Summer is in full swing, packed with family getaways, beach-filled destinations, swimming pools and sweet sunny days. It’s also the season of workplace daydreams, distractions and time spent away from the office. We believe that taking vacation time is important to your health, sense of serenity and long-term productivity. However, in the short-term, the stop-and-start effect can make for some frustrating distractions at the workplace. And when not planning a vacation, working inside the office all day during the hot and sunny summer months can make it difficult to stay on task. We feel your pain, but it’s important that these inevitable interruptions and fun in the sun don’t cause your business to slow down during the summer months, and that the passion, excitement and energy you have towards your business stays consistent for you and your team year-round.
Here are 5 ways you can stay productive during the hot summer months:
Plan ahead. If you decide to use the summer as a chance to get out of town for a few days, make sure to plan your vacation well in advance. The last thing you need to worry about when catching rays on the beach with your family is a problem at work that you didn’t tie up before you left. Stay on top of your deadlines, and try to meet them ahead of time so that you are covered before your trip. Prioritize your high-level tasks, and delegate the minor responsibilities to someone else. When the workload is heavier, it can also be helpful to work a little longer on the days leading up to your vacation. This will give you more time to wrap up your tasks and will help you cover all of your bases.
Communication is key. Share your vacation plans with your team as soon as possible, and develop and communicate a strategy for how you intend to get your work done before you leave. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your workload before you leave, or behind on your work after you return, and this causes you to slow down, be sure to communicate openly with your colleagues so that you can properly pass off work as needed and ask for support in order to meet deadlines.
Be Flexible. The workplace can be easily disrupted when team members come and go throughout the summer months – especially when you’re the one staying back at the office. Don’t let this bother you! Be prepared to adapt to these shifts in personnel and responsibilities ahead of time. The more flexible you are open to being, the more enjoyable your work will be. This positive attitude is a contagious one that can be quickly spread across your team. Support one another, both in your summer adventures and in your workload at the office.
Take small breaks. With the sun staring back at you through the window, and friends and colleagues posting about their vacations on Facebook, it can be hard to enjoy the work at hand and to stay focused. It is for this reason that it is much more important during these sweet summer months that you take breaks and refresh when you feel the distractions coming on. Step outside for a short walk, or take a coworker to lunch. Getting out of the office can be very beneficial in increasing your level of productivity and providing a renewed sense of energy toward your work, even if it is just for an hour.
Always stay busy. In some cases, work may slow down during the summer months. The ability to move at a slower pace can be nice and should be welcomed when possible, but a byproduct of that change in pace can be a reduced level of energy and passion at the office. If things are slow at the workplace, use this time to explore new opportunities or exciting projects for your business. It can also be a good time to schedule your annual reviews or strategy meetings so that you can address issues and properly plan ahead without the heavier workload in the way.
Through keeping the big picture in mind, planning ahead, communicating openly, and taking time to refresh, you’ll be able to maintain the focus required to achieve your goals without any added stress. The more time you commit to work, the more vacation time you may reward yourself with in the future. Did someone say Labor Day?
What do you do to unleash your productivity during summer?