Ah, summer mornings.
The birds are chirping, the sun is slowly making its way overhead, it’s a beautiful day, and you…have to go to work?
That was rhetorical–of course you have to go to work, we all do. Where do you think I’m writing this from right now? But the change of seasons and flurry of beach posts on Insta make it that much harder to get up and go to work every day.
Distraction soars as temperature rises, and sometimes your brain is OOO before you even start your PTO.
So why are we less productive in the summer?
Well, put simply, we are a product of our environment. So, when it’s sunny outside, we want to be outside. Temperature plays a huge role in terms of energy and exhaustion. When it’s 7 a.m. and you’re already sweaty, you’re more lethargic and it makes it that much more difficult to stay on track.
Summertime sadness is real. It’s not just a Lana Del Rey bop–and yes, it was a bop. You know that feeling when you’re sitting in your office post 3:30 p.m. and it’s sunny and beautiful outside and all you want to do is call it quits, no matter how many emails are in your inbox? That’s summertime sadness. According to career expert Wendi Weiner, attitudes change when the weather is warm, and people tend to focus more on self-improvement and self-care.
Longing leads to less production. Weddings, rooftops, happy hours, outdoor events–our summer schedule is packed with activities that aren’t work-related. Everyone is not-so-patiently awaiting their scheduled vacations, so sometimes work isn’t the first thing on their mind.
More vacation means less productivity–obviously. No matter your company’s vacation policy, not everyone can be away at the same time. This means you and your coworkers have to work around each other’s vacation schedules, which becomes an intricate dance of swapping weeks and swapping work. This weaving of vacations can lead to less production. But DON’T let that stop you from taking a vacation because we all need it.
Your sleep schedule is all messed up. In the summer, going to happy hour, grabbing ice cream with the family, or going out with friends after work is much more common than it is in the winter, because who wants to go out when it’s dark and freezing? But staying out late and enjoying the summer weather until well past your normal bedtime means your sleeping schedule is going to be all out of whack.
But there is a way to combat the summertime slump!
- Work at an optimal temperature. Setting the perfect temperature at work can stimulate productivity. According to the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration, the perfect temperature range for productivity is 68°F to 76°F.
- Take time for yourself. Yes, vacation time can throw off productivity, but it’s a necessity. Get away from your desk, go on vacation, spend some time with your family, do anything that makes you feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Doing so will help your productivity in the long run.
- Work outside! Use your work-from-home day or your company’s surroundings to get outside while still getting your work done.
- Don’t overdo it on weeknights. Yes, go out with your friends, enjoy yourself: just make sure you don’t go as hard as you would on a Friday night.
- Eat right, exercise, and take care of yourself. That’s it. If you keep yourself healthy and happy, you’re guaranteed to be more productive.
Although all we want to do during the summer months is hang by the pool, get away with our families, or play volleyball with our friends, we all still have jobs to do. Don’t let your productivity slip just because the sun is out and the weather is nice–work even harder and enjoy that summertime fun even more when the week is over.
What are your favorite tips for staying productive during the summer? Leave them in the comments below!