Seven tips for staying productive this summer
Summer is fast approaching in the Western hemisphere – and already, our productivity levels are starting to taper off. It’s not that we necessarily want this to happen (ok, so maybe we do), but if you want to stay sharp then you should take these surefire tips for a spin.
- Stay cool. As your body temperature increases, resource spending shifts from higher brain functions to maintaining an ideal core temperature. If you want to go all-out, you’re going to need one of these. From the department of realistic expectations comes another suggestion: fill a large plastic bottle with crushed ice or as cold water as you can get, wrap it in a piece of cloth and place your feet atop it for effective cooling.
- Take breaks more often. Hopefully, you’re already taking breaks during the day – Pomodoro-style, perhaps, but as your focus falters more easily in the summer heat you should adjust frequency and length to match the ebb and flow of your energy level. Fight it, and you’ll just end up paying the price later in the day.
- Trade coffee for water. See also: more water.Coffee is hot, drives water and interferes when your body tries to tell you it’s time to take a break. Water is cold, perfect for keeping your fluids replenished and flushes your system for toxins. The choice is yours, but at the very least you should top up with extra water in the summertime to make sure you don’t keel over at an inopportune moment such as, say, that important meeting.
- Have some fun.Nobody gets motivated by being stuck inside when the weather is great outside. Talk to the boss and suggest that you schedule some fun time, preferably beyond the confines of the cubicle – and make it something everyone can contribute to or be a part of. If you’re the boss, score major points by planning a surprise event under the guise of a departmental info meeting.
- Minimize interruptions.They’re always bothersome, but even more so when your mental faculties are already taxed. Let people know the heat is affecting you, and that you’d appreciate it if, for the next couple of hours, they only approach you if something is urgent. Then observe as the light bulbs go off and they start adopting the idea for themselves.
- Avoid taxing workouts. See also: work out. Since you’ve already been working out to get in shape for the summer (right?), there’s no need to pretend you’re Superman/girl just for the sake of impressing everyone else. Save the strength for when that special someone shows up and show off in bursts instead. No, really; wearing yourself isn’t going to do you much good. But if, by chance, you don’t work out already now is a great time to start what with the weather and all. Just don’t forget to drink water. Lots of water.
- Try something new. Nothing feels quite as dreary as being stuck in a rut – particularly a hot one. Break up your routine by finding something new to do, whether at work or at home; it’s a great way to stimulate ol’ grey into focusing on the new and exciting thing over here rather than the mundane stuff over there. Switch tasks with a colleague, ask your boss for a change of pace or pick up an old hobby – everything is better than feeling like you’re sitting very still in a baking oven.