I don’t know about you, but warm spring weather does funny things to my workflow. On the one hand, all that Vitamin D and time spent outdoors seriously skyrockets my creativity straight through the roof (leaving a nice sunny hole in its place!).
On the other hand, who can sit at a desk and focus when there are May flowers blooming right outside? I suppose if you have spring allergies, you spend your days firmly planted in the office, hiding from the nasal death trap otherwise known as pollen, but most of us want to get as far away from fluorescent lighting as possible when the weather turns warm.
Take this afternoon for example. I was checking items off my to-do list like it was going out of style, coming up with song suggestions for this very playlist, and putting together graphics for social media posts – you know, really rocking and rolling at work. But my dog and the sun had other plans! She looked out the open window, she looked back at her leash, she stuck her wet little nose against the screen and sniffed the fresh air, and then she cried. I’m not kidding, she looked me dead in the eyes and whined for the great outdoors (this dog deserves an Oscar for her guilt trips).
And that, Dear Reader, is how I found myself spending two hours wandering around Brooklyn with a shameless dog at my side and writing a blog post at 9:00 at night.
What’s a person to do? The answer, I think, is compromise. Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks for taking advantage of that good weather while still boosting productivity – so you can get your work done and get back to soaking up the sun.
Use a Pomodoro Timer.
The Pomodoro Technique immediately boosts productivity by helping you work with time, rather than against it. As a result, it prevents burnout and helps you stay focused.
Using the technique couldn’t be easier. Set a timer for 25 minutes, work without distractions until the timer sounds, and then reward yourself with a five minute break. After four complete intervals, reward yourself with a longer 20 minute break. And of course, you can use this time to head outside and enjoy spring before getting back to work!
Change up your environment.
Who says you can’t have it all? If your office environment is at all flexible (we all work remotely here are DPM), grab your laptop, a blanket, a wifi hotspot and go outside. I often work in my backyard, and I know Rebekah works on her apartment’s balcony. Just don’t spend too much time hunched over your laptop with bad posture. Get back to your desk before your neck muscles tense up, or you’ll reduce your productivity in the long run.
If you work in a more traditional space and can’t leave, bring the outdoors in! Get a couple of hearty, tough-to-kill plants to keep at your desk or open a nearby window. It’s not a perfect substitute for gorgeous spring weather, but it will make you feel more awake and refreshed.
Go ahead, take that walk.
Going for a walk has a multitude of benefits beyond exercise. Most people know that taking a walk boosts your imagination, but even better? Research shows the color blue helps you think creatively. So don’t fight the urge to head outside. If you’re really feeling distracted, let the endorphins and the big blue sky work their magic.
There’s a good chance that whatever was feeling stuck will unstick, and you’ll be able to go back indoors with a new sense of purpose and focus in no time.
And if you’re looking for the perfect musical backdrop to your afternoon retreats, we have you covered. Check out some of our favorite spring songs about flowers, gardening, and the great outdoors!