In the heat of summer, it’s easy to daydream of the beach when you should be getting ready for a meeting. You know that feeling: when every task just seems too daunting to take on and the idea of signing out of Netflix to start your work makes you want to cry. But don’t worry—it happens to the best of us. Even with a strong start, it’s easy to find yourself drifting from your responsibilities mid-summer. But you didn’t work this hard to give up halfway through! To make sure you aren’t zoning out during the last few weeks of your internships, here are a few tips to keep your focus when times get tough.
Give Yourself a Daily Pep Talk
It’s not always easy, but sometimes you’ve got to hype yourself up. Remember all of the agonizing emails and phone interviews it took for you to get here? And remember how excited you were about getting this internship? Revive that energy every day. Going into work with a less-than-positive mindset can affect how much and how long you’re willing to work. So smile, think of how much potential you have and how much you’re going accomplish your, and then sit down and get that job done.
Remove Outside Distractions
…AKA your phone. Unless you need it to get your work done, put your phone in your bag. The temptation to check your crush’s recent Instagram or what latest meme is floating around Twitter can be overwhelming, so keep it far away from you on “Do Not Disturb” mode. According to Forbes, phones and texting are the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. On top of that, you’re actually 28% more like to make a mistake after reading a text. All those posts will be there for you to freely scroll through when you get done, so wait until your break or the end of the day to check them.
Get a Blocker for Your Laptop
One of the best things I’ve ever done for myself is download the “Self Control” app on my laptop. This allows you to block websites of your choosing for up to 12 hours at a time. I tend to have quite a wandering eye, and I can fall down the YouTube rabbit hole and find myself watching kitten compilations for an embarrassing amount of time. Keep all of the cute and cuddly distractions away so that your focus is on taking care of the business at hand.
I find that by trying to do four hours worth of work all in one heap, I often burn myself out. When you’re tasked with a big assignment, taking a break can feel like you’re cheating on your work, but that’s actually not true at all. In fact, it can help you focus more in the long run. So, break up your assignments by taking intermissions. Do work for a solid two hours and then take a twenty-minute break. Giving your mind a rest and the opportunity to wander for a bit allows you to relax and feel rejuvenated to go in for rounds two, three, and four.
Make a Playlist
Whether it’s sounds of rain or classical music, playing music in the background can help increase your positive mood and force you to focus on the work in front of you. College Today says that music can be helpful for studying as long as it’s music without lyrics. So create a soothing playlist and crank it up while you get your work done.
If you aren’t keeping track of the work you have, it can be pretty hard to get it all done. Organize your duties in whatever order works best (I would recommend based on what’s most pressing), and work in that order. To keep everything you have to do in order, invest in a detailed planner where you can write down all of your tasks for the day and check them off as you go. This way, you have a game plan for the work you’re doing and not staring hopelessly at your desktop wondering what you need to do next.
Check Things Off As You Go
Being able to physically see yourself making progress can give you the motivation to get even more work done. Create a checklist, keep it nearby, and promptly check things off your list as you finish them. That way, you’ll have a visual way to keep track of your work while also feeling a sense of accomplishment.
After a day of hard work, there’s nothing like some positive reinforcement to make you want to do it all over again. So treat yourself! Even if it’s in a small way like buying that cookie you’ve been craving or sleeping in a little later on the weekend.
How do you stay focused at your internship? Let us know in the comments below?
Opening image by @pretaportkate.