It’s mid-July and the summer lull is in full swing.
Back in the days of high school and college, this meant summer vacation and relaxation. Baseball games a few times a week helped to pass the time. I worked a part-time job cleaning pots and pans at the local retirement community kitchen. Besides that, not much happened in the summer.
Moving into the full-time workforce is a different ballgame, however (excuse my baseball pun). The summer months function just like the winter ones in corporate America. It’s so easy to get bogged down and mentally check out when half the office is empty and the sun is shining. I’m here to tell you that this is a huge opportunity for you, rather than a hindrance.
Productivity in the Summer
Staying productive in the summer can put you miles ahead of your competition if you correctly assert yourself. Double down and watch your career take off faster than you ever thought it could. Here are a few tips to keep you motivated on this lazy July day!
Get There Early
This one may be a matter of personal preference, but it is by far the biggest one personally. While summer in general tends to be a time of lagging productivity, it is only compounded in the afternoon. I am a huge fan of getting to work early, to take care of as many daily admin tasks as possible. When folks inevitably start to leave around 3:00 pm, I never find myself with a backlog of tasks that could’ve been done rapid fire in the morning.
Getting in early and getting as much done at the start of the day as possible gives you an edge over the guys who drag themselves in at 9:15. Staying productive in the summer means working smart; understand the best time of the day to get your work done is in the AM!
Take it Outside
Sometimes you can get the best of both worlds between the grind of the office and nice weather outdoors. If possible, try to take an internal meeting outside over a walk. Rather than sit around a conference table, a bit of fresh air helps break up the monotony of the day.
In addition to internal company meetings, take a customer outdoors as well. This is something I have personally done a few times since the weather has warmed up. I’ve taken a customer to a Red Sox game, a roof deck patio for drinks and appetizers.
Know the Difference between Vacation and OOO
A critical part of staying productive in the summer is understanding your boundaries. Certain careers blur the line between work and play. Being “always on the clock” for your job can mean answering email from the beach. Are you prepared to do that?
Set expectations, both with yourself and your manager, ahead of any out-of-office (OOO) you put on your calendar. There’s a big difference between monitoring email all day and being completely out of reach. Sometimes, you need the latter in order to get the batteries recharged. Understand what’s expected of you going into any time off during the summer.
Get Ahead of the “Busy Months”
While some see a slower office pace as a curse on productivity, others may see it as a gift. If you are going to be in the office and working in the summer months, it pays to get ahead for the rest of the calendar year. The pace always picks up in an office environment come fall. When people have been lugging around for the last several months, you have the opportunity to set yourself apart from the rest by working hard and smart.
To use myself as an example – selling often takes a back seat in July/August and it gets very slow. The executives we work with are taking multiple weeks off. Often you need to wait up until the fall to get all the decision makers in one place.
Rather than sit back and let the weeks drift by, I like to spend the summer sharpening up my own skills. On a slow day, you can find me re-watching presentations on our products and services, doing my own reading and learning daily, refining my pitch decks, etc. I think using downtime to your advantage is a critical factor to get ahead of the pack. This becomes even more relevant in the summer!
Find Opportunity in Ambiguity
Let’s face it; working hard in the summer is NOT an easy thing to do. The temptations are there for all of us. When it’s all said and done, nobody wishes they spent more time in the office. What you CAN do, however, is work smart and efficiently in the summer to keep your levels of productivity and personal/career growth moving along.
At a time where everyone else is halfheartedly working on many things, tend to your garden. Staying productive in the summer comes down to time management, and I hope today’s tips have been helpful to plan accordingly!
All opinions expressed on this blog are solely those of Home at 30 and are in no way affiliated with any other organization or institution. The purpose of this blog is to give general education and information about investing, wealth, careers, and college; It is not intended to be professional advice.
Author: Joe Savoia
Joe is a 2014 graduate of Northeastern University and currently works in a field sales role for technology company Acquia. He has worked internationally as one of Acquia’s earliest Australia-based employees and helped in the early stages to develop that region. Today Joe is based out of Boston and lives in Somerville, MA. Joe’s primary interests vary widely, including everything from robotics/AI to finance, blockchain, and the rapidly evolving world of tech we live in.