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Stay productive this summer

Jun 11, 2018
Summer has finally arrived in Ireland!

The skies are clear, the sun is shining (if we're lucky) but you’re stuck in the office, trying not to stare out the window. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. When the weather outside is warm and sunny, it’s all too easy to imagining yourself strolling down a beach instead of cranking away at your desk. Here are some tips to help you stay focused at work during these warm, summer days.

Keep your cool

Keeping your cool in warm weather isn't just about attitude – your body needs extra attention too! Becoming too hot in warm weather includes the risk dehydration, overheating and suffering from heat stress, cramps or even exhaustion. Keeping your body cool will also help to keep your mood calm too; heat often exacerbates feelings of stress, tension and frustration. There are many simple and effective ways to stay cool in warm weather and most of them are very easy to achieve.

Water, water and more water

To stay alert and healthy, water is your best option. If you can't go without caffeine, try drinking a glass of water either side of a cup of coffee. This will help counteract the dehydrating effects of your morning cup of joe.

Pick your food wisely

Food can keep you cool provided you make the right choices. Fill up on salads, fresh raw food, vegetables and fruit. Avoid eating meat and protein-heavy foods during the heat of the day because these can increase metabolic heat production, which can add to loss of water.

Junk food lacks healthy nutrients, is often hot and greasy, and won't give you the energy needed to cope with the heat. If you must eat junk food, keep it for the cooler hours of the day.

Reduce the mugginess

Whether hand-held or electric, fans can keep you cool by continuously circulating air. Battery-operated fans can be used almost anywhere; at work, at home or on-the-go. Place one around the area you work to keep the air circulating freely and reduce the heavy mugginess that will put you to sleep at your desk.

If you’re lucky enough to sit close to a window or someone with one, open it up for a bit during the day. It might not be quite as good as actually being outside, but it's close and can help you feel as though you’re actually experiencing the warm weather. Being able to enjoy the fresh air from your desk will allow you to focus on your work, rather than gazing forlornly out at the sun.

Get outside

What better way to beat summer fever than getting out into the sun? It’ll be much easier to head into the office in the morning if you know you’re going to take a walk to the park during your lunch hour. You might even find yourself more motivated to complete your tasks if you know you’ll be heading outside for a short walk in a few hours.

The more you can incorporate the outdoors into your work this time of year, the happier you’ll be and the less likely you’ll be to start daydreaming about the beach instead of working on your progress reports.

Take your meetings outdoors

Need to meet with a colleague? See if they want to run across the street to get coffee or take a walk around the block while you strategise. Need to reconnect with a client? Schedule a lunch at a restaurant with a patio. You’ll kill two birds with one stone by getting work done while you enjoy the weather and chances are your colleagues, clients or vendors will jump at the chance to get outside just as much as you will. (In fact, it might just be a great way to catch up with someone who’s been hard to get a hold of.)

Make the most of your time off

Now that the weather is nice, seize the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. Leave your house or apartment and get out into nature. Go hiking, biking or walking; whatever tickles your fancy. Getting out in the fresh air in the evenings and on the weekends will make it easier to focus when you return to the office on Monday.

Plan a holiday

It’s summer, the one time of year when the hectic corporate pace slows down a bit. People are expected to take time off during this time of year and you should take advantage of it. You don’t have to break the bank - planning a road trip to visit friends or renting a cottage in a neighbouring county can be an inexpensive way to take a break from work and enjoy the weather. You will be more motivated to work hard and get your job done if you know you’ve got a nice reward on the horizon to look forward to.

Jay Davitt is an Accountancy & Finance Manager at Morgan McKinley.