Motivating yourself any summer is difficult, but this summer will likely be more difficult than most.
People who locked themselves away from society are likely itching to take advantage of relaxed COVID-19 regulations and mindsets. Consequently, you may have trouble focusing on work and find yourself more distracted than ever by their personal lives.
Rather than punishing yourself for the lack of focus, you should cut yourself some slack and recognize that how you are feeling is normal. Accepting your lack of motivation can help you address it and move forward through your summer burnout better than denying it.
Three Ways to Handle the 2021 “Summer Slump” and Keep Yourself Engaged in Your Work
1) Let Yourself Go
According to a Project: Time Off report, employees like yourself rate paid time off as the second most valuable fringe benefit, after health insurance.
Despite its popularity, many people do not use all of their allotted paid vacation time each year. The report said workers average 11 paid days off each year, but just five of those days are used, on average. You need to make sure that you are using the time given to you.
People might think that taking time off can hurt their chances of getting ahead, but the reverse is true. The Project: Time Off review found employees who took at least 11 paid days off over 12 months had better odds of getting a raise or a bonus than those who took fewer days off. Intuitively, this makes sense: High levels of productivity and innovation don’t tend to come from overworked people.
You might find yourself worried about getting behind on your work while out for vacation. One way to combat this is to spread out your days instead of taking off a whole week. Taking a long weekend can ensure you have time to rest and relax without your email inbox overflowing.
2) Stay on Track
If you have taken all your vacation time, you might increase your motivation by creating a schedule.
You probably keep a to-do list at work. But during the summer months, it helps to get more specific. A detailed plan will encourage you to stay on task, especially when you feel the urge to play hooky.
Make a timeline of tasks you want to get done. Then, do your best to maintain your schedule. These deadlines will help you stay focused.
It’s critical here not to ignore the call of summer entirely. Your schedule should also include plenty of time to enjoy the warm weather. Use these fun activities as a reward for staying on task.
3) Mini Goals Can Help
Creating a schedule should form the first part of your summer motivation strategy. To succeed, you need to organize your priorities and set your goals for the coming months. For this step, you’re better off breaking down your objectives into small, achievable targets.
If you have a big project with a distant deadline, it gets easier to procrastinate. You can waste time now and try to make up the work down the line. Of course, you’ll regret that decision when you’re scrambling to catch up. But at the moment, it’s hard to keep the long term in mind.
A system of shorter deadlines makes this less likely. You have to achieve smaller milestones on a daily, or even hourly, basis. That, in turn, allows you to stave off the desire to skip work and hit the beach.
4) Collaboration is Key
Turn to your coworkers for help. No doubt they spend their days dreaming of summer adventures as well. But by working together, you can help keep each other motivated.
Operating in a group provides a natural source of motivation. Peer pressure will keep you from straying too far off track. You and your coworkers won’t want to let each other down, meaning you’ll all find it easier to stay on task.
Think of it as a support group for summer junkies. You can rely on each other to spur motivation and to avoid slacking off. Then, when work is done for the day, you can all head off together to enjoy a warm evening somewhere.
Is It Time For A New Job?
Sometimes burnout happens faster when you are unhappy with your job or company. At ZDA, we work with job seekers to help them find best-fit opportunities. Please contact us today to find out how we can help you have tremendous career success.