How to Refresh Your Work Routine After Summer

Summer is a time for enjoying long days and relaxing vacations. Even the most productive offices slow down during the summer as employees and clients alike take time off from work and instead, enjoy extra hours with family and friends. However, now that the days are getting shorter and kids are returning to school, it’s time to refocus. Doing so when working in a hybrid environment, however, can be challenging. Use these steps to refresh your work routine so you can stay productive as you ease into fall.

How to Refresh Your Work Routine After Summer

Get your kids on a schedule

If you have children, the end of summer symbolizes the start of the new school year—and everything that comes with it. Your schedule might soon be packed with after-school activities, sports practice, and homework help. This can significantly impact your work schedule and break up your focus during the day.

Use the first few weeks of school to get everyone on a schedule. Figure out pick-ups and drop-offs with your spouse, if applicable. Also, get clear on where you’re needed in your kids’ schedule (I.E. taking them to after school activities, etc.).

This helps you get clear on when you will have time to work throughout the day. Ultimately, your goal is to build your work schedule around your most productive hours to maximize effectiveness. If you’re not sure whether your company will provide this flexibility, simply ask.

For the days when you work out of the office, check out our ultimate guide for working from home parents for more tips and ideas.

Get your office ready for work

If your company is allowing you to work remotely a couple of days on the week, then it’s time to make some adjustments to your office space.

Here are a few details to consider when creating a permanent office space:

  • Evaluate which work supplies you need, like a printer or laptop stand.
  • Find a private workspace, if possible. For example, can you convert a guest bedroom into an office.
  • Invest in an office chair with back support so you’re comfortable and able to work each day without pain.
  • Don’t ignore details like temperature, color schemes, clutter and natural light—all of which affect your productivity.

This way, when your hybrid schedule enables you to work from home, you will have everything in place.

Rethink the structure of your day

Evaluate your work routine to identify ways to increase your productivity. Do you feel like you have control of your work day or are your tasks managing you?

When working in a hybrid environment, this can be even more challenging. The days when you’re working remotely, you have all of the at-home distractions, in addition to notifications, emails and calls from co-workers and clients.

Here are a few ways to rethink your schedule this fall:

  • Set limits on your inbox. Check your email in the morning, during lunch, and in the afternoon—not while you’re in the middle of working on a project or taking a meeting. If you can avoid this distraction, you can be more productive and feel less scattered.
  • Schedule your meetings in groups or during one part of the day. This limits how often you have to stop working to dial into a call, which cuts your concentration.
  • Create Do not disturb hours on your calendar. These are periods of time when you don’t take calls or meetings and instead focus on important tasks to get work done. In Hubgets, we do this simply by changing a status in our accounts. You should try it too!

If you feel like you’re constantly pulled into meetings or can’t focus because of your busy inbox, then it’s time to take control of your routine and your productivity.

Pay attention to the sun

There are many benefits of working in natural light. Most importantly, sunshine allows your body to produce vitamin D, melatonin, and serotonin. This is why natural light may make you feel more alert, and as a bonus, also helps you sleep better at night. As summer ends and the days get shorter, you can still leverage the natural light, even if for less time each day than the last few months.

To do so, build the sun into your workday. Here are a few ways to do that:

  • Skip the basement office or windowless workspace. Instead, work next to a window or other area that gets natural light as often as possible. This may mean changing locations for working throughout the day.
  • Spend some time outside each day, like taking a 10-minute walk during your lunch break or sitting on your porch to breathe intentionally for 5 minutes.
  • Adjust your schedule around the sunshine. Starting work earlier in the day (even if it means skipping the snooze button) can allow you to clock out before it gets dark outside and leverage all the natural light you can get.

Don’t forget to add other natural elements to your workspace, like a few houseplants placed around your desk, to reap even more benefits.

Start fresh in the fall

Use autumn as a time to refresh your work routine for the better. Identify ways to improve your workflows and workspace while taking steps to accommodate the shorter days and busy school schedules.

This work now will set you up for success through winter and beyond so you can stay productive and focused, even in a hybrid work environment.

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