Ask anyone what their favorite season is, and there is a high chance they will say it’s the summer. It is this season that we often look forward to because of vacation. This is something that begins during our school life – summer is the time that the school is out! It only continues as we enter the workforce.
Summer means planning summer vacations – taking road trips with friends, going to the beach, or just shutting everything off and taking one long nap. However, after the summer is over, your efficiency might tend to flop.
It doesn’t matter if you are a student getting ready to start reading again, developing a home business, or anxiously dreading the day you go back to the office. We all feel a bit “jet-lagged” by our vacation, and fight to go back to the way things were before.
In simple terms, although we can use the summer vacation to recharge our batteries and replenish our energy, we are at risk of losing a lot of focus. This is why you should find out some ways to improve your focus during your summer vacations.
So, let’s take a look at various ways and methods you can use in order to hit the ground running after your summer vacation is over!
How to Maintain Focus During the Summer Vacations
1. Procrastination Is Our Biggest Enemy
Psychology Today talks about procrastination as sometimes hard to define. Many agree that it is a type of delay in the things we are doing, but why this delay happens is where the definitions diverge.
Dr. Steel clarifies, in his article, that although this definition is correct, procrastination is something irrational. “Procrastination is when you planned or felt that you should have done the thing earlier, and then delayed anyway. In short, it is putting off despite expecting to be worse off,” he says.
Sadly, this is a problem many people face nowadays, and the reasons for it are many. A lot of people are just incapable of dealing with the stress of facing the task. They postpone it until the very last moment when the deadlines must be met. However, this only builds up the stress, which – obviously – is not healthy.
Others even go as far as forgetting about their tasks. They are easily distracted by technology, friends, or anything else happening in the world.
Whatever your reason for procrastinating, it can get even worse when you are on your summer vacation. During this time, you have an “excuse” not to think about your work or study. This only serves to drop your focus when you come back from the vacation and slow you down completely.
This is why you need to actively think about procrastination and the ways you can fight it even during your summer vacation. Plan out your work – especially if you are working remotely. You do not need to do it during your vacation, but you can still spend an hour or two planning things out.
The point is to divide all your tasks into smaller groups. This way, you make it much easier to tackle one by one, and it will be easier to complete in the long run. The objective you have doesn’t matter – you can be working on your degree, learning a new language, or just dealing with your regular office chores.
Whatever it is, the process is the same. Sit down and jot all your ideas. Then, start prioritizing and time managing each task. This way, you will not be facing the same levels of stress when you start with something smaller. And, as you go along, there will be less and less stress to fight with!
Of course, this might not be a bullet-proof way of fighting procrastination. There are always obstacles on the way that you need to fight through. However, with a little dedication, you will start moving during your summer vacation, and you will not lose the focus when the vacation is finally over.
2. Time Management Is Quite Important
As you can see, you will do a lot of work just by sitting down and creating a thorough schedule. Even if you do not completely stick to it, you will be able to keep your focus when you start your activities.
The goal is to always be able to track your progress. With a good schedule, you will know exactly if you are working as planned or not. From there, you can change up your tempo as needed.
If you feel like you are running behind, then you can adjust to starting working more efficiently. Conversely, if you are making enough progress, you can slow down and take some time to rest.
There are many ways in which time management skills can positively affect your career – and boosting your efficiency and focus after the vacation is one of them! So, while you are on vacation, make sure you tinker with your schedule and plan. This will keep you busy and working, while still not stressing over someone checking your work.
However, you might also want to look into different ways in which you can manage time. There are a lot of resources to read up on this and a lot of different ways to organize your work. You can use your vacation to explore and experiment so you can see just what works best for you.
The alternative, of course, to do this while you work. However, this can only cause added stress and worry – and a drop in efficiency if you do not pick the right method. So, the summer vacation is a perfect time for it.
You do not even need to plan your work tasks. You schedule some of your summer activities and see how well you can handle them. Whether it is taking a walk, doing some exercises, or hanging out with friends – you can use your vacation as a unique experiment that will help you boost your workplace performance.
Another thing that you can try is a plethora of time management apps and tools. There is something for everyone, really! From tools that will keep track of how much time you are spending online, to those that will reward you or motivate you if you are doing your work – anyone can find something that works for them.
Of course, if you are a person who does not want to be too dependent on technology, then we encourage you not to use the apps. Instead, you can keep and manage your time yourself. This way, you will get a hands-on insight into just how you are spending your days, which can help you regain focus during your summer vacations.
3. Do Not Forget to Have Some Fun, Too!
When going through these tips, this all can sound like quite a lot of work to do over summer vacation! The first thought you might have is to viciously object to any or all of these methods -and you would be somewhat justified.
