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Summer can be the best of times with all those outdoor activities involving friends, colleagues and family. But let’s face it, all those distractions can pose some real challenges to staying motivated.

So, I thought I’d put together a list of some ways to recharge and stay inspired at work – when it feels like everyone else is off playing in the sand.

Just 15 Minutes

No matter how onerous, we can stand just about anything for 15 minutes. So, if you have a task you’re putting off, resolve to attack it for the next 15 minutes. That’s it.  Then, tackle it again for 15 minutes. Chunk by chunk, bit by bit, you’ll whittle away at it until it’s done. Just getting started is often the greatest hill to overcome. After that, you can make quick work of it – 15 minutes at a time.

Embrace Summer

There seems to be a lot more to do during the summer. Just because you’re working, doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself. Keep a running list of things you’d like to do (stand-up paddleboarding, Shakespeare in the park, an outdoor ballgame, eating at a new outdoor restaurant). Schedule something each week. The balance between fun and work will make a huge difference in your energy and motivation.

Make a Change

Research shows that changing our environment can be a great motivator, as well as inspire fresh thinking. So switch things up. Move a meeting outside to the picnic table or go offsite to a gazebo in the park. Or, if you want to start smaller, have everyone change chairs in your next staff meeting. (People tend to sit in the same place during regular meetings.) Change it up and see what happens.

Don’t Stop Learning.

During the summer, there’s a temptation to take a hiatus from learning until fall. Make it a point to learn something new every day – to improve your efficiency, industry knowledge, customer service skills, etc. You’ll feel recharged and raring to try out your newfound knowledge.

Take Five

The siren song of being outside can be deafening when you’re inside on a beautiful day. So give in to it. Take some time to take a break. Go outside and walk around, or sit in the shade for a few minutes. Your work will be there when you get back, and you’ll be recharged and ready to dive in.

Different motivations work for different people, of course. I tend to adopt the Power On approach. Sometimes there simply isn’t time for a break or to shake things up.  Sometimes, you just have to power through. Adopting the mindset that today’s sacrifice will pay huge rewards tomorrow can be the biggest motivator of all. (On the flip side, reminding myself of the negative consequences if I do not forge on, can also be a motivator.)

I hope your motivation stays at high tide this summer, and you also get time to relax and have some fun in the sun.