In summertime, it’s easy for your mind to wander. With long days and warm nights, the beach seems a lot more appealing than the office. Hopefully your vacation is already booked. But what about the rest of the summer? Here are six strategies to ensure you’re maximizing both your enjoyment and productivity at work when the weather is beautiful. 

Work Outside
When we were schoolkids and spring arrived, we’d cajole our teachers into holding classes outside. There’s no reason you can’t do the same as an adult. Plan your team meetings outside, so you can enjoy the refreshing breeze while you plot corporate strategy. 

Work a Half-Day
Working a half-day at the end of the week is already a ritual at many companies, but even if it’s not currently in place at yours, there’s no reason you can’t suggest it. Here’s the pitch: you voluntarily add on an extra hour to your first four days of the working week, and then leave at noon on the final day. You’ll get the same amount done, but the increased freedom to take three-day getaways will rejuvenate you and your team. 

Group Your Tasks
One of productivity expert David Allen’s time-saving suggestions is to group similar tasks together. For instance, create a list of "out of the house" errands so you won’t forget to pick up the dry cleaning when you’re out grocery shopping. That will save you time you can spend on more satisfying summer pursuits. Similarly, be sure to create a ‘call list’ so you can batch your phone calls together. Equipped with your mobile phone, you can handle business calls while sitting in the park outside. 

Take a Walk at Lunchtime
We all know movement and aerobic exercise are good for us; the benefits of walking are indisputable. But what’s less well-known is research by Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert showing that walking 30 minutes per day leads to a greater increase in happiness than receiving a $30,000 raise. Give yourself a major bonus this year and start walking every day on your lunch break. 

Maximize Your Networking
Networking is an integral part of many jobs; if you’re an entrepreneur or a professional service provider, for instance, it’s how you win clients and pay the bills. But even in roles where networking isn’t explicitly required, it’s a good idea to make connections both inside and outside your company. Use the summer to schedule those meetings you may have neglected the rest of the year – and be sure to schedule them at outdoor restaurants and cafés, so you both have an excuse to soak up the gorgeous weather.  

Make Your Meetings ‘Play Dates’
Author Charlie Hoehn conquered his own crippling stress and anxiety through the power of play. He argues that professionals, driven to distraction by a fast-paced schedule and too many demands, should regain their childlike enthusiasm by bringing a spirit of fun back into their lives. Instead of having a typical coffee date or networking lunch, Hoehn suggests playing a game of catch with your business contacts. That won’t work with everyone, of course, but if you sense a like-minded colleague, they might love the suggestion.

The business world never sleeps. These strategies will help you maximize your productivity where it counts and enjoy the summer fully, even when you’re working hard at the office.

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