Summer is great, but it can really mess you up. In the workplace, we mean. After three months of traveling, barbeques, and swimming, coming back to the office can seem bleak. That cool weather has magically made your bed 10 times more comfortable in the morning, and soon you’ll have to put on a jacket to go outside.
How are you supposed to focus on work, when your head is still floating in its own tropical getaway? The post-summer struggle is real. But don’t be too discouraged. Instead, here are 6 post-summer productivity tips you can use to trick your brain into becoming that lean mean productive machine it once was.
1. Start Your Day Off Right
Mornings are important. They set the stage for how we interact with the rest of the day. Crummy morning usually equals crummy day. So, get ahead of the crummy-ness. Start a morning routine that works for you.
For some people that might mean working out at 5 am. Awesome. But don’t feel bad is coffee is more your jam. The point is to give yourself time in the morning to wake up and pair that with a positive activity. Getting your adrenaline pumping, doing a little motivational reading, or just enjoying the quiet of the morning are all equally good routines.
2. Get Your Priorities Straight
Once you’ve had your morning refreshment, it’s time to buckle down. Set your goals for the day. Not everyone likes To-Do Lists, but they do help you get organized. Clearly lay out what you can and need to get done today.
A list, plan or schedule keeps you from floundering around or flitting from one task to another unproductively. To-Dos keep it simple. You make the list of things that need to get done, then you do the things. Easy for even a half-asleep brain to understand.
3. Tackle Your Hardest Project First
Once you’ve made your list, there are probably one or two intimidating tasks that you’d like to just ignore. Don’t do it. As Kelly Sue DeConnick says, “Willpower is a muscle that gets tired. Do the hardest thing first. “
The longer you’re at work, the more difficult it is to stay motivated. Our energy gradually saps away. It may return after lunch, or you may enter that dreaded afternoon daze. So hurry up and do the hard stuff now! You’ll be the most efficient if you complete difficult projects when you’re fresh, and afterward, you’ll feel so much better. But if that hardest project seems like too much….
4. Break Down Large Tasks
Big projects can seem overwhelming. Some of them have a million smaller tasks involved. But instead of thinking about everything that needs to get done to finish that project, think about everything that needs to get done to finish that project. Wait, what?
What we mean is, define the smaller tasks. Seeing what needs to go into a project is a good thing. Instead of your spending time stressing, give yourself a list of manageable steps that will help you reach your goal.
5. Take a Breather (Or Two. Or Three.)
While you might have incredible focus at the beginning of the day (or not, that’s where coffee comes in), your focus will decline. We repeat, your focus will decline. It’s not a shortcoming; it’s not your fault. There’s even some scientific proof behind it.
So instead of beating yourself up about it or slowing pushing through the pain, give yourself a break. Stop. Stand up and stretch. Have a snack. Draw a picture. Anything to take your mind and your eyes off your current task. And when you come back to it, bam!, maybe you’ll even notice something you hadn’t before.
6. Track Your Progress
In other words, grab a big pen and triumphantly cross out those suckers from your to-do list. It feels great and gives you a motivational boost. All from drawing a line on a piece of paper. Most of the time, it probably feels like there’s too much to do, and too little time. But no matter how long your list is, you ARE getting stuff done. Way to go! So help your brain notice these things and give yourself permission to feel good about them.
The end of summer can be a difficult transition. It’s also an excellent time for an image update. As we head into cooler seasons that summer headshot can feel out of place. To get back into a work mood with a stunning new headshot, contact us today!