Summer is here, and the sunshine is calling. Whether you’re stuck inside an office or fortunate enough to be working poolside, the lure of the season’s weather is a major distraction. Staying on task can be difficult—your boss probably doesn’t know you’re reading this, right?—but we have a few tips to help you towards a summer that’s both more productive and more enjoyable.
1. Take Time Off (and Communicate About It)
Over a century of research into workplace productivity makes it clear: taking breaks leads to greater overall productivity. This includes short breaks throughout the day and longer vacations that give you a stretch of days away from work.
Talk to your boss about a good time to take a break—or if you are the boss, encourage your employees to spend some extra time with their families this summer. Communicate effectively and you might find yourself at the beach for a week, then returning to work rarin’ to go.
2. Stick to the Plan
Making a todo list and sticking to it is good productivity advice all year-round. When summer distractions make focusing on work all the more difficult, your task list becomes all the more important. Organize your day better and tackle it one piece at a time—with breaks written in every few tasks, too—and you’ll get more done and be more ready to relax in the long evening hours and sun-filled weekends.
Use an app like Fetchnotes to keep your workday laid out nice and neat, grouping your related tasks together and giving yourself written permission to step away from your desk every now and then. When each of your tasks has it’s own note, and when you can arrange those notes in the perfect order to get things done, you’ll be on track to stay on task no matter how things look outside.
3. Be Someone Else’s Distraction
Remember, you’re not the only one going through the summertime workaday blues. Plenty of other people—like your potential clients, colleagues who might be able to lend a hand on a side project, and even higher-ups—are looking for distractions. Find a way to distract them with something that actually makes you both more productive and you could turn an interruption into a solid time investment.
Make a few additional sales calls, get the help you need on that report you’re finishing, or bring up that new idea you’ve been waiting to tell your boss about. Your clients, colleagues, and corporate overlords might be more receptive and find chatting with you a welcome change of pace on a day spent staring wistfully out the window. Make sure you’re well enough prepared to hold their attention when you have it, and who knows—this summer’s productivity could change your whole career!