Summer hasn't even officially begun yet, but it seems like everyone's already settling into the heat. When it reaches a certain temperature outside, it can be difficult to get anything done. Those hazy morning commutes, sunny lunch breaks, and extra summer happy hours make for some serious peace of mind, thanks to an overall laid-back vibe in the office.
But these small joys can also make for a lack of productivity; I call it the summer slump. No one wants to do work when there are people outside heading to the beach and eating ice cream, right? Alas, the work is necessary, especially in Q3--this is the time when you should be improving on your Q1 and Q2 performances and paving the way for smooth sailing through the end of the year.
That means it's crucial to avoid the summer slump. It may seem like an impossible feat, but with a few helpful tips, you can get ahead of the slump. That way, you can have your summer fun and eat it, too--or something like that.
1. Tune Out
This advice may sound like the exact opposite of keeping your productivity up, but trust me; tuning out is crucial to tuning in. Let me explain.
When you can swing it, tuning out helps you clear your mind and make room for new thoughts, ideas, and approaches. Whether you achieve this by putting your phone away for a few hours, keeping your e-mail off your phone entirely, or practicing something like meditation, tuning out allows you to think more clearly.
Later on, when you come back, you'll be able to work more thoughtfully, rather than just going through the motions.
2. Make Your Own Fun
As the old saying goes, "People wait all week for Friday. All year waiting for summer. All their life for happiness." In the summer months, it's easy to wait around for the next "fun" thing, whether that's a vacation you have planned or an office happy hour.
But when you're waiting around for the fun, the rest of your time feels "un-fun" by comparison. So instead, make your own fun. Go outside for lunch. Play music while you work (out loud, if your co-workers don't mind). Enter your company into a summer softball league.
Creating these little spurts of fun will break up your days and weeks, so that you avoid the monotony of non-stop work.
3. Keep Moving
When the opportunity to travel arises, take it. Sure, we don't all have fancy business dinners halfway across the globe (at least, not regularly). But even simple movements like working on a couch instead of at your desk or meeting a client at their office instead of yours can rejuvenate you in the middle of those long summer afternoons.
4. Create Something
And I mean something you can't make in the Microsoft Office Suite. Use your free time to make something entirely non-work related. This can be applied all year long, but can be especially helpful in the summer, when there's pressure to go, go, go.
When the sun is out, we feel like we have to be out, too. But being out and about all the time can be draining; spending some time along and creating a painting, a collage, or some poems keeps your mind active, but in a different way than going to meetings and working on presentations.
When you return to the office, there's a good chance that your creative endeavors will have sparked an idea or two for your work.