You’re struggling to get back on track after a week off, half your staff is missing, and your inbox has gone mysteriously quiet. The symptoms are all clear: it’s summer!

You could hibernate and let your business go to seed, or you could make the most of the summer lull to optimize your business.

1. An opportunity to plan

Day-to-day it can be hard to take stock and look back at which of your strategies have been the most useful during the year. Whatever your position in the foodchain, use the lull to look back at your year and review your work. Identifying successful and less successful strategies is a great way for you to plan the year ahead and work out how to best use the summer.

2. Clean up your computer and inbox

If you’re anything like me, your ‘download folder’ is at risk of growing legs and colonizing the office. Make the most of quiet times to delete, organize and tackle works that never seemed ‘high priority’ beforehand. You will find all sorts of gems in the rubble.

3. Reach out to your contacts

Now is a great time to reach out to contacts you’ve not heard from in a while – find out their situation, remind them of who you are. New opportunities could arise from your personal touch.

Perhaps you have a stack of business cards lying on your desk doing nothing: why not contact these people and follow them on social media?

4. Learn new skills

Now is the perfect time to take a training course, or even just sign up to a new newsletter to improve yourself as a professional. Training can take a backseat the rest of the year, but it’s important to keep growing, so if there’s something you wished you knew how to do, or wished you could do better, investigate it!