The Summer R&R Challenge

As leaders, we often find ourselves caught in a whirlwind of activity. Our inboxes overflow, our teams need support, and our to-do lists seem never-ending. In this constant state of busyness, it’s easy to forget the importance of rest and recovery. Yet, as we approach the summer months, it’s crucial to remember the wisdom of author Katie Reed who says, “Self-care is giving the world the best of you – not what’s left of you.”

The Eisenhower Matrix: A Tool for Time Management

One effective way to understand and manage our time is through the lens of the Eisenhower Matrix. This tool divides our activities into four quadrants based on their urgency and importance:

4 quadrants of time for July 9 2024 email e1720166589390

As professionals, we inevitably will find ourselves spending time in Quadrant 1, dealing with urgent matters. However, the key to effective leadership and personal well-being lies in maximizing our time in Quadrant 2. In fact, research clearly demonstrates that the more deliberate we are about spending time in Quadrant 2, the less time we find ourselves dealing with the problems and crises of Quadrant 1.


Shifting Time to R&R 

Rest and recovery are classic examples of Quadrant 2 activities. We often don’t feel we have time for it, yet it’s absolutely foundational to our overall effectiveness. So how do we carve out time for self-care when we already feel that we’re maxed out? The only way is to strategically “steal” time from the other quadrants and reallocate it to Quadrant 2. Here are some strategies:

  • Do Quadrant 1 Now: While some Quadrant 1 activities are unavoidable, try to address them immediately and efficiently, so they don’t end up on your “to-do” list day after day.
  • Minimize Quadrant 3 Distractions: Learn the magic words, “Let me get back to you” before saying “yes” to requests. Delegate tasks that trigger your quick response but drain your valuable time.
  • Block Quadrant 4 Time Wasters: Set time limits on your cell phone for social media and news consumption, and delete some apps altogether.


Be Optimistic AND Realistic

Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that summer will magically grant you extra hours each day or days each week for rest. The demands on your time will likely remain constant – people will still rely on you, and responsibilities won’t disappear.

Instead, when it comes to R&R, focus on quality over quantity. Create a realistic plan that pushes you to gain 10 to 15 minutes each day (or an hour each week) fully dedicated to your rest and recovery. This is about making small, intentional shifts in your daily routine.

With this in mind, take me up on the following challenge:


The Summer R&R Challenge

  1. Identify 10-15 minutes of time you can steal from Quadrants 1, 3, or 4 each day.
  2. Shift this reclaimed time squarely into Quadrant 2 with some strategic R&R.
  3. Ensure your chosen self-care rituals are meaningful and manageable.

BONUS: Hold yourself accountable by sharing this challenge (and your progress) with your team or a trusted colleague.

Imagine succeeding! What will you do with your newfound time? The possibilities are as diverse as they are rejuvenating. Picture yourself following the example of one of my clients, a long-term care facility manager. She carves out 10 minutes before each shift, powering down her devices to savour a hot cup of tea while gazing out the window, drawing strength from nature for the challenges ahead. Or consider my own discovery: swapping 10 minutes of mindless social media scrolling for an engaging book leaves me feeling recharged rather than anxious or drained. What could it be for you? A brisk walk around the block? A mind-teasing puzzle? A few rejuvenating yoga poses? Whatever you choose, ensure it resonates deeply with you and helps you reset. Remember, the goal isn’t just to fill time, but to invest it in activities that genuinely restore and energize you. Your future self will thank you for these moments of intentional rejuvenation.

This summer, let’s commit to investing in ourselves. After all, a well-rested leader is a more effective, creative, and resilient leader. Your team, your organization, and most importantly, you yourself, deserve nothing less.


Continue to immerse yourself in the spirit of summer with these great resources from our archives. Dive into this seasonal content that will ignite your creativity and help you make the most of the warmest months of the year.


A Summer to Remember

Summer is a season filled with warmth, adventure, and great memories. This team-building activity aims to foster connection and reflection, and intentionality, ensuring that the upcoming summer is truly one to remember. Get ready to share nostalgic tales and craft plans for an unforgettable season ahead.

Round 1: Reminiscing About Summer Memories

  1. Form Groups: Divide the team into small groups of 3-5 members.
  2. Share Nostalgic Tales: Within each group, invite participants to share a vivid summer memory from their past. This could be a memorable trip, a special friendship, an unexpected event, or any other significant experience that left a lasting impression.
  3. Engage and Inquire: Encourage active listening and curiosity. Allow group members to ask questions and delve deeper into the shared stories, fostering a sense of connection and understanding.

Round 2: Crafting a Summer to Remember

  1. Remix Groups: Reshuffle the team into new groups of 3-5 members, ensuring a fresh mix of perspectives.
  2. Share Summer Plans: In the new groups, participants should share their plans, goals, or aspirations for the upcoming summer season. This could include events they want to attend, trips they’ve planned, activities they wish to engage in, or personal goals they hope to achieve.
  3. Collaborate and Brainstorm: Encourage group members to provide feedback, suggestions, and ideas to help each other make the most of the summer. This collaborative approach can spark new ideas and create a sense of collective excitement and support.

Bonus: Summer Treats

To set the perfect summer tone, consider serving refreshing treats like ice cream or popsicles during the activity. This small touch can enhance the festive atmosphere and create a fun, relaxed environment for team members to connect and engage.


Here are two links to summer-themed DIY team activities you can explore for more fun ideas to keep your team connected and smiling during the summer season:

  • Summer Snapshot – Unlock the power of shared experiences and create a summer filled with unforgettable moments through this engaging activity.
  • Ice Cream Truck – Beat the summer heat and bring a smile to your team’s faces by indulging in the nostalgic delight of an ice cream truck visit.

Monthly Inspiration

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity answered, "Man! Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

At Leaders For Leaders, we’re passionate about helping you unlock the full potential of your team and leaders. Whether you’re facing specific challenges or seeking opportunities for growth, our customized keynotes and workshops are designed to make your next meeting, conference, or event truly unforgettable. 
If you’re ready to elevate your team’s performance and create lasting impact, reach out to us today. We’ll get back to you right away to schedule a call and explore how we can support your goals. Let’s embark on this transformative journey together!
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