by Josh Millar
For many professionals, the summer can feel a lot like that afternoon slump when the caffeine wears off and productivity drains. The beautiful weather (or sweltering heat) can make it difficult to maintain focus and keep efficiency high. Several months of this can start to take a real toll on our work. Whether summer is a busy time at work that requires significant concentration, or it’s a slower time that makes it challenging to stay engaged, maintaining productivity is important for success. With summer just around the corner, here are a few strategies to help you power through:
Find the Right Temperature
It sounds simple, but temperature can play a significant role in our productivity. In the summer, overly air-conditioned offices or rooms that don’t get enough air flow can zap our concentration. Think about the temperature in which you work best, and do what you can to achieve that. This is often much easier done if you work remotely, but even those in an office can plan for how the indoor climate will impact them. For those sensitive to the cold, keeping an extra layer handy can help keep an AC chill from slowing your workflow. If it’s the heat that’s getting to you, staying hydrated is key.
Movement is a great strategy to support productivity. It can help give our energy levels a sustained boost and keep us from feeling restless throughout the day. Take advantage of those summer mornings and evenings and get outside to move. Whether it’s running, walking, biking, or swimming, getting active in the fresh air promotes productivity. If you find it difficult to get started at the office in the morning, a workout before work is a great way to wake up. If you feel a regular afternoon decline in energy, just a short walk outside can often do the trick to recharge your mind.
The summer can sometimes feel like vacation time. We’re more relaxed, the kids are out of school, and the pace of life seems to change a bit. This can be great in many ways, but it can also bring down our productivity. Let your personal life benefit from the more relaxed pace, but don’t let your work suffer. Setting some clear goals for the season is a smart strategy to keep you focused.
Try a Change of Scenery
Just as the pace of our lives can change in the summer, so can our routines. While in the fall and winter, routines may be more structured, especially if you have kids in school, those schedules often fade in the warmer months. If possible, allow for some flexibility in your work routine as well. One of the best ways to do this is by working from a new location. Perhaps you can spend an afternoon working from a cafe, or maybe you’re able to adjust your hours a bit. Allowing your work life to change shape a bit in the summer, even in subtle ways, can help keep you connected and engaged.
Enjoy the Season
Sometimes, the summer takes a toll on our productivity because we want to be outside enjoying it instead of inside working. It’s often easier to be inside at a desk when it’s cloudy and cold than on a beautiful July afternoon. Luckily, summer gives us ample time to enjoy. Take advantage of that. Getting out in the fresh air, enjoying time with friends and family, trying out a new hobby, and even just relaxing with a book all give our brains and bodies the chance to decompress from work, allowing us to return refreshed.
Don’t let the summer zap your productivity. Set yourself up for success by preparing for the changes that come with the seasons and planning accordingly. Though it has its challenges, with a few adjustments, summer can be just as productive as the rest of the year. Do you find that your productivity varies with the seasons? I’d love to hear your thoughts.