Summer slump bringing you down? You're not alone. USA Today reports that roughly 50 percent of Americans only work for about 15 minutes before getting distracted — and that's a year-round average. For most folks, warm, sunshine-filled days mean spending hours cooped up in the office dreaming of hitting the beach or soaking up some rays by the pool.
To combat the pull of "summer-itis," we think you need to shake things up a little. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Tackle Priorities First
While everyone else is trudging in, grabbing coffee and chatting, start your workday by crossing your most important items off your to-do list. This sets the tone for your day and energizes you to continue crossing things off that list before taking a coffee break or checking your emails.
Limit Your Email Time
Email is an easy time sucker. We've all been there. You pause to check for new mail, and before you know it, an hour has gone by, and you haven't really gotten anything accomplished. There are studies out there that estimate workers spend about 25 percent of the day on emails. Instead of getting caught up in the email trap, try scheduling your email time throughout the day. Allotting a certain amount of time for reading and responding to email several times a day can save you a significant amount of time. In the end, you're likely to notice a real difference in your focus levels.
Shake Things Up with a Savvy Supplement
You already know that a quick cup of coffee can give you a jolt, but did you know there are supplements out there designed specifically to help boost your mood and give you laser-like focus? For example, Orb's Mental Focus+ Mood was created with an innovative time release formula that can help you beat the summer slump. These smart pills belong to a class of supplements known as nootropics, or brain vitamins. They're chock-full of key ingredients like:
- Sensoril Ashwaganda: This blend of Withania somnifera leaves and roots supports mental cognition, energy levels and cardiovascular health while reducing stress.
- TeaCrine: This patent-pending compound contains theacrine, an energy-supporting natural substance found in tea, coffee and some fruits.
- L-theanine: This natural antioxidant produces a calm alertness
Try the "If, Then" Method
Is the urge to escape overwhelming? It may be time to try a little if-then planning. This technique helps you get more done by pre-planning when and where to handle tasks. For example, you might tell yourself, "If it's 10 a.m., then I'll get up, grab a cup of coffee and take a five-minute break before compiling the research for Jan."
Give In, Go Outside
The more you resist, the more you want to get some sunshine and fresh air. Instead of exhausting yourself by refusing to leave your desk for eight hours or more every day, make going outside part of your daily routine. Take your break outside, request meetings be held outdoors or just get out and take a walk. Sometimes giving in to the impulse is the best way to retain focus for the rest of the day.
Summer is coming; the slump is inevitable. But if you're prepared, it doesn't have to be torture — and you don't have to lose focus.