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Staying Focused at Work During the Summer

With fourth of July just around the corner, if you are like most of us, you dream of sundrenched days on the beach with your toes in the sand while sipping your favorite summer beverage complete with fruit garnish and parasol.  With plenty of sunshine during the summer months, it’s a challenge not to get lost in thought about a day soaking up the sun or spending time with the family enjoying a long overdue summer adventure while you are at your desk and trying to focus on the day’s tasks.

The relaxing feel of Summer often leads to declining engagement and efficiency at the office.  Consider these tips to stay focused, leaving you time for after-work and weekend fun:

  • Tackle your most important tasks first.  When you arrive at the office in the morning, use this time to tackle your most important tasks.  This will allow you to accomplish the most important task(s) on your list while you are refreshed, focused and ready to take on the day.
  • Make a reasonable and achievable to do list. The key here is to be realistic with the time you allow for each task.  Keep the list reasonable in length so that you can accomplish the tasks on the list and be sure to stick to the assigned timeline for each task to accomplish the most for the day.
  • Limit time spent checking emails.  Checking and responding to emails at set intervals during the day will allow you to hold focus on tasks without being constantly interrupted and having your attentions routed away from your to do list.  Also, consider if an email is necessary or if a quick in person chat may be better as this can limit emails which require detail and follow up from going back and forth. Finally, only copy those who have a need to know or who are relevant to the project to avoid the pitfalls of wasting time in responding to multiple parties with the same information or reading responses from those who are not key stakeholders.
  • Stay on Track during meetings.  Even if you aren’t hosting the meeting, suggest and request an agenda to help keep everyone on track.  If you are the meeting hose, always send out a detailed agenda including what you will cover and the desired outcome of the meeting and be certain to stick to the scheduled time reserved for the meeting – that is start meetings on time and be mindful not to run over the allotted time.
  • Finally, remember to get adequate rest.  With daylight stretching into early evening, longer summer days make it easy to stay up late during the week to enjoy the sun and fun.  Commit to getting the sleep you need during the work week.  It’s difficult to hold focus and be efficient with tired eyes and a groggy mind.