It’s summer. It’s hot. It’s sunny. The kids are out of school. Friday workdays are shorter. Your mind is at the beach and you’re itching to get out of the office ASAP.
This year’s weather has been particularly distracting for me. All I can think about during the day is how much I want to be outside. And whenever I’ve got a free moment, that’s where you’ll find me. It’s taken a toll on my productivity for the last several weeks, and I’m finally ready to whip myself back into productive shape before the heat of summer gets here.
So how do you keep those beautiful distractions at bay and make sure your summertime productivity is just as powerful as when it’s cold and damp outside? Here are a few things that have helped me get refocused:
Get started early. Even if you’re not a morning person, starting your routine a little earlier will get you focused earlier in the day. If you are a morning person, schedule meetings for earlier in the day and keep them on time. I typically schedule my calls with freelance clients between 8 and 9 in the morning and then head to the train immediately after. I still make it to work on time, and I feel more accomplished because I’ve already gotten so much done.
Give yourself a break. If you can’t stop thinking about how much you want to be outside, then go outside. Go for a quick walk, grab an iced coffee, or take your laptop to a park and do a little work there before heading back to the office to finish out your day. This is an age old trick used by college professors when they know their students would rather be outside than sitting in a boring classroom.
Work ahead. Unless you live in Southern California, there will be days that aren’t so perfect. If it’s rainy, or just too hot to be outdoors, take advantage of your gift of time from Mother Nature. It’s totally okay to work ahead on a crummy weather evening… Especially if it’s supposed to be nice the next day and you’re already thinking about what you’d rather be doing.
Make sure your team is good to go. No one likes to have a boss who is missing in the summertime… Especially when that person is a large piece of a project. Unless you’re cool with your direct reports stepping out early for fair weather, have the same expectations for your own productivity as you do theirs. Before you start on your own projects, make sure they have what they need to complete theirs.