It is always harder to focus during the summer. The weather is nice, offices have summer hours, and everyone would rather be on vacation.
It is hard enough to be productive without the warm weather distracting people, and much, much worse when you must stay at the office longer because you were day dreaming about leaving.
Here a few tips to get more done in less time, so you can enjoy the season and succeed at work:
1. Be Strategic
Think about how and why you are not getting as much work done as you need to: is it because you're tired? Or you sit next to a chatty coworker? Or do you go on social media too much? Or do you try to multitask? Identify what you believe is the root of your problem with productivity, and think of solutions that address that issue.
2. Do Your Most Important Tasks Before Lunch
Priorities and projects with tight deadlines should be done first. Do not get bogged down by emails or meetings, and do not let anything else distract you. Some days you may be working straight through tea time, but make sure you get done what absolutely needs to get done today. Anything that "would be nice" to get done or does not need to be addressed until tomorrow or later in the week can wait.
3. Don't Multitask
Trying to complete several tasks at once only makes you complete each task more slowly and usually costs you more time than if you focus on each task individually.
4. Don't Overwhelm Yourself
Being ambitious is good until it is overwhelming. Then it is counterproductive. Trying to do too much will only cause you stress, making you less productive and more anxious. So refine your to-do list, and be intentional about what needs to be done today.
5. Form New Habits To Improve Efficiency And Focus
It takes a lot of discipline to sit at a desk, or at a workplace and focus for hours on end. Figuring out ways to manage your weaknesses, like perhaps taking too many breaks, or surfing the internet or social media or chatting with coworkers eats at your time, even if it is in five or 10-minute increments. What food drains your energy, and which foods give you energy? Forming habits around what you eat, how much you sleep, and how you manage distractions all contribute to your productivity, so do not be passive about your habits. Examine them and improve them.
6. Manage Your Time With Email
Spending too much time sending and replying to emails can drain your time and energy. Pick a few times a day, maybe in the morning, at noon and once around six or so to check your email, then be done. Your priorities will take a back seat to your e-mails if you allow them to be your focus. So have some discipline, only respond to emails that need a response, push others back in the interest of your priorities and projects.
7. Have Someone Hold You Accountable
Creating some structure to help achieve a goal is a great way to expedite your progress. You're not going to want to share with a friend, co-worker or career coach that you did not reach your goal this week, month, etc. So recruit a friend or family member or hire someone to help improve your productivity so you can become the person you aspire to be.