„People wait all week for friday, all year for summer, all life for happiness.”
Summer is officially here, which means productivity at work may begin to drop. It’s called summer slump and no, it’s not the same as lazy productivity. Summer slump is defined as the period in which employees are less productive and this can negatively impact business operations.
And it’s somehow understandable. Who feels like working when everyone else is on vacation, eating ice cream outdoors and posting fun photos on social media? Yeah, us neither!
Plus, reports strongly confirm it: 25% of employees have a harder time focusing at work during the summer months.
And there’s a scientific explanation for this. Hot weather actually slows down the metabolism. The hotter it is, the more energy you need to keep yourself cool, thus, the slower we move. To this, other reasons also contribute, such as thinking about the summer vacation, making travelling plans (in safety), taking longer lunch breaks, spending more time outdoors, etc.
So, what do you do when the mind starts wandering about the sun, beaches and piña colada? How can you stay productive at work, despite the temptations hiding in the corners of your mind?
Here are a few tips to beat the summer laziness with class:
1. Create a summer office
The environment has its own contribution to your state of mind and mood. If you like where you’re working, everything else will start to fall into place. So, clean up your desk, arrange a bouquet of flowers, change the desktop wallpaper to add a summerish vibe, keep water in sight and snacks nearby. Embrace the satisfaction of looking at your newly redesigned office.
2. Set small rewards for each finished task
Eat an ice cream after finishing that report you’ve postponed, play with your cat or dog after a long meeting, take a 10 minute walk after dealing with the biggest task on your list and so on. Remember: each task finished sooner means more time for you to enjoy after-work outdoor activities.
3. Organize your work
Take advantage of the technology available and digitalize your working system. There are numerous apps and tools out there, waiting to make your schedule easier, such as:
- Asana, Jira, Wrike: task management and team collaboration tools
- Trello, Todoist: to make digital notes and keep tasks organized
- MailChimp: automation platform and email marketing service
- Slack, Teams, Skype, ChatWork: to keep teams engaged and the conversation going
And there is OneDock, the only desktop app you need to bring all of the apps above and even more, into a single workspace, 100% customizable.
Why should you try OneDock? Let us ask you back: what helps you focus more, a desktop full of icons or one with just a few icons on it? Yep, we thought so. Still need more? Read this article, where we’ve compiled 5 hardcore proofs that OneDock makes your life - and tasks - easier.
4. Work smarter
Now that you’ve set up your office desk, you’ve cleaned your screen with OneDock and you’ve established small rewards for every accomplished task on the list, let’s talk about the real deal.
Work smart, not hard. We often hear this phrase, but what does it mean, actually?
Most people think of this as eliminating procrastination and distractions. Actually, it means having a clear strategy on how to prioritize your most important activities, so that at the end of the day you feel satisfied instead of frustrated, overwhelmed, overcommitted and overworked.
But here comes the tricky part: everyone has their own definition on how to work smart, not hard. You just have to find the right mix that works best for you.
Below, you can find some productivity tips to help you work smarter, not harder:
- Work for 60 minutes without interruptions, then take a 10 minutes break. Or use the Pomodoro technique.
- Say NO more often. Use your skills to do only the activities you’re the best at. The rest? Delegate. Maximize your strengths and leverage your work time.
- Focus on the results, not on the time and effort it takes to finish the project ahead. This mindset improves confidence and motivation altogether.
- Treasure your time, both at work and in your personal life. Get enough sleep, eat healthy, spend time outdoors and with your loved ones, practice all your hobbies. A work-life balance is rewarding in both ways. It keeps you focused and productive at work, happy and healthy at rest.
5. Accept that there are days when you just don’t feel like accomplishing anything
And it’s ok. Really. There are days when you feel like you can move mountains and days when you barely feel like going to the store and buying ice cream (just kidding, ice cream is the best motivator of all times).
The sooner you make peace with this fact, the better you will feel in your less productive days, be them during summer or any other season. And no, we are not talking about productivity guilt here.
Consider these moments as a way of your mind and body asking for a break. And it’s equally important to listen to them, just as it is important to finish your tasks for the day ahead.
So, take a few minutes to recap all your hard work, then give yourself permission to rest and relax for a while. Do something that feels easy and pleasant: curl with your pet, watch an episode or a short standup comedy show.
As your batteries recharge, so will your mood and in no time, you’ll feel ready to get back to work again.
Catalina Rascanu - Copywriter / UX writer at Telekom Romania