Thursday, May 9, 2013

Three Ways to Stay Productive when Spring Fever Hits

Most likely, wherever you live, there are signs of spring and the upcoming summer season all around you. Here in Arizona, the days are longer, the sun is shining, our pools and lakes are warm enough to go swimming, and there are beautiful flowers everywhere you look. I don't know about you, but I am having a hard time staying focused on my to-do list.

Unfortunately, my to-do list will not take care of itself, so I have been struggling with finding ways to stay focused. I thought I would share some of these ideas with you this week. So, when you find yourself staring at your list and saying "I don't wanna!" much like I have been doing this week, maybe these strategies will help you focus.

Bring spring into your indoor work life
This is the time of year when it feels like cruel and unusual punishment to have to be indoors all day long. Give yourself a break and boost your energy at the same time by taking some time to enjoy the beautiful weather. 
  • Walk to a nearby lunch spot to enjoy the weather and get some energy from exercise at the same time. Sit on the patio of your favorite lunch restaurant to enjoy the fresh air.
  • Keep fresh spring flowers on your desk.
  • If you don't have a window you can open in your office, try to relocate to a conference room or location with a window at least once during the day.

Refocus your efforts and re-prioritize your to-do list
It is a proven scientific fact that our serotonin levels rise in the spring which can lead to giddiness, enthusiasm, and a boost in energy levels. We become distracted much easier, so it is important that we are as focused as possible.
  • Establish the next day's priorities before you go home each day. Try to realistically clarify how much time each action will take and create a detailed schedule.
  • List your activities in order of importance on your written list. You will feel such a sense of accomplishment and focus when you get to cross each task off the list.
  • Evaluate whether your priorities are actually essential. In other words, give your to-do list and your priorities the "spring cleaning" treatment.

Take a break
When all else fails, seriously consider taking a few days, maybe even just a long weekend, to recharge your batteries. Plan a low-cost short vacation that allows you to be outside, enjoy the weather, and not think about what is on your to-do list Most likely you will come back to work with your batteries charged and be ready to take action! 

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