After all, the summer vacation is the time to rest and relax, recuperate, and recharge your batteries. We are not saying you should refrain from this. On the contrary – spending some fun, relaxing time can actually help you improve focus during the summer vacations.
Harvard Medical School, for example, has shared a list of exercises and techniques that can help you boost your focus while also relaxing your mind and your body. You can incorporate these into your everyday activities, and you are bound to feel more relaxed after just a short time.
But you are not going to spend your summer vacation only doing breathing exercises! Summer is the time when people go out – biking, hiking, swimming – enjoying all kinds of adventures and being overall active.
This activity can also be a powerful tool for regaining focus after your vacation. Physical activity is a great way to deal with your stress and expel it out of your body. If you are full of stress, then a couple of weeks of activity ought to help you feel fresh when you finally come back to your everyday life.
What’s important, though, is to find a balance. It can be easy to get lost in the array of fun summer activities and forget that there is an end to it all. Instead, you can blindly run through the whole thing and crush into the wall called “the end of your summer vacation,” – which can hurt quite a lot.
So, make sure you split your time between having crazy amounts of fun and doing some smaller, menial tasks. This way, you will not lose your focus – what’s more, you can improve it! This is also why we suggest you do some planning during your vacation – so you do not feel out of place when you come back to work. Instead, you will slowly ease into it and feel right at home the day after your vacation.
But if you are looking to actively improve your focus during the summer vacation, you can also do that too. All you need to do is think of your focus as a muscle, and work on it daily. You can find many amazing exercises for increasing your focus online.
For example, you can mix up some meditating with exercises. Then, you can spend some time each day working on your memory and reading. Also, throughout the day, try to practice mindfulness. All you need to do is to slow down and completely focus on what you are doing. For example, feel the flavor and the texture of your meal. Small exercises like these ought to keep your mind running at optimal speeds at all times throughout your summer vacation.
4. Consider How Your Environment Can Help You Improve Focus
There are two things that will always affect the way you work, no matter who you are. The first one is deadlines; the second is your work environment.
No matter where you are, your surroundings can help you build and improve focus during the summer vacations with ease. Similarly, they can easily distract you from your work and make you lose all your efficiency.
For example, if you are working from home, then your roommates or family can become a real distraction. You might also be distracted by your pets or the technology around the house. However, the same can apply for the office – your workmates might be popping in and out of your workspace, causing you to lose your focus.
This is why it’s important to really think about where you are working and how it is influencing you. Sometimes, a simple change of scenery is all you need to take a deep breath and regain your focus. And is there a better time to test out different environments than during your summer vacation?
If you can work from your laptop, then you can grab it and try to move around the house. If you have a home office that doesn’t work, try moving to another room. If you are a student writing paper, maybe you can sit down on a park bench and type away there.
You never really know if until you try! What works for some people might not work for others. Of course, if you cannot really change your environment physically, this might not work for you. However, there are other ways in which you can fix up your workspace for improving focus.
Some people find motivational posters cliché, while others enjoy them. You can add some greenery to your desk with a couple of small pot plants to bring the outside in. If you can, you might try placing your desk on the other side of the room, and testing what the light does for you there.
There are many little things that you can change up. And of course, not all of these will work with all offices. You will hardly be allowed to move your desk in an open-plan office, but you can still bring a spark of joy to it.
The point is to break the rut, which can slow us down and mess with our focus. And if you are working from your office, you can spend some of that mindful vacation time just thinking about what you can do with space. You might be surprised by what you can come up with!
5. Create a Routine to Keep You Going
Even though we just talked about breaking the rut in order to improve focus during the summer vacations, for some people, it is having a routine that can help you stay on track. There is a reason why most of the workforce starts their day at similar times and ends it together too.
If you keep doing something over and over at the same time, it will become a habit. For example, a lot of writers will advise you to sit down and write at the very same time each day. This way, even if you do not feel like writing, you might feel an itch when your “writing time” comes. And if you sit down to write, you will already feel more focused than if you were to write randomly.
Similarly, if you shape up your whole day around separate tasks, you will manage to bounce from one to the other without losing too much energy or focus. This again ties into the time management skills we already talked about, as well as creating your schedule.
Of course, during your vacation, you will not be working, but you can spend this time actively doing work-related things that we already talked about. This way, when that first day back at work comes, you will already be itching to work – and thus, you will be focused and prepared!
Although you might be anxiously awaiting your summer vacation, sometimes it can come with a few drawbacks. The major thing that can suffer while you are resting and relaxing is your focus.
This is why it is important to keep thinking about ways in which you can improve it. Summer vacation is the perfect time to learn how to better manage time and test some new scheduling methods, as well as come up with ideas to improve focus during the summer vacations when you come back from it. So, keep thinking outside of the box, and you should hit the ground running once the work finds its way back to your life!