It’s hot, laziness is in the air and all your colleagues, plus yourself, are only thinking about the beach. How can any work get done in this atmosphere?
Summertime is a natural slowdown for most people – and for most companies. Whether managers want it or not, the working vibe is simply not there. And we know this can be costly for the progress of projects and the overall productivity of a team.
But if you come to think about it, what’s so wrong with going with the natural seasonal cycle that affects people? It’s August, damn it. Even flies get lazy.
Instead of inserting unnecessary pressure on yourself and your teammates to achieve goals that are simply unrealistic for the summer season, making the best of the August slowdown means adapting to reality and getting fresh power for an active autumn. Here are three effective ways to do that.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
Balancing between ambitious company goals and tired employees dreaming of vacation isn’t an easy call. The key here is to understand that even if people are in the office, it doesn’t mean they’ll get the job done if they’re exhausted and bored.
The same goes for yourself – sitting in front of the blank screen with your mind wandering around is ineffective and unnecessary.
And in this sense, it’s important to understand we all need time off to be fresh and creative. When people don’t get enough rest and diversity from their jobs, they not only become unproductive. They are more prone to engage in “summer absenteeism,” or faking illness to get a day off.
But going on vacation does not guarantee that employees can relax. In some offices, there is an unwritten rule that working during days off is a must. This means that people cannot, in reality, ever switch off from the work drill.
The unhealthy practice hurts the work process much more than it helps complete projects. Employees remain unrested, stressed and frustrated with having to check off tasks during official time off. Imagine what that means for their productivity and overall work ethics – and calling in sick on a sunny day becomes very understandable.
Embed playtime by design
Happy and relaxed people equal creative and motivated workers. Whether you’re a manager or an employee, this applies to you too. Allowing more time off, shorter Fridays or a four-day workweek. Weekday picnics or after-hours barbecues….
These are only a few ideas to give yourself and others more space to take a deep breath in summer. Including the blow-off time in the schedule will reduce the pressure and the unrealistic task completion expectations. Even if you have to motivate only yourself (and not a team) to keep the productivity high in August, you’re likely to lose if you just keep pushing.
Make your days more diverse by taking an afternoon walk, enjoying an ice cream in the park with friends or simply choosing a new location to work from for a day. While it might seem as losing time, diverse activities that make you spend time outside actually give you freshness and new power to get the job done.
Including this downtime in the schedule will make it realistic and means you’ll be able to restart in the summer.
Let people work on what they love – including yourself
There are millions of hacks how to boost your and your team’s productivity. But we know very well that happiness is the ultimate productivity booster. And this holds ever truer in summer.
The more connected people feel with their job and their colleagues, the better they will be at what they do. This counts for yourself too.
If you see the purpose in your current tasks, you are more likely to see them to completion rather than piling them up and only feeling under pressure – and in a slump. After all, your perfectionism can take a break until autumn.
Instead of making ambitious plans about all the projects you can complete in the summer months, focus on smaller tasks. Why not brush up your online bios and LinkedIn profile during the summer slowdown?
Or if you still want to get over projects and complete them in August, choose one that is really close to your heart. Then your motivation will naturally let you overcome laziness during the hot days.
What are your methods to make yourself or your team happier and less stressed during the summer slump? We can’t wait to hear from you in the comments!
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