Action Plan so your summer plans set you up for success and not a summer slide.

7 Ways to Avoid the Summer Slide

  1. Accept It – don’t try to fight it or deny it; summertime has a different pace & there is nothing wrong with you if you’re struggling to focus – the struggle is real

  2. Make Plans – have a few things on the calendar to look forward to that feel like summertime including trips, barbecues, family reunions & fireworks

  3. Keep It Short – multiple quick trips or time off are easier to bounce back from than a longer two-week excursion

  4. Set Goals – productivity may be in shorter supply during the summer months so set realistic weekly & monthly goals to help get things done

  5. Stay Plugged In – kids have workbooks or a reading list for the summer to keep the learning brain active & so should adults; stay informed, engaged & up-to-date

  6. Be Social – maintaining your network is just as important as building your network; keep your regular communication, connection & check-in cadence

  7. Have Fun – the only thing worse than a full summer slide is not taking advantage of this time of year & enjoying it as much as possible

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