How to stay productive in the heat….

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The sun is shining and for once it seems that Mother Nature is listening to the calendar and we’re getting a bit of a summer (fingers crossed I’ve not jinxed it now). The sun works wonders, puts a spring in your step, a smile on your face… That is until you’re sat at a desk wishing you were outside instead of stuck indoors.

What can you do to keep yourself motivated and productive when the sun is shining…?

1. Clothing – it is slightly stating the obvious but dress for the weather. We’re not suggesting you don your swimwear, but where possible wear cooler clothing. Stick to natural fabrics, go for short rather than long sleeves and if you can, ditch the tie and jacket. Differing companies have differing views on what is or isn’t appropriate clothing – I know some that fully welcome shorts and flip flops and others that shudder at the thought. If in doubt speak to your line manager before digging your Hawaiian shirt from the back of the wardrobe.

2. Hydrate – make sure you drink enough during the day, hot weather means your body uses up it’s water reserves much quicker. A lack of water will slow your brain down – which is bad news for productivity. Don’t forget to take water with you on your commute, whether you’re in a hot car, train or tube you’ll need that extra liquid.

3. Take a break – working in the heat is tiring, make sure you take a break and get away from your desk every hour or so. It will give your productivity a much-needed boost.

4. Fuel – heat affects your appetite; more people skip meals in the hotter wearer. Don’t forget to eat, if you can’t stomach anything big then a nice light salad will help to keep you cool.

5. Timing – the day gets hotter the later it gets. Try to do your most important tasks in the morning when it’s cooler. Leave the easier tasks to the afternoon when energy levels will be at their lowest.

6. Climate – while large windows are great for looking out of – in the summer they turn every office into giant green house. The once prized window seats become unbearable heat traps, hotter than the surface of the sun. If you’re able, make sure there are blinds or something that can shield the hottest of the suns rays. Aircon and the temperature it’s set at can cause many an argument in the office, with some people melting while others are wrapped for the artic. Try and get a happy medium so you have a comfortable working environment for all.

7. Concentrate – multi-tasking isn’t the most productive way to work – our brains work best when concentrating on one thing at a time. When the weather is hot and concentration and energy are lacking, try to stick to one task at a time. Concentrating on a single task will help you get it finished quicker and with less mistakes.

8. Get out – leave your desk, leave your office and make the most of your lunch hour.  Go and grab a sandwich on whatever bench or tiny patch of grass you can find.  Staying inside all day will only increase your resentment of not being able to enjoy the hot weather.  A break and some sun will give you a boost and if you’re anything like me, after 30 mins in the sun I’m melting and can’t wait to get back to the nice air conditioned cool of the office!

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