By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars
Staying motivated at work during the summer can be a real challenge. With warmer weather and sunnier days becoming a staple in our daily lives, the urge to leave your desk may feel greater than ever. In fact, when it comes to getting work done, Captivate reports that 20 percent of employees feel a slip in their productivity levels between June and August.
Why the summer slowdown? According to CareerBuilder, nicer weather, vacation fever and kids being on summer break are the leading reasons productivity levels dip when June rolls around. If you feel restless or like your work productivity is slipping, try out these five tips for staying motivated during the summer months.
- ADJUST YOUR WORKDAY ROUTINE.
Daydreaming about doing anything besides work (vacation, the lake, enjoying ice cream outside…) is one of our biggest issues during summer. In fact, 68 percent of people report daydreaming in the summer, and 45 percent report being more distracted. In order to keep from dreaming your workday away, try switching up your routine to keep your days fresh and interesting.
A couple of ideas: take your lunch outside to get some much-needed vitamin D, or suggest a walking meeting instead of the routine in-office sit down in order to get on your feet and outside. These simple tweaks can help you enjoy the benefits of summer weather, while still allowing you to get work done.
- CELEBRATE SMALL VICTORIES AND VIEW SLOWER MONTHS AS AN OPPORTUNITY.
Summer tends to be a slower time for many businesses, so you might be faced with tackling a less-than-exciting to-do list. To combat boredom, make an effort to celebrate the tiny victories. This can be as simple as treating yourself to an iced coffee al fresco when you finish a long to-do list. By acknowledging (and amplifying) your own accomplishments, you are more likely to feel a sense of purpose during slower summer months, keeping you working hard.
Another related tip: try looking at your lighter plate as an opportunity to complete work projects that you aren’t able to tackle during busier months. Revisit your career goals and think about some extra work that you can take on in order to reach those goals. We suggest brainstorming some ideas and discussing them with your manager, to make the most of your summer at work!
- MAKE TECH WORK FOR YOU.
Technology may seem like productivity’s worst enemy, but there is a way to use your favorite devices in your favor. There are tons of apps you can download on both your smartphone and your laptop to help decrease distractions and increase productivity. For example, Cold Turkey can be used to block pesky social media sites that are tugging at your pant leg, Boomerang is perfect for scheduling out emails and setting follow-up reminders for yourself, and RescueTime can be used for time management and finding your perfect work-life balance.
Think of your common work or productivity challenges, and simply Google apps for _______. Surely, there’s an app for that. Summer is a great time to set habits that can carry you through the whole year.
- TAKE A BREAK!
Nothing is worse than muddling through your day without a bright light at the end of the tunnel, which is why it is important to schedule some much-deserved R&R. An overwhelming 41 percent of Americans reported to not using a single vacation day in 2015 – that is almost half the workforce.
So your workload, finances, or available vacation days don’t allow for that weeklong vacation to the Bahamas you’ve been dreaming about? Try planning a long weekend to a local getaway (or even a staycation at home with the kids). When you have time off to look forward to (whether that time off happens in your own backyard or a wanderlust-inducing destination), you are more likely to stay productive and get your work done before you head off on your vacation.
And please, try to unplug and actually be on vacation! If your team or the nature of your work makes that seem impossible, we suggest leaving very clear instructions in your out of office message or picking certain times of day to check in. For a laugh and some inspiration, check out this roundup of great OOO replies.
- ‘JUST SAY NO’ TO MULTITASKING.
While you may think you could win the gold if multitasking were an Olympic sport, only two percent of people can actually multitask effectively. In fact, trying to focus on more than one thing can cause a 40 percent drop in productivity. Instead of keeping multiple pages open on your computer or working on two projects at once, schedule out time in your day to focus on one project at a time.
Not convinced yet? Google “myth of multitasking” for plenty of research-backed articles on the topic – there’s even a book dedicated to the theory. If you’re addicted to your multitasking ways, add the book to your summer reading list. Focusing on the task at hand will help you achieve your goals in a timely manner and make your days feel more successful. You’ll likely even find yourself enjoying the work at hand more and feeling more calm. Try it out and let us know what you think!
As you roll through the summer months, consider trying these ideas to help you stay motivated. Utilizing our five tips can help increase productivity levels, make you stand out among your colleagues and perhaps best of all, impress your boss.
For work-related tips and hacks, check out our TSP Blog’s Career and Workplace Management section.