Summer’s here (although you might not notice) and many people face the challenge of staying focused at work. They’d rather be on the golf course, at the pub, just sitting in their garden, or anywhere but at the office. We all know the work can’t stop just because it’s nice outside, so consider these tips to make sure you continue to excel and stay focused during the summer.
1. Bring summer into the office
Can’t get outside during the day to enjoy the summer months? Try bringing the season inside. Cut some fresh flowers and put them on your desk. Change your screen saver to show a beach or other outdoor scene. Bring in some happy summer-inspired music to play in your office. Open your window, turn on a fan, take off your shoes and wiggle your toes! If you can bring a taste of the warm weather inside, it might just keep you from yearning for the outdoors.
2. Make the most of your lunch hour
One mistake office workers make that often leads to burnout is not allowing themselves to take a break during the day. Take whatever kind of break your company gives you and make the most of it. Make your lunch, find a nearby park, and treat yourself to a business day picnic. Find a cafe with outdoor seating and enjoy the sunshine for a few minutes. If you work close enough, go home for lunch and sit out on your patio. Getting that break during the middle of your day will be sure to help you make it through the rest of the afternoon.
3. Take your work outside
Depending on the flexibility of your company, you may be able to spend some of your work day outdoors. See if you can move a meeting outside. You may have to work a little harder to keep the meeting on task, but chances are it will end up being just as productive — or more so — than another meeting in the stuffy boardroom. The same tactic could be used for your own work. If you don’t already have a laptop, see if your company has one you could use. Then try to steal some quiet moments outdoors with just you and your computer.
4. Look into flex time
Some companies allow employees to be a little more flexible with their work schedules during the summer months. See if your company will consider a flexible arrangement. This could mean working longer Monday through Thursday in order to leave early on Friday afternoon, or coming in earlier so you can leave earlier to enjoy the extended daylight. If you can demonstrate that you will still get your work done, your company should be able to see the benefit of this flexibility.
5. Get your exercise
One of the best ways to stay energized and motivated during the summer months is exercising. Enlist some of your co-workers to join in your exercise plan. Start a walking club at your office that meets either before or after work or during lunch. There are countless road races during the summer — put a sign-up sheet on your office bulletin board. Then train for and run the race together. Swimming is one of the activities that people enjoy the most in the summer. Join a pool and get in a swim before or after work, or even during your lunch hour. The cool, refreshing water will give you the rejuvenation you need to make it through the rest of the day indoors.
6. Give yourself a break
Even if you’re very busy and can’t really afford to take a holiday, commit to using at least part of your leave time during the summer. If you don’t have enough money to take a week-long vacation, take a three- or four-day weekend getaway. If you can’t take time off, at least make sure you take advantage of your weekends. Get your projects done during the week so you can have a good rest on Saturday and Sunday. That means leaving your laptop at the office and leaving the e-mail and voice mail until Monday. The most important thing is to treat yourself to a real break in order to recharge your batteries. Doing so will make you more productive in the long run.