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[su_row][su_column size=”2/5″]work-from-home[/su_column] [su_column size=”3/5″]We are in the thick of the summer now and there is a good chance that all the excitement and distractions of summer have been curbing your productivity. But if you manage your time properly, communicate well, and shift priorities as needed, you can get through the final month without slacking?too?much.

It is natural to relax a bit during summer months, maybe taking longer breaks or enjoying the outdoors on a walk. Getting rejuvenated for the coming fall and winter months is an important part of keeping a balanced life. Summer months can be seen as a great opportunity to get things done you have not had time for during harried and stressful months.[/su_column][/su_row]Here are 9 things you can do to boost your productivity at work this summer:

Plan your play.

Everyone needs a break and in fact breaks stimulate a clearer mind and fresh eyes on a project. Discuss with your boss a convenient time for you to take vacation so you are not left stressed out during your break. Open communication counts for a lot when it comes to summer vacation time. It?s important to prioritize your time off and establish ground rules. If you have a flexible workplace, be sure to earn trust and respect by making up hours you might miss. If you plan to leave work a few hours early one day, then stay later the day before. If you want to take a longer lunch to meet a friend who is in town?arrive earlier to work that morning. It will not only keep you productive, but you won?t be seen as taking advantage.

As mentioned above, open communication is ideal when it comes to planning out your summer projects. Be sure to sit down with your boss and go over vacation times and how they correlate with impending project deadlines. Be realistic about what you both can accomplish during this slower time. Share schedules once they are set to be sure neither of you drops the ball and everything it out in the accounted for.

Make good use of your vacation time.

Though you deserve a vacation, if you know of an opportunity to meet with a client or partner while away in a certain city ? schedule a meeting during your break. As long as its not impeding on your main plans, it truly helps with client and employer relationships to show your dedication. Plus, there is no saying you can not meet them somewhere fun and social, helping with rapport and relationship building. That can be a win-win for you and your boss or company, if the client or meeting is of high enough priority.?You could make a deal happen, and perhaps save on some travel costs if you are able to expense any part of it.

Make plans for your children.

If you are a parent, it?s easy to be distracted by your children in the summer. They are off from school and may require more time and attention from you. Find a good balance between work and family time and make arrangement for your kids, like daycare or summer camp during your busiest weeks or days. Try to avoid bringing them to the office and discourage them from calling you for frivolous reasons during the day. See our June issues of tips to get some tips on working from home with kids.

Shift priorities as needed.

Often times if the cat is away the mouse wants to play. However, it is often the case that certain projects can not be finalized without the boss. This makes it easy to procrastinate on projects. But a great idea is to shift your priorities to projects that require more in depth thought and less action items since the office is likely quiet and there are few fire drills. Capitalize on that to be prepared for major fall projects. You will not regret it.

Be flexible.?

The summer offers wonderful opportunities for rest, relaxation and family celebrations; you may have a few projects that requires you to adjust your plans to meet a deadline. Take advantage at these times to utilize technology by working from home on those particular projects. It will keep you on task at work, but still able to connect with friends or relax on your own schedule. If all else fails you may need to postpone your plans for a later date when you?re less busy, just make sure that you don?t give up on those plans?the summer is the best time to recharge and distress, so take full advantage of it.

If there?s no work, find some.

If you?re not productive simply because things around the office are slow, use the time to get a jump start on upcoming projects, to catch up on many lose ends that have accumulated or to take initiative on a project that you feel should be addressed within the company.

Don?t fall prey to lowering your output.

It is rare that any boss will accept a slower time of year as an excuse for poor performance. As long as you?re getting a paycheck, it?s assumed that you?re working to your best ability, regardless if others are taking time off at the beach. Nonetheless if you feel your performance is subpar because you truly need a vacation, it is time to have a discussion with the boss about how working to your optimal potential requires a vacation.

Don?t think showing up equates to productivity.

Just keep in mind that achievements trump hours spent. Just because you are in the office for the required eight hours, doesn?t mean you?ve done your job. The summer is not a free ticket for slacking off, so don?t do it!