The mere mention of summer brings, for many of us, visions of swimming, rooftop hangouts, and basking in the sun. Few of us think of sitting in an office all day as an ideal summer activity, but the reality is that most of us can’t spend the whole summer lounging on a tropical beach sipping on drinks with cute umbrellas and way too much rum. Unfortunately.
With our bodies at work and our brains at the beach, it’s hard to keep our minds on work. We’re distracted and unmotivated, and this means we’re less productive. Personally, I know I’m having trouble staying focused at the office – so for your sake and mine, I decided to create a list of ways to keep yourself (and your startup!) fresh and ready to work despite the heat.
1. Prioritize – but not the way you think.
When you’re having trouble focusing, sometimes the answer is to find a new task that you’re more interested in. Do the difficult or boring task when you’re in productive mode, and when you find yourself daydreaming or realize afternoon lethargy has hit, move on to easier or more interesting tasks.
2. Use technology to your advantage.
A lot of distraction these days takes place in the form of puttering around facebook. Technology though, isn’t the enemy. There are great apps out there to help improve focus and efficiency. Not sure how it’s already 2pm, or how you wasted the last six hours? Try RescueTime. It measures how much time you’re spending in each website, app, or even documents.
For most of us though, we know that social media is the culprit. Are you spending all your time on facebook, enviously stalking your friend’s caribbean vacation? Try blocking distracting websites. Options include StayFocused or Nanny for Google Chrome, LeechBlock for Firefox, or SelfControl for Mac users, while FocalFilter works on them all.
3. Be flexible with your schedule.
Getting out and having fun this summer will help you be more productive when you are working. One of the best parts of being your own boss is that you can make your own schedule. Use this power for good, and schedule work around summer events you want to attend, or work in the mornings and evenings and give yourself the afternoon to play in the sun.
4. Take a real vacation.
Everyone needs a break sometimes, and summer is the perfect time for that – even if it’s only for a couple of days. Try not to work while you’re recharging, but if you feel the itch, limit the time you spend on work stuff and be strict with yourself about it.
On the flip side, if it’s convenient, consider tying a business meeting to your trip. Perhaps you know of a potential vendor/client/investor in a city you’ve always wanted to visit?
It’s difficult to stay focused on work when you’d rather be anywhere but at your desk, so it’s important to find ways to stay fresh and motivated. Oh, and one last piece of advice – splurge for an air conditioner – it’ll increase morale at your startup by about a million percent, promise.
How do you stay focused despite summer distractions? Comment below!