Usually, I arrange my schedule so that I do the most difficult work (for me, writing or reading complex theory-based journal articles) when I am at my most energetic early in the day, and leave less demanding tasks (such as gathering sources, reading texts, and making study note cards) and non-academic activities (including grocery shopping, watching TV, and visiting with friends and family) for the end of the day or evening when my energy levels are lower. In the summer, though, it’s really hard for me to stay indoors all day—especially when it’s sunny! So, I’ve made some sunny-weather adjustments to my schedule.
Every afternoon, I plan to spend an hour studying outside. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to focus on the more demanding tasks when I’m outside. I’m too distracted by summer sights and sounds: the birds twittering nearby, the fluffy clouds in the sky, and the people riding their bikes on the street. I can, however, do some of the less demanding academic work even while I’m slightly distracted.
My time spent working outdoors may not be as productive as the time I spend working indoors, but I think the long term benefits of spending time in the fresh air (including a cheerier mood and a better tan) are worth the slight drop in productivity during that hour. In fact, this scheduled outdoor work time has become a kind of reward for me. I am much more motivated to get work done in the morning, because I have a pleasant outdoor study session to look forward to in the afternoon.
Are there ways you’ve found to get your work done while maximizing your enjoyment of summer?