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6 Fun Ways to Celebrate Summer Even When You’re Stuck in the Office

6 Fun Ways to Celebrate Summer Even When You’re Stuck in the Office

Summertime is the season of days at the beach, poolside cocktails and vacations in far-flung regions of the globe. From blaring backyard BBQs to the plethora of pool parties, everything reminds you that summer is in full-swing. The only thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that you still have to go to work during the week, despite the draw to be outside 24/7.

But summer fun doesn’t have to be reserved for weekends and vacations – with a few creative ideas it can be celebrated at work as well! Here are a few suggestions to bring summer right to your cubicle.

1. Put a Basket of Stone Fruit at Your Desk for a Seasonal Touch

Nothing says summer more than the smell of peaches, plums and nectarines. Having a bowl full of summer fruit within arm’s reach at your desk will not only be a visual pick-me-up, but the scent alone will be a pleasant perfume reminding you of the season. Remember, the fresher, the better, so try to buy your fruit at local farmer’s markets or roadside stands.

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Cherries are another delicious and healthy summer snack, so make sure to pack a few of these festive treats.

2. Hang Postcards From Past Trips In Your Cubicle

Bringing in visual mementos of past vacations will remind you of trips planned for the near future. Part of the fun of going away is the anticipation beforehand, so you want to maximize that daydream period as much as possible.

On especially slow afternoons, use these visuals as motivators for getting your work done. Remind yourself of the white sand beach that you will be on in a month or the new city you will be exploring in just a few weeks.

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3. Prepare Picnic-Style Foods for Your Lunch

Who says you can only have a picnic on the weekends? Bring macaroni salad, hot dogs or hamburgers, and a slice of pie to brighten up your lunch hour. Make it a weekly event and invite co-workers to join, where everyone contributes a dish. The break room is a perfectly acceptable place to have your picnic lunch, but if you have a nearby park it would be a shame not to use it.

4. Take Ice Cream Breaks

Instead of your usual afternoon coffee break, how about an icy treat instead? Scope out a nearby fro-yo or ice cream shop and grab a few co-workers for a sugary boost. You could even dedicate one day a week as “ice cream day”. It will have everybody looking forward to something cold and sweet, especially on those extra hot summer days.

Want a healthier option? Go for fruit popsicles or organic smoothies instead. Better yet, try making your own.

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5. Trade In Your Usual Drinking Cup for Something Bright and Festive

Summer is all about color and it’s important to remember this even while in the office. Switch out your usual water cup or bottle for something bright, preferably neon-colored. In addition to serving as a reminder to stay hydrated during the warmer months, it will bring a smile to your face as you think about the beach party you’re invited to this weekend.

6. Listen to Music That Reminds You of the Season

Music always sets the mood and is especially effective for transporting you out of the office to a more desirable destination. Whether you crave Bob Marley or the Beach Boys as your soundtrack, pumping those songs through your headphones will instantly upgrade your day.

Summertime offers a great opportunity to change the mood at work. Try a few of these tips and bring a little warmth and sunshine inside your office.

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Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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