In the midst of summer weather, parties, and vacations, maintaining unwavering motivation at work can be difficult. Yet, during this season, when you may crave relaxation and indulgence, it’s crucial that you remain resolute in pursuing your goals while avoiding distractions.
Below, we’re sharing nine ways to have fun this summer without sacrificing your goals and motivation.
1. Take Your PTO
Unrelenting discipline isn’t sustainable. Eventually, you’ll burn out and develop bad habits to cope (like excessive drinking or smoking). It’s okay to give yourself a little extra time to relax.
Use your PTO for a three-day weekend once in a while and appoint Thursday as your new Friday to enjoy some downtime in the sunshine. You can be just as productive during a condensed four-day workweek as during a five-day week because you’re more likely to focus on completing everything on time.
To ensure success with a shorter workweek, make sure you get the most out of the days you commit to working. Have set plans to achieve all the things on your to-do list and stay focused on completing each task. Remember that planning is directly related to performance.
2. Change Up Your Work Scenery
If you’re working from home, try moving your office outside to your backyard, a park, or a local coffee shop with outdoor seating.
Assign a specific task or project to each location to change it up even more. For example, plan to answer your emails at the coffee shop and work on a team project on your terrace; practice discipline by completing each task before moving on to the following location.
This change of space can also improve your creativity. Additionally, the movement between locations can help you combat feelings of lethargy you might ordinarily experience during long periods at the desk.
3. Have an Accountability Strategy
Be very open and clear about what you want to achieve so that this person can effectively keep you on track. For example, if you want to stay on track with your health goals but find it challenging to resist unhealthy foods at backyard BBQs and summer rooftop events, this person can help remind you of your “why.”
Additionally, the guilt you might experience knowing that you must admit to someone else when you have failed to follow through on your goals can motivate you never to fall short of them.
4. Take Advantage of the Outdoors
Exercise is an excellent way to fuel your energy. Spending energy gives you more energy by increasing the blood and oxygen flow within the body.
Try riding a bike, running, swimming, forest bathing, or taking an outdoor yoga class before work. Transferring your daily workout outside allows you to enjoy the sun and get some fresh air, so you’re not staring at a screen all day.
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5. Treat Yourself
Implementing incentives to get things done can drive you toward success. Give yourself breaks in between major task completions. Take time off in the afternoon to eat mindfully during your lunch break. Reward yourself for a productive day with a rooftop dinner with friends, a healthy cookout, or a spa day.
If you deprive yourself of all the joy’s life has to offer, you’ll likely get burned out and won’t feel fulfilled. Self-care is productive, and by prioritizing your well-being, your performance at work will likely improve as well.
6. Prioritize Sleep
While it can be tempting to stay up late and go out this summer, it’s best to choose a reasonable bedtime and stick to it. This will allow you to wake up early and get the most out of the warm daylight hours, as well as optimize your productivity and focus.
7. Set Shorter Deadlines
Rather than dragging out deadlines all summer, practice mindful procrastination by setting shorter deadlines to help yourself avoid distractions and stay focused.
Hold yourself accountable for this practice by making a public declaration to teammates. You can reward yourself for completing tasks efficiently with a long weekend, beach day, or that upcoming European vacation. After all, think of how much more relaxed you’ll feel when you get everything done ahead of time.
8. Fuel Your Body
While you may be tempted to grab that hamburger or fries on the beach, it’s important to remember that food directly affects your cognitive performance.
Heavy, greasy food can make you feel sluggish, while water-dense food like fruit and vegetables can keep you alert and focused.
To avoid eating unhealthy food, plan your meals ahead of time. You can still enjoy summer foods while staying on track with your health goals, such as watermelon, smoothies, grilled veggie kebabs, or by hosting a healthy cookout.
Additionally, if you struggle with your diet, consider enlisting the help of a health coach this season to keep you on track.
9. Use Anti-Distraction Technology
Technology doesn’t always have to be distracting. Use it to your advantage by researching apps to help you stay focused.
If you’re constantly getting distracted by your friends’ vacation posts or invites for summer events while you’re trying to make progress on projects, put your phone on airplane mode and put bans on social media apps during working hours. You can reward yourself for staying focused after the workday by scrolling through social media or indulging in summer fun.
Distraction is the enemy of focus, and it’s everywhere at all times. Use whatever tools are available to inhibit these distractions and remain on track with your goals.
The Bottom Line
While the temptations of summer fun can make it challenging to maintain unwavering motivation and peak performance at work, you can achieve your goals and still savor the season’s joys by embracing some practical strategies.