Summer weather can be the enemy of productivity. The sun comes out, and a warm breeze blows by, and it’s suddenly difficult to stay inspired to work. Unfortunately, despite your daydreams of surfing and parasailing, you still have things to accomplish. It’s essential to stay motivated at work even during the summer.
This summer might be particularly hard on productivity. We’ve all been shut inside for several months by COVID-19. Getting outside and having some fun never seem so enticing.
Luckily, there are some steps you can take to stay on track. For the moments when your mind starts to wander, here are a few ways to stay motivated at work this summer:
Stay Inspired with Mini-Goals
Longer-term goals tend to suffer most when summer starts to drain productivity. It's easy to allow our minds to wander to the fun we could be having outdoors. Short-circuit this tenancy by setting shorter-term deadlines. Break larger projects into chunks and establish mini-goals. This makes it easier to stay on track, as you’re always chasing an upcoming deadline.
Reward Your Hard Work
Turn summer to your advantage with a better work-life balance. You can reward yourself to stay motived at work by setting aggressive goals. Then, if you reach your target, go out and indulge in your favorite summer activity. Some companies allow you to squeeze several days of hyper-aggressive productivity into the beginning of the week, banking hours towards a shorter workday on Friday.
Stick to a Productive Routine
In the wake of COVID-19, many employees working from home now have the freedom to structure their own workdays. This gives you an advantage in fighting the summer doldrums. Create a schedule that allows you to maximize your productive hours while still getting a healthy share of summer fun.
Maybe you work best getting a head start in the morning and finishing up early, giving you extra time to get outside after work. Or maybe you’d instead enjoy a leisurely morning and spend the hottest part of the day in the air conditioning. Whatever the case, create a routine that works for you and stick to it through the summer months.
Take Your Work Outside
If the outdoors are calling to you, maybe you should just give in to the temptation. Just do it in a way that can keep the output coming.
In other words, if you are able, take your work outside. This is another one of those very few hidden benefits of the COVID crisis. The physical location of work matters less than it seemed to back in February. You can take advantage of this by doing whatever work you can outdoors. It may not be the same as heading to the beach or taking a long bike ride, but you’ll get a taste of summer fun while still getting things done.
Take Your Breaks Outside
If your job keeps you indoors, plan to head outside during your breaks throughout the day. Take a walk during your lunch or simply sit outside to eat. These shorter moments of sun can help break up the work day and keep you from feeling like you're missing out on the warm summer rays.
Plan Summer Activities for Your Free Time
Encourage production by having something to look forward to. Pack your weekends, and free time with all the summer fun you could want. Then, you have the week to daydream about those activities, while pushing through your tasks. Think of it as a cheat day for a diet. Having good times hovering just over the horizon will help you stay focused on the workday.
You can take this strategy to the next level by planning a summer day out. When you have that beach escape waiting for you, it’s easier to plow through the work you have at hand. Then, once the time away from work comes, you can completely relax and recharge your batteries.