For most professionals, the idea of a carefree summer break is a long-gone privilege, reserved only for schoolchildren. In reality, you must complete a full workday even when the sun beckons you to the beach. However, that does not mean you cannot enjoy summer even while on the clock. Here are a few ways to enjoy the summer while staying productive.
1. Find Another Way to Get to Work
If you normally drive to work, shake things up a bit by walking, biking, or taking mass transit, if distance permits. This will require you to leave the house earlier than you are used to, but getting outside before settling into the workday is a great way to elevate your mood and get a little exercise. If you decide to bike, make sure you have all the necessary gear to get you there safely, such as a helmet and elbow and knee pads.
2. Bring Nature Inside
Summer brings to mind all things green, like freshly mowed grass, lush trees and beautiful flowers. The typical office features bland walls, plain carpet and maybe an artificial plant in the corner. Upgrade your workday by bringing a little summer greenery to your desk. Try a small potted fern or other low maintenance blooming plant to add interest to your workspace and elevate your mood. Even on days you cannot make it outside, you will have a little green buddy to remind you life is happening all around you.
3. Dine Outside
Even the busiest workdays include lunch breaks. Take advantage of yours by taking it outside. Visit a deli or restaurant with ample patio seating. Bring a co-worker along to make it a social outing, or keep it solo if you just want to reflect and decompress. If you normally pack your lunch, try heading to the park and sitting on a bench or under a tree. Even just sitting outside the building on the steps is a nice way to get some fresh air and sunshine.
4. Have an Ice Cream Social
You are not the only one pining away for sand and sun. Chances are, your co-workers feel the same. Buy a box of ice cream bars for the office freezer and notify everyone that they can help themselves. On busy workdays, a quick ice cream break is a great pick-me-up if getting outside to enjoy summer is not an option.
5. Take a Short Vacation
A recent study by Expedia showed that Americans waste up to $34 billion in unused vacation time. If you have the days to spare, go ahead and take them. If a weeklong excursion is not feasible, try just taking one workday off just to explore your city. Visit a museum, play a little golf or just hang out at the pool.
These are all great ways to spice up your ordinary workday and bring a little outside summer fun inside. It is still important to take advantage of your paid vacation time and truly get away from the office. A day or two of quality downtime resets your gears and rejuvenates your motivation, making you an even more effective employee when you return.
Photo courtesy of Sura Nualpradid at FreeDigitalPhotos.net