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In the summertime, motivation tends to fade away or subtly dissolve into the dark abyss. When the sun shines bright and the temperatures rise, we’re taunted with the promise of outdoor social gatherings, relaxing holidays and cold beverages on a soft beach. It’s almost as if everything but work seems sweeter. The food is tastier, the cocktails euphoric and spending time outside or by the water is first on the agenda.
With this mindset taking centre stage, we become less inclined to get lost in work or hunker down to accomplish significant tasks. Deadlines fail to get met, meetings are missed, and to-do lists get so long that stress or anxiety inevitably ensue.
The work we need to finish doesn’t go anywhere, it doesn’t float into the sky like a balloon in the wind, and our bill payments don’t disintegrate into thin air either. So, during the warmer months, finding a healthy balance of productivity between work commitments and personal initiatives is key.
We must relish in the sun while we have it, nurture our near and dear relationships and enjoy outdoor activities, but at the same time, we must fit in our work obligations – even when we’d rather do nothing else but lounge in the sun and join our friends on a patio.
If you can relate to lacking motivation this time of year and struggle to get things done at work, incorporate a few of these tricks into your summer routine:
Dictate which hours in the day you’ll be at work and which of those hours you plan to be the most productive. Use that precise time to accomplish the heftier tasks or to plan to complete the jobs that take more energy.
Try not to veer too far from this timetable either, as the more you stick to a working schedule and train yourself to be present throughout that time, the easier it’ll be to follow, no matter the weather or the enticing list of activities you’d rather be doing.
Find something to look forward to and challenge yourself to learn something new. Find a unique skill or a project that will help you to feel more compelled to sit down at your desk. For example, take a new course, join a different team, do something creative or speak to your manager about changing things up.
When you’re stuck doing the same old mundane things over and over and you know every aspect of what your day will entail, inspiration recedes, and it becomes even trickier to focus on work. So, give your mind a new and improved stimulation, and work on something that you’ve always wanted to do or that is new and exciting.
Leave as much room as possible to socialize and do the things you love outside of work. Plan to meet friends or colleagues at lunch, arrange catch-ups after work and take a walk outside in the sun every day. This will not only regenerate you, but it will also ensure a sense of balance is attained between both worlds – personal and work.
If possible, use some of your holidays during the summer months too, whether it’s a Friday off here and there or a two-week stint. A trip or dedicated time away will give you something to look forward to outside of the construct of work and when you return, you’ll feel recharged and prepared for a new work week.
Give yourself new goals to accomplish each week. They can be as simple as filing your emails or something as prestigious as getting a promotion. No matter the weight of the goal, they will add meaning to your work and help you to continually succeed. When there is always something to achieve, it enhances productivity and turns your attention towards meaningful work.
Use sticky notes, a notebook, a to-do list or an app, somewhere where you’ll see the goals frequently, so you can constantly be reminded that you’re working towards something.
Working hours are set for a reason, we need to nurture and respect our own time outside of work just as much. If you’re overdoing it in the office and tiring yourself out, the idea of getting up and being at work on a nice warm day becomes even more unappealing. So, watch the overtime you’re putting in and be aware of the opposing destruction it can cause.
Sure, here and there you may need to work a little extra to get ahead or to tidy up a project, but don’t make it into a habit. Otherwise, you’ll notice those Monday blues hitting a lot harder.
Though it may feel like you don’t have enough time in the day to do all the things you set out to do, chances are there are pockets of time where you’re doing nothing valuable. With the internet and mobile phones at our convenience, and the additional prospect of lazing outdoors, we lose track of wasted time and the duration of it.
If you’re struggling to find time in the day and want to fit in both your work and summer arrangements, use an app like TimeIvy which will softly showcase your unproductive behaviour and ultimately provide beneficial suggestions to restructure your routine.
For many of us, especially those who live in cities with long winters and harsh snowstorms, summer is a precious and extremely welcome season. So, it’s rather easy to spend June to August unmotivated and wishing to make up for the deprivation of sun you’ve experienced the many months prior.
Though, with the right balance between personal and work time and a new approach, you can learn to embrace both facets and get the most out of your sunniest day.