Man oh man is it hard to work in the summer. When happy hours can finally be enjoyed outside, and the beach is calling, who wants to sit at the desk indoors?! Sometimes life is just too damn wonderful to work. But just because it’s the season of fun doesn’t mean that bills have magically disappeared and that deadlines don’t exist. I know. It’s the worst.
Instead of spending all day daydreaming about what you wish you were doing and not getting anything done, here are my 5 tips for staying focused so you can knock out your work asap and hopefully (fingers crossed) cut out early!
1. Hide your phone. Well, don’t hide it to where you can’t find it, just put it in the other room. And turn iMessage off if you’re on a Mac. We’re all in the habit of mindlessly checking our phones. I mean, how many times have you closed Instagram just to reopen it a second later? Hell, I checked my phone at least ten times while writing this post. But the truth is that 99% of what you’re looking at and doing on your phone can wait an hour or two until you take a break. Use it as motivation; checking your phone in x amount of time is your reward for staying focused.
If you absolutely have your phone by you, delete your social apps. It’s amazing how less likely you are to log on when you have to go through a process to do it. Another trick I’ve found is that on the days I don’t check social media until at least an hour or two after I wake up, I want to check it less throughout the day.
2. Change your music. When I need to get a ton of writing done, I actually turn of my music all together. It’s amazing how distracting singing along to your favorite songs can be. If you absolutely cannot function without background music, try listening to something instrumental. Spotify has so many ‘get focused’ playlists, that I know you’ll find one you like. And you better believe I’m going to work on one for the blog to share soon!
3. Go for a walk. Step away for some fresh air, even if it’s just around the block. You will probably tell yourself you don’t have the time, but you do. It’s ten minutes, if that. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed with to-do list and deadlines that we freeze and can’t work at all. Clear your head, slow down for a few minutes, and then get back into what you were working on with fresh eyes and a clear head.
4. Work somewhere new. I recently discovered that a change of scenery can work wonders. Anytime I need the pressure put on, I head to a coffee shop. Not only are there less distractions, but you’re also more inclined to sit up straight in your chair and keep your eyes on your computer. Plus there’s always something about having the pressure of strangers’ eyes on your screen that is a small deterrent from taking Buzzfeed quizzes and looking at memes.
5. Get dressed. Okay, so this one is just if you’re working from home. Working in pajamas is wonderful and comfortable, but when you’re feeling distracted, it’s too easy to go from your desk to your bed without feeling guilty about it. Toss on some structured clothes, uncomfortable shoes, and even do your hair and makeup if that’s part of your normal routine. It helps to feel like you’re working at an office, even if you’ve never left the house.
PS If you have any additional tips to share, please leave them in the comments! I’d love to have backup ideas!