Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Procrastinating In The Heat

Yesterday was a tough day to work in. Even from my shady home office, the hot, dense air had me feeling lethargic and slow. Those of us who work from home may not have the luxury of air conditioned offices and chilled water coolers. So how do we keep motivated and cool in this climate? I just about clawed my way through the to do list yesterday by doing these things.

1. Drinking plenty of water. I had a bag of ice in the freezer and a tall glass of water by my side all day. I'm sure there's some sort research that says cold makes the body over-compensate and generate more heat, as in taking cold showers but I was in the business of kicking my thought processes into gear. An ice cold sensation down my throat to the stomach seemed to do the trick.

2. Exercise. I've been setting the alarm for stupid o'clock and going out for my morning run in the cool morning air. It controls my stress levels, organises my brain plus I have some of my more creative ideas while running. Plus at lunchtime I dragged myself up the hill for lunchtime 30 minute circuits at my well-aired gym, a good old alt+ctrl+delete for the brain (except I use a Mac, so that wouldn't really work).

3. Siesta. Those Mediterranean types have got it right. Work when it's cool, rest when it's hot. If your routine allows it, there's no reason why this wouldn't work. I didn't take a siesta yesterday but did save some particularly complex tasks till the evening, after the kids were in bed and the sun went down.

4. Eating energising foods. I made a huge bowl of fruit salad in the morning, and grazed on it all day, sometimes adding a dessert spoon full of low fat crème fraîche with vanilla essence or pumpkin seeds.

5. Only doing the vital tasks. Early in the day, I spent about 20 minutes looking at my calendar, my task list and sorting what can be done when. As the weather report showed the week would cool, it made sense to move some of the more complex tasks to those days. Apart from a few unplanned e-mails I needed to react to, the plan worked.

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