Nobody wants to work today. Nobody at all. It's lovely outside, family members are on vacation, the beach is calling, but alas, you must work, especially if you are a summer associate gunning for a post-graduation gig.
How do you stay productive during the days of summer, when there are many more fun things to do? Here are a few tips:
Fix the Temperature
This is a big one, and not just because it feels like a sauna in our office today. (Seriously, am I the only person feeling it?)
According to Grasshopper's neat infographic, the optimal temperature for an office is between 70 and 72 degrees. Anything less than 68 and error rates increase by 25 percent, while temperatures above 73 degrees decrease productivity.
Take a Vacation
Are the beaches calling? Stop resisting and take a week off. Doing so will decrease your chances of burnout. Plus, if you schedule it for later in the summer, it'll give you something to look forward to, and a deadline for getting time-sensitive work out of the way.
Bored with your cubicle or office? Grab your laptop and head outside for the afternoon. Or have meetings outside, or at a restaurant, instead of in a conference room.
And perhaps consider telecommuting. It's debatable whether productivity is harmed by the practice, but one expert notes that telecommuting works best for those with deliverables -- billable hours, reports to complete, deadlines, etc.
Come in Early
No more teachers, no more books, no more idiot students clogging up our local freeways!
Instead of dreading the morning rush hour commute, come in early -- with fewer people on the road due to school breaks and the pre-rush hour boost, you'll waste a lot less time on the road, you'll get out of work earlier, and you'll have more time for work-life balance in the early evening hours.
Exploit the Boss's Vacation
Is your boss taking a vacation? With less day-to-day demands from above, that'll give you more time to catch up on organization, side projects, backlogged legal filings, etc.
But alas, the opposite is true as well: if coworkers or subordinates are going on vacation, you might get stuck covering their work. Plan accordingly.
Editor's Note, June 11, 2015: This post was first published in June 2014. It has since been updated.
- We Tried That Exercise Ball as an Office Chair Thing. Meh. (FindLaw's Greedy Associates Blog)
- Treadmill Desks: Healthy or Hype For Sedentary Lawyers? (FindLaw's Greedy Associates Blog)
- 5 Ways to Make Your Lunch Break Suck Less (FindLaw's Greedy Associates Blog)
Co-Working on Vacation: A Desk in Paradise (New York Times)