How to stay productive at the office during sweltering summer days
Though temperatures are high during the summer months, energy levels at the office can be low.
However, with a few simple tweaks in your daily routine, it's possible to stay focused at work all day long, even when you're feeling groggy in the sweltering mornings and antsy during prime boating afternoons.
Implement these tips to ensure you not only beat the heat at work, but also boost your productivity during slow summer months.
Finish the important work first.
"Tackle the most important items on your to-do list when your energy levels are high," says Amanda Augustine, career consultant and career management expert for TheLadders. "This is especially important in the summertime when temperatures are sure to continue rising as the day stretches on."
"If you're a morning person, consider waking up and starting work earlier in the day," Augustine suggests. That way, when temperatures are soaring by the afternoon, deadlines have been met and you can relax.
If you aren't a morning person, Augustine also recommends a cold shower as a trick to jump-start a muggy morning. "While the practice is not for the faint of heart, I recommend giving it a try. The cold water is known to invigorate the body and mind, leaving you feeling energized and ready to take on the day," she says.
Send emails and make phone calls early in the day.
If you're not the one currently soaking up the sun at the beach, then you've at least noticed your coworkers taking advantage of their vacation time.
It's crucial to consistently communicate with colleagues year-round, but especially during the summer when schedules are hectic with social gatherings and getaways. So be proactive when speaking with coworkers about projects or deadlines.
"Make sure you send any important communication during the first half of the day. Between Summer Fridays, scheduled vacations, and waning concentration levels mid-day, you're more likely to catch important contacts before they hit the mid-day slump," Augustine says.
Buy a cheap desk fan.
If the office is sweltering and the thermostat is out of your control, take it upon yourself to keep cool throughout the day. "Heat drains energy and concentration levels," Augustine warns.
Besides dressing appropriately for the workplace during the summer heat, an inexpensive fan could be a life-saver. Augustine recommends this Mashable article for a variety of chic desk fan options, from affordable to pricey.
But if the AC in your office won't budge at 67 degrees, then keep a sweater at your desk to combat the chill (which you can ditch as soon as it's time to face the summer heat again).
Drink more water than usual.
You should never neglect a hearty daily intake of H2O, but hydration is especially important during the hot and humid months.
"Pack an extra bottle of water for your morning commute," suggests Augustine. She recommends bringing a frozen water bottle with you to ensure an ice-cold refreshment en route to the office and throughout the morning.
If plain water is too bland for you, coconut water is a great option. It's sweet, yet hydrating and an excellent source of potassium.
Also be sure to restrict your coffee intake. Three cups of joe might seem like a staple, but caffeine is a natural diuretic and can lead to dehydration, a severe energy drainer, Augustine explains.
Take a quick walk.
If all else fails and the view of the park is too inviting to ignore, don't be afraid to take a quick recess.
"There is nothing worse than being cooped up inside an office on a gorgeous summer day," says Laura Vanderkam, time management expert and author of "I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time."
"Aim to take real breaks and get outside for just a bit," she says. "It's like a mini-vacation in the middle of the day. You'll return to work with a lot more energy than if you just try to soldier through."