How to stay productive in the heat

We’ve had a bit of a break and a reprieve from the sun, as this summers uninterrupted stretch of sunny days came to a rather thunderous end at the weekend.  But, it’s just a short break as  the sun is back and temperatures and set to rise again. While we all love a bit of sunshine, here in the UK we’re not accustomed to these temperatures, and certainly not for any sustained period of time.

The heat can be draining and make many daily tasks harder.  So if you are stuck in an office what can you do to keep yourself motivated and productive when the temperatures begin to soar…?

  • DRINK – however tempting it might be, we don’t mean beers in the park, we mean water.  When it’s warm outside we use up more water and our reserves diminish at a much quicker rate. To work at its best, the brain needs a constant supply of water, a lack of it will start to slow your brain down.  Not great for maintaining productivity, so make sure you have a ready supply of water to keep your internal reservoirs topped up.
  • EAT– the hot weather can act as an appetite suppressant and many people find they skip meals. This is never a good idea, the hot weather doesn’t just mean you use more water, you use more energy to do anything. You need to keep your energy levels up otherwise you’ll start to feel sluggish and tired.  If you can’t manage a hot meal (who could when it’s pushing 90 degrees outside) a nice cool salad, some fresh fruit or a light sandwich will all give your energy levels the boost they need.
  • DRESS – this is pretty obvious, and I doubt many people would be going to work in a jumper this week. But dressing for the weather is more than just opting for short sleeves and no jackets. Try to wear natural fabrics, these deal with heat more effectively than their man-made, synthetic counterparts and won’t make you quite as sweaty. Lighter colours and looser clothing will also help to keep you cooler.
  • REST – taking a break from work is something you should do in all weathers, not just in the summer. You need to give your brain a rest, time away from your desk works wonders for productivity.
  • ONE THING AT A TIME – while the brain is brilliant at doing so many things, it works best when concentrating on one task at a time. Add in the hot weather when concentration levels are already low, and multi-tasking becomes a highly ineffective way of working.  Write a to-do list and try to work your way through it one thing at a time.  Do the larger, more detailed tasks first, as the day progresses and heats up you can do the easier, less testing ones.
  • ENJOY ITover 50% of people don’t take a lunch break. If it’s nice and sunny outside, instead of sitting there staring out the window daydreaming of all the other things you could be doing, go out there and enjoy it.  Take a stroll through a park, sit on a bench, anywhere where you can have a chance to relax and soak up some sun.
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