As the days warm up, our motivation to work often cools off. It's hard to stay on task when the sunshine is calling - especially when we've spent the past few months cooped up inside. But since a sabbatical isn't on the cards for most of us, we need to find ways to stay focused and productive even when we'd rather be at the beach or by the pool. Here are a couple of ideas to try.
Set up Shop in the Sunshine
The beauty of modern-day working is that most of us can punch the clock from anywhere. If the weather is tempting you away from your desk, try bringing your desk to it. Pack up your laptop, tablet, or phone, and pick a sun-filled place to work. Parks, plazas, alfresco cafe seating, or even lobbies can help you have your fun in the sun while also staying on top of your deadlines. All you need is a public wifi signal or a mobile hotspot, and you're in business!
Treat Yourself to a Long Weekend
People are goal-oriented by nature, and we love a good reward for our hard work. If your motivation is starting to fizzle and your productivity is waning, try putting a long weekend on the books - one that's contingent on you meeting your goals or finishing up that project you've been dragging your feet on. (Let's face it, you probably have plenty of leave saved up.) With a staycation or short trip to look forward to, you may just find that you fly through that to-do list. If you can't swing a whole day off, see if a half-Friday or shortened hump-day will do the trick.
Savor Those Summer Mornings
The great thing about those long summer days is that they stretch on well beyond the standard 9-5. Take advantage of them by getting up early and enjoying breakfast outdoors, taking a stroll, getting a workout in, or checking out a local attraction such as a zoo, gallery, or some new public art. If you're not a morning person, make sure to savor those post-work hours of lingering sunshine instead. Shake up that daily routine of work, dinner, TV, bed, and make it a point to try or experience something new while the weather allows.
Use The Time to Give Back
If your industry is one that slows down from June-August, skip the busywork and see if you can spend those empty spots in your calendar giving back to the community instead. Volunteering, pro bono work, talks, and mentorships are all great ways to pay it forward - while building a name for you and your company for all the right reasons.
Get in a Planning State of Mind
It's easy to lament the very idea of work when you're stuck inside during picture-perfect summer weather. But if you're feeling truly unmotivated and unhappy about your work situation, now might be a good time to brainstorm why that is and what you'd rather be doing instead. Perhaps you're not challenged in your role, or you're not developing your skills. Use the typically quiet summer months to figure out where you want your career to take you - and plan a way to make it happen.
Sitting at a desk can't compete with sitting on a deck chair by the water, but the difference doesn't have to be so stark. Fold some sunshine into your workdays, allow for some flexibility in your schedule, and get positive about your future, and you may find that your motivation comes roaring back.