Embrace the Sun: How to Productively Work Outside
With temperatures rising (finally!), staying focused at your desk is likely proving a challenge.
It’s the time of year to spend as much time outside as possible, whether that involves grilling out or picnicking, taking your runs from the treadmill to the greenway, or engaging in a seasonal sports league.
But when it comes time to move inside, focus, and get work done, how do you stay productive when you want to spend all of your time outside?
Change Your Scenery
If your work allows it, take advantage of the freedom to literally pack your things up and work outside, even if it’s just for 30 minutes. You may think that working outside can prove distracting and put your productivity at risk, but if you are able to create a to-do list to keep yourself on task you might find that mixing up your surroundings actually helps get creative juices flowing.
And, if you’re feeling stir crazy and stressed at your desk, the fresh air and sunshine you’ll get working outside can help your mood and stress levels.
Ready to embrace this switch? Make sure your electronics have a full charge, check for Wi-Fi accessibility if that’s necessary ahead of time, and get down to business. Whether it’s a park or an outside table at a coffee shop, take some time to enjoy the sun.
Find New Ways to Meet
It can be a serious struggle to be sitting in a meeting or on a conference call when it’s a gorgeous day outside. The fix? Move your meetings outside, too. If you need to meet with just one or two other people, suggest holding it outside, or consider a walking meeting. If you can walk while you’re on a conference call, just make sure you stay muted when not speaking, as outside noises can be a major distraction.
Set a Schedule
Some days are just busier than others and it can be hard to sneak away or find the time to set up camp outside to work. On those days, set goals and a set time to go outside when you’ve reached them. For example, if you have a lot of tasks on your to-do list, do the most important ones first, and when they are off your list, reward yourself by going outside for a little walk or coffee run.
Even if you don’t get outside to work, simply taking breaks outside will help alleviate stress and provide a much-needed change of scenery. Take your lunch out, spend some time reading a book, or just make time to sit in the sun for a few minutes. In many parts of the country, the warm weather is fleeting, so try to make the most of the warmer seasons.