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There is no doubt that summer is here and in full force. The heatwaves are making you urge to jump in the pool, the anticipated time spent with family, counting down the days until vacation, and on top of that, all while staying on top of your workload.
Working during the summer months can be a battle between wanting to get away or find time to enjoy and relax without falling behind. For many, finding that balance between work and life can be hard, but there are ways to stay on track and plan your summer fun without any stress.
Keep a schedule
One of the easiest ways to stay on track is to keep an updated calendar of important deadlines and presentations. By setting reminders, you can plan to get your work done ahead of schedule so you can enjoy your summer fun and not have to cram to meet your deadlines when you get back.
Another way to keep yourself on schedule is by rewarding yourself as you complete your goals. For example, finishing a presentation around lunchtime and taking yourself out for a well-deserved coffee break. Or complete all your tasks on time by the end of the week and reward yourself with a responsible shopping spree, an afternoon golfing, a nice dinner, anything that gets you motivated to do it again the next Monday.
Pace is key
If you’re not planning a getaway, working straight through the summer can take a toll on yourself, especially if you’re working from home.
Don’t push yourself to get all your work done immediately when you get assigned a task. Prioritize what needs to get and spend about 25-30 minutes per task.
One you’ve cycled through your “To Do List,” take a 5–10-minute break and give your brain and eyes a rest from screen. Get up and stretch your legs before returning to your desk. If you have the flexibility, try taking a quick walk outside and get some fresh air to clear your mind and help you reset your focus when you get back.
If you’re working from home and get cabin fever, try switching up your work location and go outside. A recent study from StudyFinds.org shows that just “29 minutes spent outdoors results in a 45% increase in productivity.” If you’re typing up a report or working on a presentation, take it outside and enjoy some fresh air.
Don’t feel guilty about taking PTO
Everyone wants a day to get away from all obligations and enjoy some time to themselves. Plan some PTO days during the summer and take that beach or lake trip. It doesn’t need to be lengthy, just some time to refresh.
If you do plan to take some days off this summer, make sure to do it responsibly and complete all tasks and projects before you leave. Getting your work done ahead of time also gives you a fresh start when you return. No need to worry about completing that big presentation for the annual conference when you get back from vacation because it’s already done.
You deserve to have fun this summer. After over a year of feeling uncertain, it is important that we all find time to sit back, relax, and find time for yourself. Getting your work done is important, but it is just as important to not overwork yourself in the process. Take a look at your calendar and see what fits into your schedule. Whether it’s a week, a weekend, or even just a day, make a plan to focus on yourself this summer.
July 28, 2021