Today marks the start of summer. The long sunny days and too-short weekends often leave us wanting to get more done - outside the office.  Yet, we also realize that the more productive we are, the more potential we'll have to reward ourselves and optimize summer.

To help you out, we're recapping salient, summer-appropriate points from five of our top productivity posts. Our hope is that with the right productivity strategy, you'll be able to more readily step away from the keyboard and literally "spend" your summer time most enjoyably.

lifehacks1. Eight #lifehacks that will allow you to spend more time doing the things you love.

  • Keep a laundry basket in the back of your car to use whenever you go shopping. Makes bringing things in the house much easier.
  • Wish you could shut down your PC by sending a text message? This hack lets you do just that and it saves you time from having to walk over to your computer.

2. Top 5 winning CommHacks featuring workflow updates for the communications industry.

  • Ramsey Mohsen's "time quilting" strategy. Identify the small blocks of time you do have: a five minute break mid-day, 10 minutes waiting in line somewhere, 20 minutes at the doctor's office, etc. These are your time quilts. Use those little scraps of time to tackle the un-done things on your work or personal to do list: research for a blog post, learn a new skill, reply to a tough email or move a side project along.

2. Nine social media #workhacks to make your company more likeable online.

  • Quell the power of distraction and instead, schedule short bursts of work for your social media strategy (or any other regular task). Instead of tweeting, liking, posting and sharing throughout the day, schedule a 5 - 15 minute swath of time a few times a day to engage your audience, build relationships and share great content. 
  • Put the internet to work for you with IFTTT. Create recipes that automate, or at least reduce, time spent on tasks. For example, you can create a trigger like email, text message or phone call to take place when your favorite website shares a new post.

get more done in less time3. How to get more done in less time for PR and marketing pros.

Learn how to run your social editorial calendar without a spreadsheet, monitor online news stories faster than 99% of your peers and more.

  • Get out of email and into a productivity platform (see slides 31 - 45). Tip: group everything. Figure out what email works for and what it doesn't. Get the non-working tasks into a platform.
  • Optimize your content marketing strategy. Stop emailing and using spreadsheets and instead, use an online, sharable editoriable calendar (like Tracky's editorial calendar module that you can copy and make your own) to store great content ideas, create and share documents, assign tasks to team members and guest contributors and more.  (See slide 28 for where to find content ideas).
  • Bonus: allow your research to double as social media content, in real-time

share with your boss4.  Selectively share your awesome productivity skills with your boss.

This is for the "doers" out there who want to showcase just how much they get done. Hey, it might even help your chances of getting a raise. (Not guaranteed, but it's worth a shot).

    • As Sarah Evans shares, his first mentor taught her, "Nothing is done until the people who needed it done know it’s done.” 
    • Don't fear your performance review, make it rock! When you implement a process to regularly share what you're getting done (like this free module), you'll amp up your authority and give your boss even more reasons to give you a raise.
    • Plus, it's a great way to boost your own self-confidence and career building initiatives.

5. How checklists can make you smarter

  • Use checklists to help motivate you to get repetitive stuff done.
    Create a master Daily To Do List to add more structure to your day and help you keep track of all that you're getting done.
  • Define what's most important for you to accomplish in life. Make checklists for personal, work and future projects. Outsource some to do's to facilitiate teamwork and discipline.
  • Tracky's new checklist view optimizes the intent of quick tasking while giving you the ability to assign tasks, set due dates, create and share files within a simple to do heading.

Since it's the first day of the summer and the weekend is upon us, maybe the first step you should take for a productive and enjoyable summer is to sign up for Tracky (if you're not already a user) and create a "Productivity Tips" track. Link to this post in the Disucssions area and "pin it." Set a due date for it to remind yourself of these and other great workhacks.

productivity track

Now, go sip something cold and enjoy your weekend!