SXSW has come and gone here in Austin and spring is in full-swing. The sunshine is beaming through our office windows and all we can dream about is working on our tan out on the lake! Remember how easy we had it in high school and college with summer off so we could enjoy it instead of working through it?
Real sick days are already frowned upon at work, so I can’t imagine your manager would be happy about you taking a sick day because your friends invited you out on their boat for the afternoon. So how do you stay motivated at a desk five days a week?
We put together a list of pro-tips to manage your work-life balance this summer.
If you report to a manager, don’t be shocked to know they have the same feelings regarding working in the summer, and they aren’t stupid. Keep them informed about your plans and give them plenty of notice for when you might be out of town or need a day off. They’ll be more understanding than you think.
If you manage a team, it is important to communicate to your team your plans not only to keep the productivity flowing, but also to inform them of your expectations for when you are out-of-office. We’re all guilty of letting things slip through the cracks when the boss is out of the office. Be clear with what responsibilities are to be done by whom in your absence.
Plan your PTO.
There is nothing more exciting than the anticipation of a vacation or an extended weekend. If you plan out your summer play-time you will set yourself up to maximize your productivity when you are in the office. Step up deadlines and goals before your vacation because it will not only impress your boss with your dedication, but will make your vacation much more enjoyable if you don’t have to think about what you still need to get done when you return.
Don’t slow your productivity.
For some companies, business slows down during the summer months, but that is no excuse for poor performance. If you are getting paid, it is expected that you do the most with what you can year-round. If there are deadlines while you are out of office, make a clear and specific plan of how business will be handled in your absence. In other words, cover your shift!
Find work where there isn’t any.
Flexibility was probably one of the adjectives used to describe yourself during the interview process and now is the time to live up to it. If your manager is out and your work is limited because approval is needed to move forward, take some initiative and start a new project or help another co-worker who needs it.
Sending daily status emails to your manager to keep them updated can give them peace of mind you are actually doing work while they are out (creating a more trusting relationship for the future).
Showing up isn’t everything.
Congratulations you made it into the office, but that doesn’t equate productivity. Whether you are a manager or not, going on vacation or enjoying someone’s office absence; showing up is not enough. Show some pep, others in the office will take notice and it will boost the positive productivity all around.
Vacations or lost productivity are not ideal ways to lose a job. Fight the urge to use all your PTO during the summer and make use of the time off you have on weekends!
What are some of the ways you stay motivated to go to work and remain productive throughout the summer?