Summer’s here — hurrah! After months of gloom, there’s lots of sunshine, and fun things to do on the weekend. But sometimes that weekend feeling bleeds over into your workday making it hard to finish your to-do list. If you’re worried about not feeling motivated during summer months, you’re not alone. “Research shows that many of us become less productive in the summer months,” explained Dr. John Chuback, MD, personal development & success training expert and author of Make Your Own Damn Cheese.
Maybe it’s the beautiful weather distracting you, but Dr. Chuback says, but “There is a strong desire to quit work early, take a longer lunch break, and maybe call in sick a few Fridays here and there.” Which might not be the best career move. Since you still have to remain productive professionally, Dr. Chuback suggests that you “Remind yourself that the days are longer and you’ll still have plenty of time after work to go out and exercise or have a drink with friends by the water.” And use the fun times as rewards to motivate you to stay focused at works.
While you’re at it, allow yourself to plan your weekends so they’re full of fun, since “You don’t want to feel like they’ve been wasted. You’ve waited half a year for summer to get here — be prepared to take full advantage.”
Some other tips to avoid the summer slump:
Sometimes breaking out of a downward sleepy spiral can be a simple as changing up what you read. “I like to alternate fun vacation reads with more career-focused books,” said Jen Berliner, CEO of plant-based food company Medlie. “ The physical and mental space from the day-to-day craziness of work helps me think about the big picture and really apply what I’m reading. Plus, everything is better when you’re reading it on a beach chair!
As a PR professional, Tavia Hartley, of Team Epiphany who works with clients such as Google and BET, says she finds it “imperative to attend industry events during the summer which keeps you networking, in work mode, and ready for the fall rush.” Managing Partner of Lisa Chu expanded on that thought and explained that “While the summer season is among the busiest for events and brand strategy professionals, my best advice is to strive for efficiency while you’re in office.” In this way even if you do goof off some of the time, you don’t fall behind on your deadlines. Chu advises creating to-do lists “early in the day so that you can meet your goals and expectations.” And if socializing is part of your career “Mixing networking events into your social plans can also help you stay on course.”
Sometimes avoiding being bored to tears at your job might be as easy as changing your location every now and again. “Take advantage of sunny days and busy travel schedules by changing up your location when you can,” Berliner advises. “Implement walking meetings instead of sitting inside under fluorescent lights, work from a nearby coffee shop one afternoon for a change of scenery, or work remotely during longer travels if that option is available to you.”
“At one particularly intense point last year, I created a system where I wrote up my to-do list and sent it to a productivity partner,” Lena Katz founder of content/casting agency Variable Content said. And then she added a twist “For every item I didn’t finish within 2 days, I had to donate $5.00 to charity.
Amy Losak, is in the midst of revising a draft of a children’s poetry book following up H Is For Haiku, by her late mother Sydell Rosenberg, and illustrator, Sawsan Chalabi) “It’s slow-going, and sometimes I lack the motivation to keep at it,” Losak said. “I procrastinate or find distractions. When I’m in a summer slump, where the long hot, humid days sap the stamina from me, the last thing I want to do is focus on choosing and editing the poems that will make up this second collection for children.” Losak breaks up her projects into manageable chunks. “This way, the project is less daunting. Anything I can do is better than nothing.”
Not everyone feels the slump come summer. “May-September always seem to be more productive for me. I feel more alive and energetic,” shares publicist Micole Richter. “I usually do some kind of home project, but I also seem to be able to fit in more work.” If you’re the type to hibernate during the colder months, take advantage of your energy spike during the summer.
Originally published on The Ladders.
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