Earn Work-Life Balance

7 Productivity Hacks for the Dog Days of Summer

Lindsay Tigar  |  July 10, 2024

Here’s how to power through your to-do list during the last (yet still lazy) days of summer. Because we all want to get outside ASAP.

Are the sun’s intense rays during these last days of summer just sapping you of your energy completely? Us, too. But as much as we would love to lay around with a cold drink in the AC, most of us have to keep up our 9-to-5 tango no matter what the weather is like outside. So, how can we remain productive and effective in our jobs? 

For starters, we can use the sunshine to our advantage. And with rooftop happy hours or strolls on the beach within our reach, we can work smarter so we can log off and cool off and have fun however we desire. We checked in with experts for their best advice on how we can streamline our productivity in the summertime + stay focused and motivated. 

Get a study buddy 

“So many things are more effective when you have a mastermind group, which can be one other person or several people. Meet up with your study buddy or work partner at their house or yours, and focus on your individual work. Help each other stay accountable. You could even speak your specific goals out loud to one another for your work date and check on your progress throughout the day. Then end the day with a fantastic dinner at home or at your favorite local restaurant.” 

— Michelle Boulé, transformational life and business coach 

Don’t let emails take over your day

“Summertime often means vacation, out-of-office email replies and being off the grid. But this can be stressful because it’s counterproductive to take a vacation and then spend a few weeks working overtime to make up for time lost. Schedule a time during your day to check your emails, flag messages that aren’t urgent but are important that you want to make sure to get back to. If necessary, respond briefly to emails that you can get to in 30 minutes or less. Staying on top of emails means a little less pain later.” 

—Nealy Fischer, founder of The Flexible Chef

Embrace a morning routine

“Every morning, what gets me up and motivates me to tackle my day is getting into my morning routine. My morning routine in the summer consists of: waking up at 6 a.m., brushing my teeth and washing my face, adding CBD oil to my smoothie to curb anxiety and to increase my focus, taking a brisk, 30-minute walk while listening to one of my favorite podcasts, making myself a nourishing breakfast, and then sitting down at my desk and starting my workday at 7 a.m. Sticking to a schedule that I’ve created — and enjoy — helps me start my day feeling relaxed, energized, and motivated. Re-evaluate your morning routines regularly and add things that bring you joy, like dancing, reading, journaling or listening to music, to stay diligent and productive.”

— Christina Rivera, co-founder at MATCH CANNA

Create and use mantras and affirmations 

“Maintaining our focus is virtually impossible in this world of constant distraction and pull for our attention. Overwhelm and frustration result when our precious time, energy and resources are not aligned with what we value. Mantras serve as a reminder of what we value most at this point in our lives. Mantras help keep us pointing in the right direction for us. I recommend using mantras or affirmations 3 to 4 times each day as a reminder and inspiration to realign and refocus your limited time and energy. Affirmations work best when kept consistent for at least a few weeks. For instance, ‘I’m so grateful my loved ones are happy, healthy, safe, and together’ or ‘I feel surrounded by support, kindness, inspiration, and calm each day.’ It can be helpful to link your mantra practice to an activity you already do. You can say your mantra each time you wash your hands, start your car, make a cup of coffee, or put on lip balm. When we link a new habit to an established activity, we are far more likely to keep it up easily.” 

Amber Trueblood, MBA, a licensed marriage and family therapist

Celebrate your success — and put it in your planner

“Celebrate your success as often as you can — even if it’s something small like your favorite meal or a good bottle of wine in your bath. Keep a list of successes and manifestations in your phone in a note or on a saved board on Instagram or Pinterest. And plan out your celebrations, so you have something to look forward to. Make it a habit to schedule in time in advance to celebrate when you complete a project, finish an online course, hit one of your big goals, and so on. Do not immediately move onto the next big project if you can at all help it. This not only increases your motivation from the beginning of the project but also gives you a shining light at the end of the tunnel when it gets tough along the way.” 

— Nicole Rosé, the founder of the Queens of Creation mentorship program and Big Queen Energy podcast host

Treat your time as your currency

“My favorite productivity hack is treating time as my form of currency and using time in a way that works for me. If I dread doing something and force myself to do it, I find I’m very unproductive during that particular task, and it takes forever to complete it. For example, when learning new things, video is the way a lot of people learn. However, I taught myself to speed read, so I dread learning by video because it takes longer to learn a new skill than reading through it. I always tell my clients to think about the time it takes to do something, then determine how best to perform the task. You don’t have to follow the crowd. If you are more productive at 3 p.m. instead of 8 a.m., then do it then. Your time is the currency of your life.” 

— Angela Giles, the co-founder of Everyday Woman

Get outside every single day 

“My top tip for remaining productive year-round is to get outside and connect with nature as much as possible. For those who live in regions with all the seasons, this is much easier to do in the summer, which makes now a great time to establish practices that can be adapted when colder weather sets in. If you don’t currently consider yourself an ‘outdoorsy person,’ think again! There is so much clarity, inspiration, and healing power to be found in the natural world. When we take even just a few minutes to tap into that resource each day, we ignite the spark that our minds and bodies need to move through internal blockages (anxiety, grief, depression, resentment, etc.) and move forward with purpose. Go for a walk in the woods or a park, take a bike ride, dip your toes in a lake or the ocean — wherever you are, the earth has something to offer you.” 

Cathleen Elle, intuitive success and mindfulness coach


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