If you’ve been working from home for the last few months, it’s likely that you’ve devised a few strategies to help yourself stay focused and productive throughout the course of your workday. But now that it’s getting warmer outside, you might find yourself more and more distracted by the possibility of having a cold drink out and sitting out on your porch for an afternoon. If you’re struggling to stay productive as the weather gets nicer, these tips should help you out.
Start Work Earlier
When you find yourself becoming more and more easily distracted, it becomes imperative to budget your time wisely. Just like 30% of a typical business’s IT budget goes toward cloud computing, you need to budget out your time in a realistic manner. Pay attention to the times when you’re getting the least done. If, like most people, you find yourself less productive from around 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM, it could be a good idea to start working earlier. Taking a break from your typical work schedule and starting an hour earlier than you normally do can provide you with more opportunities to enjoy the warm weather right at home. Not to mention your workday is over earlier, which means you don’t have to sit at your computer until dinner.
Take Short Breaks
When it comes to budgeting your time, you need to take breaks into account. The human brain wasn’t designed to work for eight straight hours every day. When you neglect to take breaks, you’re more prone to exhaustion, burnout, and mistakes. And considering that almost 68% of funds lost as a result of lapses in cyber-security are deemed unrecoverable, a mistake in that kind of position is not one that you want to make. So make time in your day to take short breaks! You really only need about 10-15 minutes to rest and reset. It’s important to allow your brain to rest when you’re completing complex tasks or detail-oriented work. Not sure what to do with your short breaks? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Go for a short walk or sit outside.
- Eat a snack — a banana or orange provides great brain fuel.
- Simply sit and let your mind wander.
- Watch a clip from your favorite show.
- Organize the surface of your desk.
Stay Full and Hydrated
It’s easy to think that the warm weather is distracting you, but sometimes that’s not even the case. One of the biggest enemies of productivity is hunger. And beyond that, dehydration is notorious for putting a strain on bodily function — that includes brain activity! Remember that humans need to eat every three to four hours to stay productive and energized. In the span of a normal day, that’s three square meals and about two snacks. So if you feel yourself getting distracted or feeling completely unmotivated, check up on yourself. When was the last time you ate? Have you been drinking water? If the answer to either of these questions is no, then it’s time to take a break and refuel.
Use Your PTO
Paid time off is a gift when you have a full-time job and you’re working from home. Sometimes your productivity is suffering because you really do need to get outside and stop thinking about work for a little while. It can be stressful to think about using your PTO at first. When the average American is almost $38,000 in debt, taking time off can feel like cheating. But the truth is that your PTO exists for a reason! If you’re really struggling, take a day or two to center yourself and give your mind a chance to rest. A day off or a long weekend to destress and sit on your front porch can do wonders for your mental health and productivity at work in the long run.
We exist in a world where productivity is sometimes seen as the only metric for success. But when you neglect yourself, you’re hurting your health and your productivity goals. Use these tips to help yourself out when you’re feeling distracted in the warm weather.