The weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer, and we’re putting away our sweaters to take out our pastel dresses.
With the change in the season comes a sense of renewal and excitement. Warmer temperatures feel fresh and light—a chance to start anew. With the weather getting nicer and new events popping up on your social calendar every time you look, it can also be a difficult time to stay motivated at work.
The good news is that this shift can be a combination of an exciting time socially and personally and also a time of renewed motivation for your career.
Let’s dive into six productivity tips that will help you accomplish this balance and be unstoppable in this new season.
1. Refresh Your Goals
Often, we set hefty goals and charge full speed ahead to achieve them. As we work to adjust our workout plans to achieve our fitness aspirations, our sleep schedules to fit our needs, and our skincare products to suit our environments, we forget that our goals need care and adjusting too.
Every few months or so, I like to review the goals I have set for myself. I ask myself these questions:
How do these align with my values? My beliefs? My deepest desires? How do I want to live my life? Does anything need to shift? How are the small goals I am working toward daily feeding into my overall dreams for my life?
By asking yourself these questions, you are able to see if you need to pivot and where you need to do so. It helps you to remember how your daily life informs your future, reminds you why you are going after what you are, and gives you a new sense of purpose as you move forward.
If you do one thing to stay motivated or get into gear as it gets nicer outside, it’s this. Take an hour or so with your morning coffee and get clear on what it is you truly are after and why.
2. Get into the Practice of Preparing Your Weeks in Advance
Now that you have a fresh set of goals or a fresh mindset around them, it’s time to ensure that what you’re doing in your daily life is leading you toward accomplishing them.
My favorite thing to do is prepare and plan my week in advance. Every Saturday or Sunday, take some time to get intentional with your week. Map out all the things you have to do, the things you want to do, and the things you’d like to do. Purposefully schedule your work and personal lives (and leave some room for spontaneity for those spring and summer rooftop bars!).
On top of this, clean up your space and do some self-care—do whatever you need to do to feel as refreshed as you can come Monday morning.
3. Build Your Schedule for How You Want to Live
There’s a lot of content out there for women who work for themselves and can build their days, to an extent, how they ideally see fit. Not everyone has that option if you’re in the more traditional 9-to-5 work model.
Regardless of your work schedule, there are ways to build your life to more closely reflect that of what you hope to one day be able to do.
For example, if your goal for your life is to own your own business and you envision yourself waking up, making a coffee, journaling, getting in a workout or morning walk, and then heading to your office space, start doing the pieces you can do right now, today.
Maybe you have to commute at 7 a.m. so you can’t get in all of those things, but my bet is that you can fit at least one of those into your schedule before you head out the door.
Just because you aren’t in your dream life yet doesn’t mean you can’t start getting closer today.
In addition, make sure you are structuring your week around when you work the best. Again, this is not always possible with people pulling you in all directions, but you can probably afford to time block at least one morning or afternoon to work on a project you’ve been neglecting, depending on when your creative juices flow the best.
4. Enjoy the Process: Take Breaks!
As you’re building your schedule (and life), don’t forget to treat yourself.
While you build in your practices to better reach your personal and professional goals, add in time for the simple pleasures of life.
In other words, schedule breaks.
One hack I have found helpful throughout the years, particularly if I’m working on something that may not be my cup of tea, is to time block an hour or two where I’m focusing on the project, knowing that once I hit that time limit or a certain point in the project, I can go for a walk to grab an almond milk latte down the street.
Breaking your projects down into digestible pieces and scheduling breaks or rewards as you go can be a key way to ensure you are making progress and enjoying the process as you go.
5. Get Outside (and Early!)
The benefits of getting outside are endless. Now that we’re getting more sun, make sure you plan time to get outside as you build out your week.
Now that many of us have shifted to working remotely, it can be easy to look up after three days and realize you haven’t left your apartment (just me?).
One of my favorite ways to make sure I incorporate fresh air and sunshine into my daily life is planning a morning walk, whether that’s on my commute or just a few blocks depending on my day. On this walk, I listen to a podcast, music, or walking meditation to start my day off right.
6. Plan a Refresh—Of Your Work and Your Life
Last but not least, we hear a lot about refreshing our home and belongings when the weather gets nicer. It is a great time to clean out the old to make way for the new.
But what about your work and life?
Take some time to refresh what you have on your plate. Go through your inbox, your desktop, and the folders and files on your computer. Delete or archive what you don’t need. Review your to-do list. Are there items on there that have been there for months? Are they really that important? Take a look at your calendar. Are there items that can be removed? Are there meetings that aren’t beneficial?
Dig into your documents, your to-dos, and your overall work—where can you declutter to help you focus on what matters most?