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We call them the “lazy days” of summer for a reason: As warm temperatures and sunny skies beckon us outdoors, it can be difficult to stay motivated to maintain and grow your small business. Staying motivated in the summer is crucial, however. Working through the summer keeps your business on the right trajectory and, when competing businesses are slowing down, you can pick up customers who are still in need of your services.

While it’s difficult not to give into the pull of the “lazy days,” you can stay motivated — and keep your employees motivated — all summer long. You just need a few strategies to keep your business moving forward.

Keep daily to-do lists.

One of the easiest ways to stay on task is to create to-do lists. Keep daily to-do lists, and keep them reasonable. Your daily to-do list will keep you moving from one task to another, lowering the risk of distraction. Checking items off the list will help keep you motivated by giving you a feeling of accomplishment.

Fill the downtime.

Even as you’re committed to working, summer can bring a slowdown in the workflow. Make a plan for what you and your employees will do when there’s a reduction in phone calls and appointments. Use this time for training, continuing education, employee reviews and office maintenance. Not only will these tasks fill your slow summer months, but you’ll find your business caught up on tasks when business picks up again in the fall.

Relax your scheduling.

Maintaining hours during the summer months is important to keep your business on track and your customers happy. You might find, however, that you can relax or rework your hours and your employees’ hours during the summer months. If your employees are working on training or paperwork, let them come in earlier and leave earlier or come in later and leave later, if they prefer. You might grant shorter hours on Fridays. As long as you and your employees are continuing to complete the items on your to-do lists and meet customers’ needs, you can enjoy more of the summer by relaxing the schedule.

Plan for some fun.

Office extras can go a long way in boosting morale and keeping employees motivated when everyone’s longing for vacation and the outdoors. Find fun ways to celebrate summer with your employees. Have an ice cream truck stop in front of the office and treat your employees. Plan a cookout luncheon. Raffle tickets for local summertime attractions and events. If you keep the atmosphere light in the summer, you and your employees will enjoy being at the office more, which keeps everyone more motivated.

Don’t forget to vacation.

Everyone needs a vacation, including small business owners. Whether it’s a series of long weekends or a full week’s vacation, make sure you plan some time for relaxation in the summer, and encourage your employees to do the same. You’ll all feel refreshed and refocused when you return to the office.

Summer can bring on some unexpected laziness, but it also provides plenty of opportunities to further your business. By putting some effort into staying motivated and keeping your employees motivated, you can continue to grow your business during the laziest of summer days.