Productivity lessons I learned while on vacation: lesson#3

Summer Heat on ThermometerProductivity Lesson #3: The heat is a productivity killer.

I confess, I’m a hypocrite.

All winter long I complain about the cold weather. Then along comes summer and I’m filled with joy, until it hits. The intense heat and humidity. And I hear myself saying those three dreaded words: It’s too hot.

While I truly do love the heat, it does come with one big downer. It depletes our productivity. Today, I was chatting with a colleague and she validated what I had been thinking all along. She said, “I’m not as productive when I’m hot.” Even though she was sitting in her air conditioned office, she could still feel the effects of the high temperature outside.

It’s true. Heat can be a productivity killer. But there is a way to win the battle without working up a sweat.

5 things to work on while you beat the heat:

  1. Clear out your email inbox.  This might seem like a big ticket item, but what better time to get it done than when you’re trying to keep cool. Hitting the delete key or dragging and dropping emails into folders doesn’t typically require a lot of physical energy. Soon your inbox will be in the single digits. No sweat.
  2. Say hello to your past clients. This is a great time to check in with your past clients. It shows you care and that you haven’t forgotten about them. People are typically in a good mood in the summer, so take advantage of their jolly state. Who knows, you may get some repeat business from this exercise.
  3. Empty your trash or recycle bin. Carrying around extra stuff makes the best of us work up a sweat. The trash or recycle bin on your computer desktop is so easily filled and so easily forgotten. It likely contains hundreds (or if you’re like me, thousands) of long-forgotten and unnecessary files. Lighten your load and empty that bin.
  4. Update your computer. Why wait for a rainy day? Update your computer when the sun is shining and you’re in a good mood. It only takes minutes, but will give you long-lasting peace of mind that your computer is protected and running smoothly. If you run Windows, go to the Tools menu and select Microsoft Update. For Mac users, click on the apple in the top left corner of your computer screen, and select Software Update. It’s that easy.
  5. Do some strategic thinking. If nothing else, this gives you permission to sit outside on a patio with a glass of wine. Leave your technology behind. (Did I really say that?) There’s some kind of magic that happens when you write down your vision and goals using a pen and paper. Try it.

So there you go … five things you can do to help you feel productive even though the sun may be draining your energy reserves. Cool!

How do you stay productive on those hot and steamy days? Share you comments below and join the conversation. Share this blog with someone you know who may be feeling a little low on the energy side these days. They’ll thank you for it!


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