For many of us, the dog days of summer aren’t a particularly motivated time of the year. It’s hot and humid in many parts of the country, so much so that we start to drag our feet in our daily routines—and it can have negative effects on our productivity at work.
According to a study by Harvard Business School, increasingly sunny days are directly correlated to a decrease in worker efficiency and productivity.
While it’s hard to sit at a desk when you’d rather be poolside, you don’t have to let the summer slump get the best of you—these months matter!
To avoid feeling hazy in your personal goals and in your work, try these 5 strategies.
1. Recognize that you’re living the dream.
Even if you’re not on a tropical beach vacation, you are still living the dream.
If we are healthy, if we have jobs that adequately provide for us and our families, and if the ones we love are near, I see no reason why summertime shouldn’t be when we have our breakthrough discoveries, get reinvested in what we do, and go to work every day with a feeling of excitement for what you’re about to accomplish.
Today, I want you to realize that you are Living the Dream and that you have endless possibilities ahead of you. I want you to stop just doing—stop reacting—and really think about how you can make the most of this hour, this day, this month.
2. Turn off autopilot.
Autopilot affects us in every season, but it’s easier to go on autopilot at work when you’re itching to be outside. I get it—when you’re doing the same thing day in and out, it’s really easy to go through the motions.
But autopilot is a thief. It steals the precious moments of our lives from us, turning us into zombies who drive, stare at screens and never go beyond surface-level conversations.
And it makes us stagnate in our careers.
On “Just another Wednesday” in July, and there are millions of people who will go through all of today on autopilot—coffee, desk, emails, calls, coffee, emails, meeting, home, dinner, bed. But what’s the point of that?
Fight autopilot by spending five minutes in the morning really thinking about your goals and intentions for today. Instead of looking at your phone and jumping into emails as soon as you wake up, think and meditate quietly while you drink your coffee. I promise you’ll notice a difference.
3. Write down three things you’re going to accomplish by the end of August.
Setting short-term goals that are tangible will help you feel so much more productive than the large, lofty goals that you might set at the beginning of every year.
These could be as fun as “go to the pool with the kids 3 times this month” or as focused as “listen to podcasts on my commute instead of the radio.” These small changes will fight the summer slump and give you bite-sized goals to work toward. If you have kids, help them set goals for their summer, too!
The best tool I know of to map out your goals and write a new script for your life is my Write a New Script workbook. It’s usually $15 on my website, but you can download it for free here.
4. Take a day or two.
The best way to avoid the summer slump is to give into it. Yup, that’s right! If you have vacation days, use them—and not just if you’re going out of town. Take a day off, and use it to do something that gives you energy.
I love amusement parks and golf, but maybe you love exploring cities or visiting museums. if you don’t have a vacation planned this year, there’s nothing wrong with a mini-staycation!
5. Make work fun.
Whether you’re the CEO, the HR manager, or the office assistant in your work, you have the power to change the culture of your environment and make it more fun. Plan a happy hour meeting, bring in fun treats for your team, or put up pieces of art or pictures that make you happy.
Working in the summer is no vacation, but with the right attitude and intentional ways to bring fun into the office, it can feel a little more like one.
As a speaker and author, Curtis Zimmerman has impacted over one million people with his life-changing messages and award-winning programs. Curtis is an expert at transforming organizations by inspiring individuals to live their lives at performance level.
Want to be inspired? Check out his podcast The Next 24 Hours.