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5 ways to stay productive during the summer heat

If it’s hard to focus on work when temperatures are climbing, check out these tips

[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

In the Middle East, summer will be around for a while, and it will only get more difficult to stay productive in the heat. The heat doesn’t just make our bodies feel sluggish; our minds lag too. It impacts our focus and energy levels, making us more irritable and restless.

While you can hit the pool or take an ice cream break, you can’t slack off at your job — or take a break from work altogether.

Well, it is possible to be productive in the summer. 

“We don’t want to make the weather the next thing we blame for how we feel. If you are in a job you don’t like, then those irritable feelings and lack of energy will always be there, but the heat might be the catalyst to bring it to the surface,” says Denis Liam Murphy, a high-performance coach and author of The Blame Game

“Ultimately, it isn’t our external environment that impacts us. It all comes down to what is honestly happening with the individual and their perception,” adds Murphy.

A person who is healthy and happy with their life, job, and city will be less bothered by the heat. He adds that they will effortlessly adapt and make the necessary adjustments as the weather changes, unlike someone who is unhealthy or unhappy with aspects of their life. “They will use the heat as an excuse for all their suffering.”

While some take their foot off the pedal for two to three months, for others, it is a time to take advantage of the weather and prepare for the next quarter, says Murphy. “They will know most people will be relaxing, which creates an opportunity for starting and finishing projects you have been putting off.”

However, if you are feeling lazy and find it hard to stay motivated and focused, here are five lifestyle adjustments to remain productive during the summer. 

Murphy shares tips for getting work done during the summer:


You can beat the summer slump if you have methods for defeating it. You can do this by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day, more water, and having enough electrolytes. This can come as putting a small pinch of grey Celtic sea salt in your water, buying an electrolyte supplement, or consuming more raw fruit and vegetables.


Our dietary choices can also influence our work attitudes, particularly during the summer. Combine exercise with light, low-calorie foods to keep your energy levels stable throughout the day. Opt for cooler and lighter foods and salads at lunchtime — leafy greens, berries, egg whites, greek yogurt, and legumes improve digestion.


Revise your summer work wardrobe. Wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothing. Whether in an air-conditioned place or using a fan, wearing light natural material linen or organic cotton will help keep you cool. Avoid wearing polyester, nylon, and acrylic clothing as that prevents airflow and traps heat.  


Moderate the temperature of your air conditioning. The goal isn’t to overcompensate and live in an ice box if the outside is like an oven. Experiment with the minimum temperature that is comfortable to work in rather than excessively cold. If you can, purchase a humidifier to make sleeping more comfortable.


The temperature may fluctuate throughout the day, making some hours more bearable than others. Murphy recommends an “early to rise” mindset can make you more productive, especially during summer. “You will be more productive and creative in the morning as it is cooler,” he says. 

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