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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.

Beat the Blues!

Monday Blue!

 

Is it Sunday evening and are you already dreading the next day? Don’t feel like getting out of bed on Monday? Do you feel the need to eliminate Mondays altogether? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you are now a platinum member of the Monday Blues Club. However, if you are like me, you don’t really want to be a part of it. Below are a few tips that will help you change your outlook towards Mondays.

You Can Do It!

Before reading these simple tips you need to believe in yourself. Also take some time and determine whether it truly is a case of “Monday Blues” or some other serious issue which is bothering you.

1) “Problem Identification” equates to “Problem Resolution”: Do some self-analysis. Identifying the problem that makes you less than enthusiastic about work is the first step towards resolving it. These issues can range from personal to professional; your work might not be challenging enough, you might not like the people you are working with or you might have a health condition that needs to be taken care of.

2) Weekends are for relaxing: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”; after working for a week your body as well as your mind needs a little rest and relaxation. Enjoy your weekends. Try not to take work home. Spend some quality time with your family and friends. Pursue a hobby. Sleep well over the weekend to rejuvenate your body and mind. A well spent weekend is a great start to an upcoming week.

3) Dress up & show up: Mondays are the start of an exciting new week. Pick your favorite outfit. When you look good, you feel good and when you feel good you do great work. Looking good also helps you stay confident and face challenges with grace and vigor.

4) Have a Plan: Before you leave for the weekend, take a few minutes at the end of the day to make a To Do list. Prioritize the list based on deadlines, interest level and difficulty. If you have a plan for Monday before you leave for Friday, you can enjoy your time off, knowing what needs to get done on Monday.

5) Schedule Light: Getting to work with a smile will be harder if you know you have a pile of files to look at or a number of meetings to attend on Monday. Schedule light on Mondays and give some time for your brain to transition from weekend mode to work mode. Do not procrastinate on Fridays; be as productive as possible. This ensures you aren’t worrying about work all weekend and allows you to get a fresh start on Mondays.

6) Have fun at work: Work needs to be interesting and something you look forward to. Maintain a healthy and fun atmosphere at your work place. You can enjoy a cup of coffee, stop by for a short chat with colleagues, or spend a few minutes organizing or decorating your workplace. You can also choose to work on something that you absolutely love and find engrossing first thing Monday. The bottom-line is to have fun at work.

7) Have a post-work plan: We all plan for weekends and that makes the weekend exciting and much awaited. Have a post-work plan on Monday like meeting a friend for dinner or a yoga class. It will help you stay enthusiastic throughout the day.

8) Attitude at work: Do what you love and enjoy your work. If you are not very enthusiastic or passionate about your work you need to check whether you are on the right career track.

9) Check your Mental Health: This is the most important thing you should do if you are a part of this club. Mental health is something which we usually ignore, knowing very well that we shouldn’t. If you are fighting any kind of mental health problem like depression, you will not feel enthusiastic about anything in life. Consulting a doctor or therapist might help.

10) Pack a Happy Lunch: If you feel that you do not have anything to feel happy about at your workplace, pack yourself a happy lunch – something you love eating. It will do wonders for your day. Start your day with a good breakfast and include healthy food like fruits. It is hard to be positive if you are starving or feeling under-nourished.

Mondays are not as dreadful as we think. It is usually a mental-block, self-orchestrated by us. Work because you want to, not because you have to. Mondays won’t trouble you if you don’t let them. Your thoughts are powerful, so create those that are helpful. A good start will help lay a solid foundation for the rest of the week.

Happy Monday! 🙂