The summer is one of my favourite times of the year. I love the sun, I love the feeling of walking out of an air conditioned room into the heat, and I love looking outside and feeling really optimistic about the day. However, the weather being so nice also means that most people are drawn to go outside and enjoy it. If you work from home and are setting your own schedule, being distracted by the sun outside your window can be tough, and it can be almost impossible to stay motivated. But, if you use the summer sun to your advantage and follow these simple rules, you’ll be able to get things done AND enjoy the heat!
Embrace the Sun
If you draw a line between your indoor workspace and the outdoors, the sun is going to keep calling to you. All you’ll want to do is go outside and lie around. If you spend all your days sitting inside staring out the window, you’re not going to get much done. A better alternative is to find a place outside in the sun that you can be productive – that way you can actually enjoy the summer weather without putting your work on hold. Maybe you can’t take your computer outside because the glare is too much, but you definitely have some work that’s not on screen. Maybe it’s just half an hour of sitting outside while you write out your daily to do list. Do what you can outside and enjoy the weather before buckling down.
Taking a break is okay. In fact, it’s better than okay. It’s a great way to reboot and boost productivity. Instead of spending your whole day shivering away under the air conditioner, take a break. Don’t eat your lunch in front of your computer screen (regardless of how busy you are). Take it outside onto the patio or to a nearby park. Separating your break from your workday will break it up and make it go by ten times faster. Plus, the vitamin D will give you a big boost in energy to get through the rest of your day.
This is an age old tip for those who work at home, but it works extra well in the summer time. Summer fashion is fun, and getting dressed in shorts and a cute shirt or even a sun dress means you’ll feel better. Even if you’re not planning on leaving the house (read above – take breaks outside!) you should get dressed. It will make you feel more prepared and ready to tackle the day. Plus you can save some money and turn the air down – not to mention if someone comes to the door you won’t have to run and hide in your sweats.
Make a To-Do List
When working from home, and especially in the summer time, it’s easy to get distracted and procrastinate the work day away. Instead, make a to do list at the beginning of every day. Note the things that absolutely need to get done today, and the things that you’d like to get done if you have the time. Be realistic with how long things will take you, and set yourself some goals for the day. This way, you can get things done and if you hit a peak and are feeling unproductive, at least you’ve accomplished something!
Set a Schedule – and Stick to It
Summer is tough because it is bright out so early in the morning and so late into the evening. This makes going out to enjoy drinks on the patio and breakfast in the garden really appealing. And that’s okay! Set yourself a schedule. The best part of working from home and for yourself is that you can set your own hours. Working from 10-4 is perfectly fine if you’re able to get enough done in that time frame. But stick to your schedule. If 4 is the end of your work day, then stop working at 4. Allow yourself to finish, put your work aside, and enjoy the rest of the day while the sun is out.
Maybe you find that you absolutely can not get any work done during the summer time when the sun is calling to you. That might be okay too if you can work around it. Instead of struggling to stay focused all day and getting almost nothing done, enjoy the day. Go out and do what you want. Then once the sun is getting too high in the sky and the temperatures are too hot, come back inside and start your work day. Maybe your most productive time is from 4-9PM. If that works for you then do it!