Productivity Tips : Six Keys To Getting Things Done Over The Summer

by Mike Tennant · 17 comments

This is a guest post by Mike Tennant sharing productivity tips with us through this post and currently works at Air-N-Water.com.

Whether you work at home, freelance from the local coffee shop or run a Fortune 500 business, we all face the same problems over the summer months. Every year as the weather gets warmer, it becomes more and more difficult to get things done. It’s just increasingly difficult to be productive during the summer.

For me, it all goes back to my days in school, when I’d spend all year looking forward to summer break. And with good reason too, as those fun summer days were typically filled with friends, pools, the ballpark and sometimes even the beach.

Unfortunately, I’ve been forced to grow up since then. That means instead of shooting hoops at the park or riding my bike around the neighborhood, I have to be productive and get things done over the summer.

I’m sure I’m not alone here. This is a problem for anyone – who like me – finds themselves staring longingly out the window every afternoon.

Below are some important keys for getting things done over the lazy days of summer. Like the best productivity tips out there, these are all just as appropriate for the stay at home mom as they are for the Fortune 500 CEO. Read on if you need to turn your daydreaming into doing:

1. Create A Comfortable Work Environment.

It’s hard enough working when you know the weather is warm and sunny outside that being uncomfortable while trying to get things done is nearly impossible. If you work from home, find a room that fits your preferred climate. Obviously, if you prefer a warmer climate you shouldn’t sit next to the air conditioner. Comfort is not just climate control, however. Make sure that you have a comfortable place to sit and work. Take the time to adjust your chair so it’s in the most comfortable position possible that still allows you to get work done.

2. Make A Plan

This isn’t purely a summer-only tactic, but it remains important regardless. As most of us have learned by now, failing to plan is planning to fail. With the longer daylight hours and shorter attention spans, it becomes even more important to plan out everything you want to get done – working, going to the ballgame, picnics with the family, etc. You don’t want to chance getting stuck crunching on an assignment or article while everyone else enjoys a summer BBQ.

3. Take Advantage Of The Longer Days

As opposed to the short days of winter, summer affords more time to both enjoy the weather and get work done. Plan your day accordingly, and take advantage of the added sunlight at the end of the day to get both your work and leisure activities in. Try waking up earlier to take advantage of the early morning hours. This will give you more sunlight at the end of the day with which to play. Whether that means hitting the gym early, or just getting an early start on your email, it’ll pay dividends at the end of the day when you’re home free and the sun is still shining.

4. Avoid Scheduling Important Meetings For Fridays And Mondays

During the summer months, Mondays and Fridays are the most difficult day to get things done, so don’t try to force it. That’s not to say you should just take two more days off every week. Rather, try to schedule important meetings and calls for midweek, when you know everyone will be more focused and attentive to the task at hand. If scheduling a Monday or Friday meeting is inevitable, stay away from Monday mornings and Friday afternoons if at all possible. That at least gives you a fighting chance to get something accomplished.

5. Go Distraction-Free

I know I get easily distracted over the summer months, so I have to essentially block myself off from the outside world when it’s time to get to work and I easily avoid distractions. Listening to music works well for some, but be careful because that can also become a distraction. If you’re in a crowded office, a great trick when you really need to buckle down is to wear your headphones or ear buds without actually listening to music. This will keep people from approaching you unless it’s really necessary, and will also help muffle surrounding noise.

6. Take Breaks And Enjoy The Weather

One of the best ways to refocus your mind is to take a complete break from the action for a few minutes. Typically, this will help you refresh and refocus on the task at hand. Being summertime, you shouldn’t find it difficult to force yourself away from the desk and outside for a few minutes.

That’s it..If you have more productivity tips for the lazy summers then just share it with using the comment form below.

About Mike Tennant

Mike Tennant is a freelance writer and content developer in Orange County, CA. Mike currently works with Air & Water Inc., where he develops content to help consumers find the right espresso coffee makers or wine cellars to fit their needs. Follow Mike on Twitter for random thoughts on life, sports, tech and entertainment.

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Felicia August 5, 2010 at 11:51 am

Your tips sure hit the spot! I make it a point to always at least make a schedule per day especially on work days so that I will not overlook the small, but important things to do (like family time or visiting a friend). I am also greatly affected by outside noise while I work, and I have to say that your tip on wearing headphones (without really listening to music) does work! Of course, sometimes I need to take it off if my boss needs to talk to me about something. Overall, nice article!

Usama September 30, 2010 at 5:37 am

A change of scenery always clears my mind. Take a day off and go somewhere. Fresh ideas are going to come rushing like ants on a hill.
Thanks for the tips.

Kevin Pieterson December 31, 2010 at 5:22 pm

I can never not agree with you on this post. I am working as a technical writer with a company which has offices located in different parts of the city so I have to interact with a lot of people to complete the project. On a typical summer in a tropical country, you could imagine how increasingly difficult would it be to work productively for one of the most boring jobs in the IT. But this article has been an eye opener about the things that I already is there somewhere in my sub conscious mind. You just reminded me of them and I am indebted to you.

Believe me, I liked the post so very much that I have bookmarked it for reading it over and over whenever I feel low in my disposition and have retweeted it to let some reawaken their lost energy. OK, let me go and enjoy the weather and take some fresh air in.

Abe Pletz March 20, 2011 at 2:06 am

My number one tip for productivity is to turn the Internet of when i am working on my new website projects i have winamp installed so i can work offline then upload when i am ready believe me i get a lot more done with out the net distracting me from the task

Linette June 1, 2011 at 1:23 am

I think it is important to make a list and constantly update it with your goals and tasks. Also be sure to note the times of the day you are most productive and focus hard during those times to staying focused and getting your work done. Everyone is going to have down times so it is important to take advantage of your productive times.

Michelle Sterling July 7, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Hey Mike,
You’ve listed some of the most important points, and I agree with you. I also believe, we need to take short breaks and I think summer is the right time to take that much needed break and spend some quality with our near ones and also relax ourselves. And to have an uninterrupted break work out a plan in advance.

Julius July 28, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Thank you for sharing your tips about the topic, that’s applicable especially for those who have not yet organize the things need to do this summer. You contributed a lot of good points, so now I have an idea how to make my summer days productive.

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