Staying focused at work in summer can be quite hard especially after a long, cold winter and a rainy spring. As soon as the sun is out and weather gets hotter, we all dream about holidays, barbecues, sunbathing, long walks and pitches of beer, umbrella cocktails and other entertaining summer activities.
Summer is usually a shift from the normal work routine for most people and it’s usually the slowest time of the year for most businesses. But, even though we’re all allowed to enjoy summer’s pleasures as much as possible, work can’t stop just because the weather is good and we certainly can’t use this season as an excuse for poor quality work and uncompleted tasks.
According to a study by Captivate Network, productivity levels at work from June to August drop by 20%, attendance decreases by 19%, and employees are 45% more distracted. Additionally, according toa research conducted by the Helsinki University of Technology and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the optimal temperature for productivity is between 70 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that, the hotter it gets outside, the less productive we are.
You can though, try some of the below tips to increase productivity and boost your energy levels so the hot days of summer don’t take their toll.
- Set up goals. Research has shown that the average time a person can focus is between 45 - 60 minutes so if you tend to get distracted easily, try writing a list with everything you need to accomplish on the day. Highlight the most important tasks, prioritise and set up a time frame for each of them.
- Come to work early. You’ll waste a lot less time commuting and you’ll most probably finish work earlier, leaving you more time to enjoy other leisure activities.
- Take a sunshine break. Add a sunshine break onto your task list. Have lunch outside or just go for a short afternoon walk – it will help you boost your productivity later in the day.
- Eat less but more often. Avoid increasing your metabolic heat by eating small portions and foods which are not high in protein. This will provide you with a continuous stream of energy all day long.
- Create a comfortable working area. Reorganise your desk to help you improve focus and decrease stress. It has been proved that a perfect office/desk setup keeps employees happier, more focused and more willing to spend time at work.
- Change venues. If possible, work from the park for example or have meetings outside instead of holding them in a meeting room. It will help you alleviate stress, improve your ability to work smarter and better by restoring your attentional capacity. It will also increase your oxygen and vitamin D levels, making you feel happier and healthier.
- Replace coffee with tea. Your body absorbs coffee too quickly and it really doesn’t make you stay alert for too long. Also, recent research shows that drinking coffee first-thing in the morning diminishes its energy-boosting effects. Therefore, try trading your daily cup of coffee for a mug of green tea - you’ll receive a steadier boost of energy throughout the day.
- Eat lots of ice cream. The last tip, but the most important one! Ice cream has a very high nutritional value and gives you loads of energy. It also helps you relax your nervous system, it prevents symptoms of insomnia and stimulates the thrombotonin, the hormone of happiness.
Try applying all or some of these tips – you’ll build good habits which, once mastered, will be with you forever.
What do you usually do to help you stay focus at work when you’d actually rather be soaking up the sun?