With summer in full swing, it can become more and more difficult to stay focused at work when you want to be at the pool – trust me, I struggle with it every day. When the warm weather fever sets in, though, I have a few tricks up my sleeve to keep myself on task and ultra-productive so that I can be poolside as soon as possible!
1. Set aside time for planning.
I spend 5-10 minutes every morning planning out what I need to do that day and that week. I swear by my top three tasks every day and my Day Designer planner to hold my to-do list and schedule together in one place.
2. Figure out a planning system that works for you.
Along with planning your day, use a vessel that complements your lifestyle. If you remember things by writing them down, like I do, use a paper planner. But, if you know you’ll lose a planner or you need reminders for events and tasks, use your phone or computer. If you have to coordinate with family members or coworkers, a Google Calendar or other service might be more your style.
3. Use your productivity window.
When are you most motivated to get things done? For me, it’s in the morning, so I use that time to do your most important tasks, since I know I’ll be dragging a little by the afternoon.
4. Take breaks.
If you work on one thing for too long or even just stare at your computer screen for hours at a time, your brain will be fried and your work will reflect it. I usually try to take a short break every hour to get up and walk around, and then a longer break for lunch in the middle of the day.
5. Don’t be afraid to say no.
Being a “yes man” (or woman) isn’t always a good thing. When you have too much on your plate, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, and then your quality of work will suffer, along with your attitude and happiness levels. Only take on the things you know you can handle, and say no to the rest.
6. Delegate well.
This is something we work on with our store managers so they can enlist the employees help to get everything done. The key to good delegation is to give a task to the right person with the right skill set, and make sure to say please and thank you. Don’t forget to do your part, too!
7. Learn new things.
Don’t always hand something off because you don’t feel confident about it. Instead, dive in and learn a new skill in the process. It might take a little longer the first time, but will most likely save you time in the future.
8. Check your email at designated times.
That little (1) hovering in your email tab can be a huge distractor. Instead of interrupting your work every time you see it, close the tab, turn off your desktop notifications, and set aside time to check your email two or three times per day. That way, it won’t pile up, but you’ll give yourself uninterrupted time to focus.
9. Stay warm.
This might seem like a given in the summer, but science has shown that when you have a warm workplace, you feel happier and friendlier, helping you work more positively. Another excuse to go to the pool, right?
Using your breaks to watch a funny YouTube video or tell your coworker a joke can enhance positivity and in the long run, even help you advance your career! I’ve never heard of a better reason to watch hilarious cat videos.
There you go! Use these tips to get your work done and make it to the pool a little earlier this afternoon. And while you’re at it, tell me your productivity tips in the comments! For more life and motivation ideas, check out my other posts, Start Your Day Right With Your Morning Routine and 7 Healthy Habits to Start Right Now.