Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Motivation matters: how to give your best at work during the summer

Summertime – the season of light nights and sunshine (sometimes, at least). A time when there are a million and one places we could be and a myriad of activities we could be engaged in. And yet, for the majority of the summer, we still have to work.

It’s easy to become unmotivated during the summer season. In fact a survey conducted in the USA suggested that 25% of office workers feel their productivity drops during the summer months – they call it the ‘Summer Slump’ [].

When there’s somewhere else we’d rather be, even the most committed of employees can become apathetic and indifferent to their workload. However, with a bit of preparation and a plan, it is possible to be as productive at work during the summer months, as we are throughout the rest of the year.

Let the holidays work for you, not against you 

The great thing about the extended daylight hours is that there is more time to do things outside of work. If flexible working hours are an option at work, then summer is a great time to do this so you don’t feel as though you’re missing out on other stuff.

Reward your productivity

Summer is definitely the season to reward your own productivity. Make a deal with yourself – if you can do what you need to accomplish in the morning you’ll take a lunchtime walk in the sunshine; if you get through the afternoon’s workload you’ll meet a friend for a drink and a natter after work.

Remain focused

Procrastination can be rife during the summer months – all we have to do is glance out of the window and see others enjoying themselves for our own mind to wander and listlessness set in. The way to avoid this is by setting an achievable to do list. This will keep you focused and moving forward. It will also make you appreciate any down time you do have because you’ll feel like you’ve earned it.

Change your perception

Sometimes all it takes is a simple change in perception to motivate us. Yes, our colleagues might be away and we may have more to do, but won’t they be doing the same for us shortly? Yes, the weather outside may make sitting at a desk less appealing, but it also gives us an excuse to take a proper lunch-break, rather than eat at our desk. Instead of looking at work as stopping us from doing things, look at the summer as a reason to reassess our work/life balance and make the effort to do more outside of working hours.

And if all else fails and you find yourself feeling lackluster at work, take the opportunity to clear the decks. If you are already feeling unmotivated to work, your table is likely messy or a little more disorganised than usual. Clear your desk and see how well it can clear your mind - at least in the short term. It's amazing how a clear desk can make you want to do a little more.

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