By: Dallas J. Short
We’re currently in the “dog days of summer” and while simple things like the rushing air from an oncoming train can be the underground blessing in disguise (let’s not think about what else is down there), this is also a time of the year where we can find it harder to keep pushing forward and getting things done on time. The sun and heat can both be exhausting, but the world does not stop. I found a few tips online on how to stay motivated during the summer that I really appreciated and put to use. I’d like to share some of them with you, along with my tips and comments regarding the advice.
- Making a List. “Every night, jot down the things you need to get done the next day. Try to move through all of them, but if you don’t, just add them to the next day’s to-do list. Keep the list manageable during the heat of the summer and do your best to get a bit done every day.”–Liz Lange, founder Liz Lange Maternity. (Dallas Note: To-do lists are always beneficial to staying productive and effective. In the summer months, when the heat might drag you down a bit, it helps you stay on track and sets up a plan of attack.)
- Keep On Walking: “When I work at my desk, I find myself getting sleepy, especially if it’s hot and muggy. But when I work on my treadmill desk, which is simply a treadmill with my laptop perched on top, I feel energized. Walking raises your serotonin level, which is good for sharpening attention, and amazingly, walking and typing isn’t that hard.”–A.J. Jacobs, author of Drop Dead Healthy (Simon & Schuster, 2012) (Dallas Note: I unfortunately don’t have a treadmill desk, but I agree that walking is very important – other ways are try walking the hallways, steps, just keep your brain and blood flowing.)
- Soak Up Some Sunshine: “Staying in the office during a beautiful summer day is enough to keep most people distracted. Rather than being stuck under the fluorescent lights, plan time to get outside and soak up some rays. Breaks should be taken throughout the day — if you work for eight hours straight, you’re going to be burnt out by the end of each day. A mid-morning walk can help reinvigorate you for the rest of the day. You can even set up a little picnic and take your lunch break under a tree. Just be sure to apply plenty of sunblock before going out in the sun!” –Kayla Matthews (Productivity Theory). (Dallas Note: Our CEO at Indra PR, MJ Pedone, is very big on reminding us to take a break and get outside to stay refreshed and recharged. It really does help, just to get out, clear your hand and you will get back to your desk feeling a lot better and ready to crush the day.)
- Get Away: “Sometimes the best motivation is something to look forward to. Plan a vacation for the summer time; even if it is a short weekend getaway. Taking time to escape reality and get out of town can be a nice way to unwind. For some people time-off is best spent at home. A staycation can be a great way to relax without the stress of traveling and planning. Once you arrive home or back in the office there is always a sense of comfort that comes with returning to the status quo, which will help you be productive.” –Cara Barone, Social Media Marketing Manager at Kforce. (Dallas Note: I haven’t taken summer trips in a few years, but having one to Fire Fly Music Festival in June and an upcoming kayaking day trip in August have definitely helped keep things moving and increased motivation.)
- Dress for Success: “There is a correlation between how casual you dress, and how hard you work. Wear the flip flops to work, but change, and get dressed as if it’s a working day. If you wear that summer dress, it will feel like a summer day.” –Nicole Williams, career expert for LinkedIn. (Dallas Note: While it might feel like t-shirt and shorts weather, I think still wearing khakis, button up shirt, what I would for any season, helps remind me that there is work to be done and I can relax more after hours.)
Summer, like other seasons, is meant to be enjoyed, but you can’t let beach daydreams, sweaty commutes and draining sunrays take your eyes off the prize. It’s a competitive society we live in and you always need to make the maximum effort to put your best foot forward and be sure to give your all.
Do you ever find yourself getting in a summer slump? Have any of these tips worked for you? Are there other tips you could tell us about? As always, if you like what you read, please be social and share. Be sure to stay hydrated out there this season as well.