School’s Out for Summer, but Work Isn’t: How to Stay Productive During the Lazy days of Summer?
Working during the summer comes with its own unique set of challenges. Co-workers are sharing plans, stories and pictures of their tropical vacations and weekend getaways. Commutes become hotter, longer and sweatier. Out-of-the-office email responses are more frequent, and there’s a near constant distraction of warm weather and the wish to get outside. When summer comes, are you left choosing whether you or your work suffers?
Laura Lee Rose, a business and life coach, says, “The idea isn’t to ‘ignore’ or deny yourself [in order] to stay focused at work. The harder you work on blocking out summer — the more you feel distracted, disgruntled and penalized. The idea is to allow summer to be properly integrated into your work schedule.” Here are some tips on how to enjoy summer, even when you have to work.
1. Take short breaks and walks outside during the work day. Walk around the block or to the coffee shop; even better, take a co-worker with you and get to know each other better.
2. Take advantage of the summer weekends. Schedule some weekend hours with friends and family in the outdoors or summer-related activities: take tours of your town, attend water parks or amusement parks in your area, bike ride and visit neighborhood parks, play tennis with friends, etc. This fulfills the feeling that you just got back from a mini-vacation. Take a break from household chores, tv and have an outing.
3. Bring summer into your office. Bring summertime fruit juices and fruit, summertime lunch snacks; put on coconut hand lotion; wear colorful and light (office appropriate) outfits; do things that help you feel like you are relaxed and calm while you are doing your work.
4. Socialize near and outside of the office. Schedule an outdoor lunch with friends and co-workers or meet for after work socializing somewhere with an outdoor patio.
5. Stay cool. Drink ice cold water throughout the day and keep the office at a reasonably cold level. It’s proven that being warm makes you sleepy and fatigued while being (slightly) cold keeps you more alert and awake
8. Schedule tasks when you’re most up to complete them. If you are fresher in the morning when it is cool outside, try to get your more challenging tasks done right away. Warm summer days can make you feel sleepy and less focused in the afternoon.
Staying focused at work in the warm summer months is about allowing yourself to enjoy summer. Work with the season, not against it. This might be good time to get to know your co-workers better, refresh your work area and habits or develop a new system to increase your productivity.
Sources: workbuzz.com, Fox Business and for more online articles on this subject, check out paperitis.com.