Summer is here!

How do those words make you feel? Giddy with excitement over big summer plans and a chance to relax? Or stressed out knowing that you’re behind at work and it’ll be even harder to catch up now that colleagues and clients are on “summer time”?

Or maybe you’d love to take a vacation - a real, no-smartphone, relax-on-the-beach vacation - but you’re afraid you’ll fall behind at work or end up looking less committed to your job than you coworkers.

Over half of Americans feel that way, with studies showing 55 percent don’t ever use their vacation time.

But what if taking that vacation actually made you more productive?

Not only does research show that your quality of work will improve by taking breaks, but even the act of planning for rest can make you more productive at work.

Think about what motivates you to roll up your sleeves and focus. If you know your workday will drag on into the evening hours, how motivated are you to crank out your work? You’re probably tempted to grab another cup of coffee, chat with a coworker, or “quickly” check Facebook because you have no incentive to wrap up your work efficiently.

Alternately, when you have something fun planned for the evening, you are motivated to leave the office on time - even if that means sprinting to get everything accomplished before you clock out.

Interestingly, research shows anticipation is a powerful emotion that can help you “curb your impulses and choose long-term gratification over short-term.” Anticipating an upcoming positive event gives you the discipline to stay focused and power through temporary pain or frustration.

So what does this have to do with your summer plans? Well, everything! Instead of sliding into a summer slump at work, take time this month to plan for rest. Whether it’s a week-long vacation, a weekend getaway, or taking a half day on Fridays, just the act of planning for and anticipating time to rest this summer can motivate you to stay focused and productive. You’ll end your summer not just feeling rejuvenated from rest, but even closer to achieving those 2018 goals.

Leave a comment and let us know what fun plans you have this summer!