Remote work doesn't seem to be going anywhere soon. With a shift to home schedules for many, or a hybrid work from home/in-office balance, staying productive can get really tricky during the summer. Summer provides plenty of distractions, making it nearly impossible to get work done. As a digital entrepreneur six years into full-time remote work, I'm sharing my favorite tips for maintaining focus during summer.
The truth is, we need to let ourselves enjoy the summer days for which we yearned. We're all productive in the cold winter months, and we should let it balance with summer months, as our industries allow. Late nights, 50-hour weeks, lunch meetings...we put the time in. Giving ourselves the freedom to enjoy Mother Nature's reward of sunshine makes us better workers, approaching our tasks with positive attitudes and newfound energy. Remember all that has been accomplished so far this year if you feel guilty about cutting yourself slack. The work always gets done!
1// Give yourself time blocks. At the beginning of each week, I organize my calendar in blocks laying out when I plan to finish tasks, as if they are meetings. The same goes for personal time outside the office. Scheduling tasks allows me to visualize how everything balances. Tip: Make sure to leave some unplanned space in case an emergency arises or an unexpected task occurs with a quick deadline.
2// Check the weather and plan accordingly. If I know a beautiful day is coming, I plan around it. Working seems easier to me when free time is coming.
3// Give yourself a flexible schedule. If your work allows it, follow my lead for a mash-up schedule. I trade quiet mornings at the pool for nighttime work so I can maximize my time in the sun. Starting my days slower with a book and a relaxing morning gives me energy to work in the darker hours. Plus, a different schedule makes work feel new to me.
4// Change up your scenery. Opt for conference calls with Bluetooth ear buds and multi-task with a walk, or suggest to co-workers to move a meeting outdoors. Working in the same setting each day can weigh heavy. Try making a homemade breakfast and working outdoors or relocating to a brighter room.
5// Set the mood. Take a look around. Are there new colors you can incorporate to make your workspace welcoming? A new piece of artwork you can hang that you love? If you're excited to enter the space, you'll feel good about knocking out work sessions. Try adding fragrance, such as candles, to give it a new ambiance, or add life to the space with house plants or a fish tank.
6// Use your vacation time. Reward yourself for saving your days and cash them in. If you aren't traveling, a staycation can be just as rewarding. Taking a day off here and there can feel energizing, but taking many days consecutively can truly restore your mind and body.