The UK recently enjoyed its hottest June day since 1976, with temperatures edging close to 35C in some parts of the country. When the sun’s shining and the temperature’s soaring, how do you stay focused on your business?
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It can be tricky to concentrate at the best of times, but heat can make working conditions stifling, with few self-employed folks enjoying the luxury of air conditioned offices.
Plus, when the sun’s blazing, minds tend to wander in the direction of beers and barbecues. These are our top tips for staying on target during hot weather.
1. If possible, flex your schedule
Try to rearrange your working day so that you start earlier in the morning before it gets too warm. Consider taking a siesta-style break when the day’s at its hottest, and then start work again in the cooler late afternoon and evening.
If you can’t take a complete break, try to shuffle your working day so that you complete less intensive tasks during the hottest period, and leave the tougher tasks to early or late.
2. …but keep an eye on the clock
The sun doesn’t set until close to 9.30pm in the height of the summer, so it can be easy to continue working well beyond your normal sign-off time because it’s not dark yet. Try to avoid this - be strict with yourself, and make sure you leave some evening for yourself.
3. Make the most of cooler days
When there’s an inevitable break in the balmy weather, take the opportunity to get as much work done as possible, getting ahead of yourself so that you can relax a little when the temperature ramps back up.
After the hot weather earlier in the week, it’s now turning cooler and wetter across the country, so this could be your chance to get lots done.
4. Find a spot with air con
If you normally work from home, think about finding an alternative summer workspace that can keep you a bit cooler. See if your local library has air conditioning (or at least a ventilation system), head to an air conditioned local cafe, or try a cool coworking space.
5. Stay hydrated
Our brains need to be well-watered to function properly, with research showing that dehydration causes problems with focus and short-term memory. Always work with a jug of water beside you, and try alternatives like coconut water, ice-blended juice, and water-rich fruit and veg if plain old H2O gets boring.
6. Start planning for the summer holidays
Most schools close for summer next month, and this can be a particularly challenging time for business owners with kids. Start making your plans for when the kids are off school, thinking about rejigging your schedule, arranging childcare, and managing client expectations. Check out our article on running your business during the school holidays for some top tips.
7. Reward yourself by enjoying the weather
We know you’ve got lots of work to do, but take some time out to enjoy the weather. If you know you’ve got a picnic planned or a spot of sunbathing in your schedule, it should make it easier to get some work done in the meantime. Well that’s what we’re telling ourselves, anyway…
Do you have any top tips for working in the heat? Tell us in the comments!
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