Let’s be honest — even if you enjoy your job, it can be tough to focus during the summer. Especially in the Midwest when the summers are unbeatable.
Even more, if you’re in the northern part of the Midwest, summer can feel like this special three-month magic you want to keep a secret, and seeing the leaves turn can be a deeply sad experience. During this time, we want shorter work hours, summer Fridays, 4-day work weeks and in an ideal world, a summer break like when we were kids.
With the sun beating in from your window, a cold brew in your hand, and a farmer’s tan, how do you stay engaged at work? We’ve got you covered.
Tips & Tricks to Stay Engaged at Work this Summer
1. Make a to-do list each morning
…and stick to it. You’ve probably received this advice over a hundred times — that’s because it works. If you plan out your day with what needs to be done, it’s much easier to prioritize and actually accomplish tasks. Plus, you’ll get the sweet, sweet satisfaction of crossing things off your list.
2. Schedule time for outside
It may seem like the opposite of spontaneous summer fun, but if you pencil it in and diligently stick to your schedule, you won’t have a choice but to enjoy the sun. It’s literally on your calendar.
3. Use vacation days wisely
If summer is truly your favorite season, save some vacation days at the beginning of the year specifically for the summer months. Or if you’re lucky enough to have unlimited PTO (like many of our wonderful employers!) then take advantage of using vacation time when you’ll truly reap the benefits of time off. Summer can also be a great time for a mental health day to soak up that vitamin D we’re so deficient in the Midwest.
4. Plan something to look forward to
Speaking of vacation days, planning fun outings and trips for the summer will give you something to look forward to. This will make the time you do spend working indoors easier because you know you have a guaranteed allotted time for sipping those margaritas on the beach.
5. Change your scenery
Sometimes that feeling of missing out can come from stagnation. If you work remotely, maybe it’s time to check out a local co-working space or coffee shop. The change of scenery throughout the week can feel like enough newness to reinvigorate your focus and stay engaged at work. And it wouldn’t hurt to get an extra caffeine boost from that seasonal honey almond latte you’ve been wanting to try. Feeling really adventurous? Try a work-cation. Whether it's a cabin in the woods or a beach house on Lake Michigan, if your company allows you to work from anywhere, put in your hours in a cool spot and then spend your evenings on vacation!
6. Be realistic about what you can actually accomplish
If you know that this is a hard time for you to stay focused, prioritize the work you know you can and need to get done and don’t overcommit yourself. You can also set goals for each day (alongside that to-do list), big and small, and then reward yourself for accomplishing tasks with lunch on the patio, or a quick walk break.
7. Make sure you’re in the right job
Your lack of engagement could actually be from dissatisfaction in your current role. Take some time to reflect: are you disengaged because you want to be outside enjoying the sun or do you hate your job and everyone you work with? If you find the answer is in fact that you don’t like your job, we got you.
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