8 Simple Ways to Optimize Your Life-Work Balance this Summer

Work at the BeachIt’s finally come- the time of year most of us have been dreaming about for many months. Warm air, light breezes, and green grass abound…Spring and Summer have finally made it to most parts of the U.S. Most of us are spending every possible moment outdoors, trying to push memories of the long, ice cold winter to the back of our minds.

I’ve waited for these months with great anticipation, but now that they are here, I’ve noticed a small problem; even though the days are longer, the grass greener and the temperatures are higher, my work day hasn’t changed a bit- as a matter of fact, it’s business as usual. Instead of long days lounging in the swing on the front porch, here I am spending 8 hours a day in my cubicle, trying to catch a glimpse of the day through the (closed) office window. On days like these, who hasn’t wanted to call in for a mental health day (or ten) and spend some time with our toes in sand? While we might be able to spend the bulk of our vacation days on warm weather exploits, the fact remains that 80% (or more!) of our long awaited Spring and Summer days will be spent behind a desk, and work still needs to get done.

Instead of spending your work days dreaming of job that allows you work beachfront or lounge by the pool while earning megabucks (ha! Does that job even exist?), try some of these tips to help you make the most of your Summer while getting the job done at the office.

  1. Get your fill of the nice weather when (and where) you can. Take advantage of the outdoors during your work day. Trade in your lunch cafeteria routine and take it outdoors with a brown bag lunch. Get a quick 15 minutes of vitamin D in the sunshine while you take a break from the office environment. You’ll feel like you got to enjoy some of the nice weather before the clock strikes 5.

  2. Get up a little earlier. One of the benefits of the warmer weather is the extra daylight that comes with it. Getting up a little earlier gives you a bit more time to enjoy the sunshine with a brisk morning walk, spending a few minutes in your garden or just sipping a cup of coffee on the porch before heading into the office. The time you’ve spend outside will help to curb that longing during the workday.

  3. Take advantage of a flexible schedule. Perhaps your job is too busy to allow multiple week-long vacation weeks during the short Summer months, but long weekends can be just as satisfying. If you can’t invest in week-long vacations to get away, try to take an extra Friday or Monday when possible. Not only will it make your vacation time stretch, you’ll be surprised by how much an extra day outdoors will invigorate you for the rest of the work week.

  4. Half days are so under-rated! You come into work ready to pump out four hours of good work knowing that when you leave, you’re heading to a few extra hours of well earned enjoyment- and you’re still stretching your vacation time to the max.

  5. Who hasn’t tired of the view from behind the treadmill? Take advantage of the good weather to get a quick workout in during the work day. Have time to take a quick stroll during your lunch or work break? You’ll be enjoying the weather, increasing endorphins, and get back to work feeling accomplished, with one more thing checked off your to-do list.

  6. Bring some foldable camp style chairs with you to the office. Store them in the back of the car and pull them out for your lunch breaks. Enjoy a book, a snack, or just a few minutes in the outdoors to soak up the sunshine.

  7. Organize an office sports team! You’ve spent all day together, working hard, what better way to relax then to grab a quick game of wiffleball, basketball or tennis after work? Have a field or park nearby? Send out an email to your colleagues to see who is available once or twice a week and spend an hour after work enjoying the weather.

  8. Make the most of your weekends. Try to fit in house chores and errands during the week. Find ways to minimize the time you spend doing them too (think grocery delivery services, and high school kids looking to earn extra money doing yard work.) During the Summer months, it may be well worth stretching the budget a little to have your Summer weekends open with a chance for a quick trip to the beach, a day spent hiking, or time spent with friends and families out doors.

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