6 Local Go-Getters Share Their Advice For Beating An End-Of-Summer Rut

We don't know about you, but the words "working" and "summer" in the same sentence go down about as smoothly as "Ryan Reynolds" and "off the market." From early July to late August, our desire to do anything other than take vacation days, plan BBQs, and Instagram pics of our toes in the pool overpowers most everything else.
Since plummeting productivity is a telltale sign of the summer doldrums reaching their peak, we sought out Washington's busiest power players to get their tips and tricks on beating the seasonal slump. From a tireless lobbyist to a busy mommy blogger, these inspiring Washingtonians do it all—and they don't let the late-summer blues put a damper on their work ethic. So, if you're in need of a major motivational boost, click through to discover some genius tips. No yawning allowed.
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Kate Bennett, fashion editor at Washingtonian

Do you have any get-stuff-done secrets during the summer doldrums?
"Yes — one. "Street Life" by Randy Crawford. Volume up. If you're not motivated and feeling like a badass by the time the horns kick in on the bridge, the doldrums have won."

How do you stay motivated and on track?
"I'm in a deadline-driven business, and I happen to love my job, so it's not difficult for me to stay on top of all of the things I have to do, even in the summer. Plus, I have the added bonus of covering trends that are a few months out — so in the summer, I'm looking at everything for the fall season. Plotting outfits and themes that will look chic when it's chilly tends to put a little cool-weather fantasy into summertime heat. If I can envision it, I forget that it's a billion degrees. For whatever reason, that seems to work.

A lot of times, when things are tough or I'm feeling really bored and blah, or when I'm faced with a work dilemma, I ask myself WWKMD? Or, What Would Kate Moss Do? I'm not sure if Kate Moss wouldn't just throw in the towel and play hooky on some island somewhere, but it's fun to put her in different situations and sort of daydream how she might tackle certain issues — I can see some pretty cool adventures with KM fighting summer blues."


Photo: Courtesy of Kate Bennett/Andrew Propp
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Amy Suardi, editor of Frugal Mama

Do you have any get-stuff-done secrets for the summer doldrums?
"When I want to get something done, I have found that a three-step process really works: First, define my project — vague goals are overwhelming. Second, write it down — something magical happens when we concretize our thoughts. Third, make myself accountable by going public (we can tell a friend or announce our plans on Facebook)."

How do you stay motivated and on-track?
"I love to end the day by reading a chapter from a productivity guru, like Tim Ferriss of 4-Hour Workweek or Vickie Milazzo of Wicked Success is Inside Every Woman. Learning from smart, energetic people keeps me on track, gives me new ideas, and inspires me."


Photo: Courtesy of TLC/DCI
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Carmen Lopez, owner of Current Boutique

Do you have any get-stuff-done secrets for the summer doldrums?
"I like to schedule work time and play time. I get up earlier in the summer to tackle projects so I can plan fun things for later. I schedule two-hour 'power hours' in the early morning to race through my task list. To make work time more exciting, I usually plan a working breakfast at a local cafe. I compile my list of to-dos, and I won't stop until my work is done."

How do you stay motivated and on-track?
"I schedule meetings at places that have open spaces where I can enjoy the sunshine ... at fun new places I haven't been before and neighborhoods I don't frequent as much. I give myself incentives to stay motivated — be it as small as an iced coffee in the middle of my workday, a pedicure for an uninterrupted work spree, or something more substantial for the entire week, like a one-hour massage."


Photo: Courtesy of Carmen Lopez
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Leo Schmid, editor of Thrillist DC

Do you have any get-stuff-done secrets during the summer doldrums?
"I've found that creating a routine is one of the biggest 'getting-stuff-done' secrets. Developing a step-by-step process in the morning has been crucial for me in getting my day started and keeping me on track. I usually start with a quick shower, (sometimes a run), coffee, and follow up that coffee with some more coffee. I then go through emails and my schedule, prioritizing tasks and answering any emails that will take under two-to-three minutes. After this, I write for 30-45-minute spans with small breaks in between. Usually after these tasks are complete, things start falling into place, and the day cruises along. But if all else fails, you have to break out. I go to Tryst."

How do you stay motivated and on-track?
"Deadlines, competition, and peer-comparison have a tendency to really motivate me … But, something else that helps me is having a few reasonable goals for the day. Outside of the usual workday load, I like to add one or two things onto my plate to add a sense of accomplishment to the typical Thrillist day — like answering questions for a Refinery29 article. Small accomplishments throughout the day keep things interesting and help you stay motivated."


Photo: Courtesy of Leo Schmid
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Lani Hay, government contractor and CEO of Lanmark Technology

Do you have any get-stuff-done secrets during the summer doldrums?
"I use the summer to assess what I’ve accomplished during the first half of the year and map out any necessary course corrections to meet my goals for the remainder of the year. Since a lot people are in some sort of a vacation cycle during July and August, I use this time to catch up on administrative work, since it’s a little quieter."

How do you stay motivated and on-track?
"Summer is when I recharge my batteries by focusing on taking care of myself with getting enough sleep, exercise, and eating healthy. I renew the New Year’s resolutions that I didn’t stick to during the first half of the year and work on implementing them for the remainder of the year."


Photo: Courtesy of Lani Hay
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Kelly Collis, radio host at 94.7 and editor of CityShopGirl

Do you have any get-stuff-done secrets for the summer doldrums? "My hours and my job don't really allow me to daydream — we are on the air from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and barely have time to sit down during that time. But I do have a board in my home office that I add to frequently. It has quotes that are inspirational, articles that have offered advice, photos of my children, places that I want to travel. [And] I take on projects — right now, I am in the process of redesigning and relaunching CityShopGirl.com."

How do you stay motivated and on-track?
"It is really hard to do in D.C. — the entire city seems to quiet down after the Fourth of July — especially during an election year! [I] always take a week off in August. It is a perfect way to recharge before the craziness of the school year and the busy time for work."


Photo: Courtesy of Kelly Collis
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